The Librarian

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This story is about a lady, a boy, and a book. The future of whoever owns this book is within their penmanship.

Submitted: September 07, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 07, 2017



Cruz “Muddy” Wendell came from the football game past the twilight on a cold October night. The Farmer’s Almanac predicted that this year is going to be the coolest year on record. In Michigan, there are years where there is snow on the ground before Halloween, covering up the leaves of the past where they will be found by spring. Times are getting close to the New Year. Cruz is still alone, walking from the football game with no one bothering him since that beating he did on the bully last week.

He kept his guard for anyone tagging him out of the crowd. He is not supposed to be anywhere on school property – even the home game against Schoolcraft when he kept his eyes on the game, staying from the shadows of the game lights that play on the field.

Schoolcraft is the team that cannot be beat for reasons unknown. Those students that play have some serious nerves of steel running through their veins. The last game that Cruz saw is when they beat the holy hell out of the Constantine Falcons, backing them out of twelve points on the fourth quarter with most of the football players beat with tears of sweat streaming down their faces and horror in their eyes of starting off with the bad beat of starting off ill-well in the first battle of the season.

Cruz wondered if the coach graduated from Constantine. He wondered as he continued walking down the cracks of the sidewalk, feeling the itch in the center of his back getting all the more severe when he continued walking. Where he is going to is home – all the more reason to go home. When he gets there, he will see his unemployed father passed out with a fifth of Mescal piddling on the floor, tipped from his swath of his own illogical thinking when he knew that they will be homeless in a few months. The television will be tuned to some program of old school reruns where Norman is sitting at the bar on Cheers, never paying the tab through the entire series when Cruz wondered if George Wendt is still alive?

Constantine, Michigan is a small town that is barely found on Google Map, some population of seven to nine thousand people and counting. For the past few years since they built the bypass for the big 1-3-1; Constantine has been drying up to the point that the opioid crisis is taking full swing. Walking down the street at night in this small town is getting a little unsafe for Muddy, the nickname that everyone gave him in school that treated him like the foulest shit that is ever imagined. Muddy continued to walk, seeing the night with the stars twinkling above that revealed the coming time of Sagittarius that is aiming towards some universe that Muddy doesn’t know.

Why does a warrior come in the glooming scene of winter? Why does he come in the sky? That is the way that the world sees of a warrior, Muddy supposes when he wondered about the people from a long time passing that made the constellations of the skies, taking time to make stories of the great warrior hunting for the forages of coming winter.

As Muddy looked down from this scene of infinity to the scene that is coming to his vision, he noticed that there is an unusual van that is parked on the street corner that is coming ahead of him with no tags of the vehicle of any kind. Muddy couldn’t recall if it is a Chevy, a Ford, or a Dodge when he sees someone sitting behind the wheel of the van in the darkness past the streetlights of town, keeping the headlights off with no scene of light that is upon the person’s face when Muddy wondered why a van that parked their so obscure-like?

The person that is behind the wheel is too dark to identify when the person made no turn towards the child that is standing there, looking through the windshield in amazement to the oddity of the van that is sitting there with the engine off.

The person sat there as Muddy did the first thing that he forbid to do that is taught by all the people in those assembly gatherings all those years ago. What he did is approach the van towards the driver’s side window. Muddy knocked on the side of the window when the person did not look at him for a few seconds before the guy turned his head to the sound of the glass knocking beside him.

Muddy didn’t realize that one of his shoe laces is undone when he looked down. That is when the window rolled down as Muddy smelled the faintness of old pages of books that whiffed from the van like the sour stench of baked bread. That is when Muddy smelled something else as he looked up with the keys of that person’s hands that are clasped between its fingers. It is inches from Muddy’s face when the person revealed himself to be a beautiful woman of about 30 with many rings on all of her fingers.

Her hair is the natural color of red when he danced slithering smile upon her face.

“What are you doing all alone in the middle of the night?” The woman asked with a foreign voice coming from her mouth. It is the accent of Romania. It is the accent that is nowhere to be found around here.

“Did you come from what most Americans call – a foot…ball game?” The foreign voice looked up and down the street before looking squarely in Muddy’s eyes.

“I just want to know that you parked in the middle of the intersection.” Muddy pointed to the white painted lines that are adjacent to the road.

The lady looked at the rear tire of her van when she made no expression before looking back at him. Her expression is of deep thought and utter obedience, the expression that someone spit in her coffee and they thanked her for it before walking out of a coffee shop with no vengeance in her mind. She is mysterious. By god, she is so mysterious.

“Don’t worry about it? I won’t be here long.” The lady smiled before crawling out of the van with her spindly fingers doing all the work.

“I have some important matters to attend to. The question concerning you is what I asked if you are in great care for yourself?” The lady asked him when she looked up and down the sidewalk for anyone in the vicinity of them watching the two of them.

