“You’re full of shit.”
Rhea and her squeaky cart have migrated to the other side of the library, allowing Tori to feel like she’s allowed to be herself.
“I am not full of shit, someone actually slashed my tires.”
A novel about dinosaurs called Raptor Red slides into its place on the bookshelf.
“And let me guess, you have four spare tires in your back seat and you need me to climb in there and help you get them out.” She puts her hands on her admittedly delectable hips. “Am I onto something here?”
Sidney takes her hands off her hips and holds them both in his. “Baby. While I would adore to lock us in the back seat of my car, I’m being dead serious. Someone slashed my tires.”
Victoria’s eyes dart about his face as though searching for weak points in the fabric of reality where a wormhole might open up and spill out a heaping pile of bullshit, but finds none.
“Oh shit, you’re serious,” she says with surprise.
“Dead serious. I think it was that weird guy with the cloak.”
Suddenly she doesn’t believe him. “Weird guy with the cloak.”
“Weird guy with the cloak,” he asserts. She raises her eyebrows at him. “No, not-uh. You definitely saw him.”
“I saw no such him,” as she plucks another book off her cart. This one is called The Prince of Milk, it’s about cats and time travel, and though it probably belongs on an entirely different shelf than Raptor Red, she slides it in right next to it. “Seriously dude, I love seeing you and… I don’t necessarily mind you telling me secrets, but I would like to keep this job. Rhea hates me enough, y’know? If she sees us–”
“If I see you doing what, Miss Moriarty?” sterns the Cooswood in question.
Sidney and Victoria turn in tandem to face Miss Rhea Cooswood, looking skeletal and miserable in a dress that paints her from neck to toe in wispy folds of black.
“Is this your mate, then?” Cooswood sneers. “Young man, I’m sure you’re very attracted to this girl solely because of the thoughts in her head, what little may be there, but she was not employed here to flirt on taxpayers’ money.”
“Oh no, we weren–”
“In fact, I’m not entirely sure why she’s still employed here in the first place,” she says as though it’s been on her mind for a long time now, as though Miss Rhea Cooswood has been just dying to get it all out in the open. “She was late on her first day, she was slow to learn the system, she’s constantly distracted, she puts books into shelves where they plainly don’t go–”
“Oh come on,” Tori complains. “It’s not like a ton of readers come through here, you know.”
“That’s not th–”
“Besides, Denny reorganizes the shelves all the time. He doesn’t mind.”
“That’s not the point!” Cooswood accentuates with a stomp of her heeled foot. “You’re lucky that Mister Bogspekti took pity on you, girl. If it were up to me you would have been canned from the very start. You don’t deserve even a smidgen of the kindness you receive here, you know that? You don’t fucking deser–”
“OH’kay,” Sidney says, stepping between them with his arms out. “I’m not, uh… I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s going on right now, I’m uncomfortable.” He turns to face Rhea. “Somebody slashed my tires in the parking lot and I didn’t know what to do. Tori is my girlfriend, so I came back in and told her. That’s all, we weren’t–”
‘about to fuck for the first time between the shelves in the back not five minutes ago’
“–uh, we weren’t flirting. Did – and this is going to sound weird – but did you happen to notice a guy wearing a black cloak walk out of here?”
Rhea Cooswood folds her arms tightly and looks Sidney up and down, making a face as though she detests what she sees.
“I bumped into him on the way out, like, I accidentally bumped shoulders with him, and he didn’t seem happy about it. I’ve lived in Logger’s Pond for a long time, I know that some of the locals are, uh… quick to retaliate, so to speak. I’ll get out of here as quick as I can, I’m just trying to figure out what happened.”
“Well it seems you know exactly what happened,” Rhea quickly says. “You saw and offended a stranger. I don’t believe you’re lying, either.” To Victoria, “Another thing you should be grateful for, child. Most men are terrible liars.” Then back to Sidney, “I did not see him, but I’ve been restocking shelves most all morning. Would you like me to call the police for you? Or perhaps give you a ride home?”
“I–” Tori starts to say, then gets cauterized by Rhea’s laser vision.
“No, that’s all right,” Sidney tells the eldest librarian. “‘Preciate ya, though. Maybe Denn–”
“I’m having trouble seeing what exactly you think you’re going to accomplish,” Rhea huffs. “Even if we all saw him, what would that do for you? The strange man is obviously gone and your tires are still slashed. You need to cal–”
“And what’s goin’ on over here, ladies?” says a voice which Albey almost doesn’t recognize at first. “And Sidney,” the voice adds as it draws closer. “Ladies and Sidney, good folks of the LogPond Library. What seems to be the problem?”
Sidney leans past Rhea’s wiry frame and sees none other than Harrington Bogspekti, blonde bangs swayin’, strutting up to the little triad they have going on over here.
“Hey Harry,” Sidney says, then doesn’t get to continue.
