Friday, May 10, 2013

"Warm Delights in the Fantasy Department (Awkward)" by Bruce Steppes

            A student named Willard gloriously walked out of the boy’s restroom after releasing tension that had lingered in his stomach the entire day. He passed a few pupils who suddenly became ill as he yanked the doors open to the librare. Willard bent down to quickly tie his shoes, and found himself standing between a couple who were passionately staring into each other’s eyes. Pretending to blend in with the bookcase, his whale like eyes surveyed the premises and stopped to find bare and frigid shelves of fiction-less books. The couple had not even noticed the sour smell that had lingered in the air surrounding them. 

            Willard’s heart dissolved like KOOL-AID in a canteen, superior work on a chemistry lab, and sand at the bottom of the neighborhood pool in which he drowned in every summer as he viewed the graveyard of the fantasy collection. He pulled out a used Kleenex from his Power Ranger shirt, and wiped away the three solid tears that trickled down his pre-moisturized face. Willard staggered back like a crooked line that had been graphed wrong in his TI-84 calculator while dramatically holding his chest in the middle of the library.  No one had seemed to notice or become interested in his Shakespearean audition, but for Willard, this was no act. He dashed over to the wooden pieces of shelf and closed his eyes. He began to glide his pale and skinny hands over the invisible books while humming the Star Wars theme song. 

             In the middle of this performance he spotted two dark shadows that stood near the crime scene looking not nearly as pained and dis-shuffled as Willard was. A thought cloud that was slightly too fluffy began to form over Willard’s head. The golden fiction books that resembled the delicate wings of a butterfly, the crisp noise of a funion ring, and the timer that goes off when the microwave has heated your meal, is how Willard felt about his precious jewels of books.  He found an empty space in the corner of the geography aisle and decided to camp out there until someone would notice his poor soul.  No one did, and he became angered by the lack of attention.  

              A whole twelve minutes went by and self-pity mixed with frustration ran through his legs as he struggled to free himself from the corner. As he rock climbed his way out, his friend Peggy came rushing over with urgent news. A fire had broken out onto the football field, but that wasn’t why Peggy was upset. Someone had tracked  dirt onto the library floor. Willard glanced down at his feet and slowly made his way over to the nearest exit.

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