Note: This piece is based on Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style. Writers were given a very basic plot and then asked to tell a story in a certain style. Casanova has chosen to write a "confused" story.
Jacob Marley was dead.
Wait. Stop. That is not the beginning of our story. It's not even Christmas, that was months ago. Why would Christmas Charol come to mind? Anyway...
Now, which way was the library again? Take a right, then a right, then a right, then a right, then a left, right? Right.
Ah the library, it smells like the cafeteria. No, that's the gym. The library smells like books, but also a bit like dirty feet.
Charles is here to check out a biography on... no not a biography, it was book on penguins. Or was it a fiction? Yes, that was it, a fiction.
Oh, this is Charles, by the way. He likes to narrate life in his head. Especially his own life. He's doing it right now in fact. He talks in the third person in his head, but first person when talking. Or is it the other way around? No that one was right. For once.
But what's this? The fiction section is half full! Or is it half empty? I suppose it depends on how you look at the glass. No, no, no. Looking at the other shelves the fiction section is surely empty. This isn't just the common daze that Charles usually falls into, the shelves were nothing but metal... wait that's the public library, this school library has wooden shelves. A very common mistake.
Two students were standing by the shelves, conversing in hushed tones. One had white hair, wore large very large fashionable glasses from the 80’s, and was balding a bit. Perhaps the stress had deteriorated him. Oh, wait. That could be Mr. Andrews, a school administrator. Charles thought perhaps it was Leonard, the elderly man who had returned to high school to finally finish his education. Though that could be a television character and not a student at this school. The other student was not a student at all, but the school librarian, who looked a bit like J.K. Rowling, but also a bit like Ernest Hemingway. Or was it Gwyneth Paltrow and Morgan Freeman? Charles wasn’t sure. He didn’t even know who those people were, or who the school librarian was. Perhaps there was more than one librarian.
Charles decided to stay in the library. No, that’s not right. Charles decided to leave the library. He had no purpose there if the biographical section was empty, or was it the fiction section? No matter, Charles was illiterate and didn’t intent to read anyhow. Or maybe he was lactose intolerant. Thick skull or weak bones? He’d find out later, there were more pressing matters to attend to like ice cream in the cafeteria. Charles knew they’d have milky fudge pops, the sign on the door said so.
But before Charles could get to the hot… no, frozen fudge goodness, his friend Matt had news for him. Or was it his friend Ken? Were Ken and Charles even friends? Yes, of course they were friends, otherwise Ken wouldn’t say “I hate you.” so often. But Charles was fairly sure this was Matt.
Matt told Charles of a pie eating contest on the football field. Mmm, delicious apple pie. Oh, wait there were no pies. It was very clearly an animal sacrifice. This week they had an old goat. Oh, no that was that horror movie that Charles had watched last month, or maybe it was a scarring memory from his childhood, but he was pretty sure it was a movie. The football field had a bonfire going on. They were burning the fiction section. Or was it the biographies? Darn, Charles had to do research on the school librarian for a project… or was it Ernest Hemingway?
The doctor stopped Charles in this retelling of his story. “Charles do you honestly believe they were burning the fiction section?”
Charles was confused. “Of course! What else could have happened?”
The doctor continued, “Charles you fell off the bleachers at the school bonfire. You suffered pretty severe head trauma. The books in the fiction section were removed due to water damage from the pipe in the bathroom above bursting.”
Charles looked down, he was in a hospital bed. “Are you sure, everything seems hazy.”
The doctor smiled, “I know Charles, but soon enough your memory will return and everything will be back to normal. We’re going to run a few more tests, but right now I’m sure your family wants to see you. Your brother Ken has been waiting outside for hours. I’ll send him in.”
“Thank you.” said Charles, relaxing in his bed as he stared up at the floor.
Or was it the ceiling?