Home Stuff Short stories The librarian

    The librarian

    In this dream-like story 18-year-old Mia Valodia Wessels van Zijl transports readers to a more poetic reality. As a child Mia had dreams of becoming a milkman. She now plans to become a professor of English.

    The stairs up to the town library were always the longest and most nerve-wrecking. Her skinny little legs would shake as she made her way anxiously to the front door. No matter how many times she opened that door, there was always that minute pause of, “Is it pull, or push?”

    Mia’s avatar, Chess the cat.

    She would end up doing both, amplifying her anxiety.

    The short walk to the front desk would carry on for an eternity, her little hands holding, trembling, onto the book she had to return. Her head just-just made it above the desk and her eyes would look up, travelling up and up, as if taking in the height of a giant, to the eyes of the librarian.

    Even to this day she believes that woman was a witch: eyes like death, breasts large as life and hanging down to her knees, glasses rimmed like devil horns, lips gruesomely twinged as she inspected the books with her two normal eyes and a hidden third. That third eye always seemed to follow you around, no matter which way she was facing at the time.

    As a librarian herself now, years later, she often wonders what happened to that old crow. Has she finally lost the scowl? Are her breasts down to her ankles yet? Does she still eat children for breakfast in a dark, murky cave?

    With every stamp in a book she thinks back to that hag and, with awe-inspired fear, misses her.


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    Mia Valodia Wessels van Zijl invariably transports readers to a more poetic reality.

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