“Ah, Mister Bogspekti, what a lovely surprise,” Cooswood swoons, splaying her old hands next to her ears. “This young man – Sidney, I believe you called him – was just distracting Miss Moriarty from her work.”
“Really? ” Victoria steams.
“Someone slashed my tires, Harry,” Sidney explains, looking none too thrilled about it. “Dude in a black cloak. You see him?”
“Dude in a black cloak?” Harry asks bloatedly. “You’re shitting me, right?”
Sidney, not in the least bit shitting him, takes him by the shoulder and leads him towards the door.
“Woah, what are we–”
“Hey!” Victoria says, running up behind them. “I’m coming too, I wan’a see.”
“Fine by me,” Sidney says, taking her hand. Behind them Rhea Cooswood is about to erupt like an active volcano, but Sidney’s trying to push her as far out of his mind as possible (as is his mate, as Rhea so eloquently put it) so they pretend they don’t hear her stammering.
“Wait, is this about to be a threesome?” Harry asks as they bound down the outside stairs into the cool autumn wind and the warm autumn sunlight, Sidney now holding him by the hand too. “Because I’m totally down for it.”
“Fucking gross,” Victoria cringes, on the verge of gagging. “What is your fucking damage, Bogpesky?”
“It’s Bogspe–” he starts to say, then is cut off by Albey saying, “Not the time.”
Sidney brings them to his sedan and drops one of their hands. All four of his tires are slashed to ribbons, never to be filled again.
“Huh, you weren’t full of shit,” Harry says. “You call the cops yet?”
“Nah,” Sidney retorts. “Didn’t bring my phone.”
“Why did you not bring your phone?” Victoria asks. “I hate it when you do that.”
“Because it’s toxic and I don’t need it,” Sidney offshoots. “Besides, cops aren’t going to do shit. I can’t afford a tow truck.”
“I can,” Harry attests.
“Well, I don’t want the cops involved,” Sidney pouts. He was going to fold his arms but he’s still holding Tori’s hand and he doesn’t really want to let it go.
“So what are you going to do?” she asks him.
“I don’t know,” he sighs. “I don’t understand why that asshole had to cut my shit up like this.”
“Really? I can,” Harry shrugs.
They both look at him, neither doing so happily.
“What? It’s just the order of things.” Harry shrugs again, this time with his shoulders. “Life can’t be all good all the time, Blake. You have to deal with some bad shit eventually.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Harry grumbles, looking directly at Tori, then at their clasped hands, then back at Albey. “I just don’t hear about you going through tragedy very much, dude. I’m not making fun of you or anything; life has its ups and downs, we all got’a face ‘em. It’s just the order of things, like I said.”
“So you’re saying he deserved this?” Tori blusters like the blowing wind. “Because he’s living his life well he deserved to have his tires slashed? That’s going to cost, like, a thousand fucking dollars to fix, dude. What is wrong with you?”
“I’m not saying that at all,” Harry says calmly. “All I’m saying is that maybe everything that happens happens because it’s supposed to happen. Right Sidney?”
Sidney slants his eyebrows at Harry. “Did you just fuckin’–”
“What can I say? That was a real good talk we had that day, dude.” Harry slips his hands into his pockets. “Real good talk.”
“What talk?” Tori asks, concerned.
‘If only you knew,’ Albey tries to say telepathically. Then verbally, “Nothing, it doesn’t matter.” He turns to face Tori and pulls her in for a kiss – a deep, borderline graphic kiss, as if he was trying to make a point – then shoves her lightly back towards the library, leaving her shook. “You got’a get back to work before the witch throws a hex on you.”
“The witch…?” she asks as the reference flies over her head like a slug of lead through the barrel of a big iron.
“You know what I mean,” he asserts. “I’ll call you when I get this sorted out, or I’ll just come back in and tell you about it. I don’t know yet. I love you. Skedaddle.”
“I love you, too,” she says quietly. Then, even quieter, “Be careful please.”
“Never,” Sidney smiles.
Tori smiles too, then skedaddles. Sidney turns to face Harry.
“You busy right now?”
“I was going to get some food, but it could wait. Why?”
Sidney puts a hand on Harry’s shoulder as though it were a bridge across the gap betwixt them.
“Because you and I, Harry, we live in Logger’s Pond. We’re woods kids, and some asswipe just slashed my tires.” Sidney looks at him squarely, then, “So it’s time we go and do some woods kid shit.”
Harry searches Sidney’s eyes for trickery, but finds none. “Fuck it, I’m game. I’m parked over there.”
Sidney looks to where Harry nods. He is indeed parked over there.
“Word. Let’s go.”
Hello Commons, this has been the third subchapter of the fifth chapter of Untitled Bigfoot Project, a novel about a writer who writes a novel about bigfoot.
Untitled Bigfoot Project is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Untitled Bigfoot Project is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Untitled Bigfoot Project and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here OR you can buy the ebook for even cheaper here.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~