This is a part of the main story I have written that I thought would work well (check my alliteration!) as a stand alone piece. Warning: Unsavoury language...
The blasted fucking library! This the Librarian thought as he pushed, nay, shoved and pleaded the book into it’s shelf at the end of the day once everyone had left Jesus suffering fuck. There were times, when even the humblest of library employees despised the dark and heavy surroundings they placed themselves in every day. But this was different, working alone amongst the greatest writers the world had ever seen with little sleep was too great a task for him. There were too many books. Just too many books, and they all had voices. All of them! They all cried for his attention. Dickens in his Victorian English, Fleming in his droning tedium, Dumas in his examinations of aristocracy, Adams in his wry wit, and Plath in her general female inclined drivel- but he tried to ignore her, as most should. If she didn’t want to be subjugated and abused she shouldn’t have married someone from Yorkshire. But the voices were too many, they wrestled inside his frail mind trying to gain supremacy. They used his head as a playground, a forum for their juvenile wants.
"Read me!" Dickens cried.
"No, read me!" Shouted Dumas.
"No, me!" Droned Fleming.
"Read the Bell Jar!" Screeched Plath.
"NO! Shut up all of you!" He grabbed his head in utter chaos, screaming and crying. "Leave me alone!"
"Read us!" They chorused.
"Enough!" He blared. Sweeping his hands about him as if he were a teacher calling for silence. He tried to calm himself by playing Suzanne in his head, over and over. He staggered to one of the tables amidst the shelves and let his head drop to its surface. There he made a vow! A solemn oath. Every book in this library had to be read. All of them. Even the feminists, even Dan Brown, even that dusty old copy of Crime and Punishment that he’d previously never found the time for, all of them. Dostoyevsky, I’m yours!
That moment when the body and mind simply can’t go on anymore. He had achieved it. So he fell into a heavy but troubled sleep, twitching on the table he had chosen as his bed for the night. The veil of darkness came upon him as he was plagued by visions of the future and premonitions of his death, ideals that he wouldn’t remember when he woke up. Just fleeting glimpses of catastrophe and tragedy.
He awoke in an unfamiliar wing of the library. He was sure this wasn’t where he had slumped a few hours ago, but how could he be sure given how tired he was? It was dark. It was more than dark it was black. It was like a gothic sketch- all in pastel and chalk of varying shades of gray. The walls shimmered and the shelves wavered as if they were unsteady in a gentle wind. He stepped up to the shelves and gazed at a red leather bound volume and scanned its clear spine. Then he saw an elusive title: Dostoyevsky, I’m yours! No author. He could have screamed, he switched his view to the next book. Dostoyevsky, I’m yours! His eyes widened in shock now he quickly scanned the whole shelf Dostoyevsky, I’m yours! Dostoyevsky, I’m yours! Dostoyevsky, I’m yours! Dostoyevsky, I’m yours! Dostoyevsky, I’m yours! One after the other, the entire shelf. All the same. He clawed desperately at their pristine spines. But he couldn’t grasp at the volumes, instead the shelf and its books rippled in his hands like a vast curtain or sheet. Like a giant canvas painted with an artwork meant only to frustrate and bewilder.
He gave up, exasperated, gasping for breath. His hands clutching his chest as if he was trying to grasp at the air within his lungs. He was panicking, he began to stumble down the hall. Staggering through the mist of charcoal dust into an open hall, more unfamiliarity bombarded him as his ears were attacked by a horrid tapping. He allowed his mind to clear slightly and looked about him. He double-taked and took an involuntary step back. The room was lit by candles hanging from vast gothic chandeliers, the tapping resounded from two rows of aged typewriters. Tap, tap, tap the said, again and again like a great percussion about the room. Sat at these typewriters were two equal lines of dwarfs, except these were different. Their heads, were abnormally sized and sat awkwardly atop their heads. But there they were, midget forms of the writers that haunted him every day. In the background Plath and Brown worked furiously along with the rest of his demons. But towards him were the unknown writers that he had only recently began to discover. He reeled back in horror. There was Bunting, and Pearson and then a gaggle of writers he did not know (or was yet to discover). He had almost had enough when he saw her. Within their midst, marching back and forth between the two rows was the Grey Lady. Watching over her presumed flock imperially.
Now he had had enough. He was about to turn when he saw a pile of leather covers, without their bindings and fillings. Laying their like slices of bread waiting to be fulfilled. His eyes widened once more, they all read: Dostoyevsky, I’m yours! All of them, and the pages? They were being typed by the crowd of ungainly midgets. He craned his neck to see the text from the doorway, and found it the model of repetition. The pages just read etc. over and over again. All of them.
On every page as the clacking percussion continued. The word he hated so much. Etc? Et cetera! How hard was it really to write that out, it was so much more elegant and useful than that abhorrent abbreviation. He was losing it, his composure and his mind. Again he found himself screaming. But only five words came out.
"MARY ANN IS A BITCH" He moaned. In unison all the heads turned at once, rhythmically and without so much as a twitch from any other part of the bodies. The colossal heads simply moved together at once all to gaze in his direction.
"Mary Ann is a bitch?" he said quietly to himself, wondering what was going on as an horrendous feeling of dread came over him. The dwarfs all stopped typing and arose from their seats. "Mary Ann is a bitch." They moved towards him, slowly and without pause. "Mary Ann is a bitch…?" He said weakly as he stumbled backwards landing awkwardly and crawling slowly backwards. It was difficult, as if something was clawing him back and slowing his movements, everything was tiring and laborious. The Dwarfs grew closer and the chanting started.
"Read us. Read us. Read us. Read us. Read us." It continued without pause, and in terror he screamed as they loomed over him. Eyes sharp with malice.
"Mary Ann is a bitch!" He adopted the foetal position with his arms held over his head to protect it from what, in his dread, he imagined would be inevitable blows and death.
"Mary Ann is a bitch!"
"Mary Ann is a bitch."
"Mary Ann is a bitch…"
"Mary Ann is a bitch." He whimpered and sobbed, shaking in his position.
"Read us. Read us. Read us. Read us. Read us. Read us! READ US!"
"MARY ANN IS A BITCH!" He cried, lashing out with feet and hands. Eyes closed and expecting the worst. "MARY ANN IS A BITCH! MARY ANN IS A BITCH! MARY ANN IS A BITCH!" When he opened his eyes and calmed a new face loomed over him, the Grey Lady. Smiling her wicked, dusty smile. "Mary Ann is a bitch?"
"Mr Librarian Man." She whispered harshly. "Mr Librarian Man?"
"Mr Librarian Man?" A sweet voice whispered, accompanied by a short but hard tugging on a sleeve to wake him. The Librarian groggily raised his head from its resting place on the desk and was harshly met by a ray of sunlight and a child’s face, barely visible through the sleep in his eyes. "Mr Librarian Man, could you help me?"