“You know a place where I can get a bed for the evening?” The woman asked before pelting herself on the head with the palm of her hand.

“Where are my manners? My name is Lourell Stansky of the old country of the hills and the trees.” She poured out her hand in the cold of the night.

“What is your name?” She asked Muddy.

“My name is Cruz Wendell. Most people call me Muddy?”

“Why do they call you that?” Lourell asked him without a slightest point of hesitation.

“I don’t really want to get into why they call me. It’s quite a long story.” Muddy replied, poking his hands into his wind breaker jacket.

“Sure…Okay. I don’t know you to trust and you don’t know me to trust. That is fair.” Lourell looked in cold earnest into Muddy’s eyes, like reading his soul that is not far to look down into.

“Do you like to read?” Lourell asked the child when Muddy nodded his head, feeling no light upon them when he felt a little uncomfortable about this situation.

“You read Herman Wourke, Herman Melville, Richard Matheson, or Stephen King? Or you into those political works like Tom Clancy and James Patterson? Do you like Cormac McCarthy or Dennis Lehane? What kind of reader are you?” Lourell clasped her hands together and pointed a finger at him.

“I like anything that grabs me. Why are you telling me what kinds of books I like? That is kind of odd for someone to be talking like that and I just met you.” Muddy sees a car down the street coming towards them when Lourell turned her head towards the coming headlights of the vehicle.

“I wanted to ask you what your interests in life are. That is all I want?” Lourell turned to the van with no markings and straddled to the back of it.

Muddy looked at the taillights of the car that passed when he felt like telling Lourell off.

He is getting a weird vibe from this lady. He wondered where in the hell are the other people that is coming from the football game as he looked at the cracks on the road? Where in the hell are the adults? It is not that late in the evening.

“What are you trying to get at?” Muddy asked woman with the odd van with no markings on the sides of them.

“Come back here and I will show you.” She started walking slowly back to the edge of the van.

Muddy knew what is going on when he remembered all those lectures that went on about child kidnapping, being sold into the black market to be harvested for their organs or being sold into the sex trade. He kept his distance from Lourell Stansky, who has the accent that is thick and Romanian when she came to the back of the van and opened the doors with one door opening and the other door opening after the first one is detached.

“Take a look inside and see what books you can find.”

Muddy only saw one book that is on the deck of the van. The streetlight shone through one of the van windows when Muddy pointed at the ancient cover of the book and chuckled lightly under the stars of the night.

“There is only one book in there?”

“Are you sure?” Lourell blinked her eyes when Muddy turned towards her and then turned back, seeing three book stacked end over end when Muddy felt like he is about to drop onto the road with his breath becoming uncontrolled.

“Yes. I didn’t mean to frighten you, really.” Lourell cupped her hand underneath her chin.

“You do see the three books on the deck of the van, yes?” Lourell pointed her spindly finger on the top of the book.

“There are no titles to these books, noir any words that are printed on the pages inside of these books.” Lourell turned to Muddy that started to back away from the van by two steps.

“It is your story how you see fit. You can create, undo, redo, and force any possible conveyances that make you happy, sad, angry, or depressed. Do you see the books that are upon the deck of the van?” Lourell pointed at Muddy that stayed an arm’s length from her.

He nodded his head when Lourell smiled in loving poses through the darkness.

“Now, how many books are there on in my van?” Lourell spoke like there are daggers in her voice when Muddy turned his eyes, seeing only one book that is in her van when Lourell looked at the book, smiling when she knelt down and grasped the book in her spindly fingers.

“This only comes at a price, Muddy. You know what the price is?” Lourell asked when Muddy looked at the title with no words in the pages, no printed material when Muddy only looked at the book and nothing else.

“The price is your everlasting soul. That is the price for one book in my care that is now within yours.” Lourell says to him as a star fell across the night of a night that is getting older.


Cruz “Muddy” Wendell saw the van drive away in his past as he sat home in his room with his father past the point of logical thinking. He dumped along the walls when he spat out sentences that didn’t make sense to Muddy as the photos on the wall bumped with his father hitting the wall like a living sledgehammer. Muddy didn’t know what problem his father has – in the midst of other problems that he has with the bills as he proclaims of this guy named Howard that Muddy never knew in his life before.

“I told you never to get out of that car! I told you to never, ever get out of that car! But you did and look at you now! You could have been the chief of the world but looked what happened to you, you stupid oaf! You could have been president but president isn’t enough for you! You picking up daisies now and that are all you going to do! Damn you, Howard! You stupid oaf! Now you’re prodding in hell, playing poker face with the red faced devil himself! You’re losing Howard, losing your memory of me! You damn oaf!”

There was a bump off the floor when Muddy only shook his head, knowing he passed out when Muddy continued to look at the book with no pages that is laid across his stain filled bed. The closet door slowly bumped open when Muddy made a face, getting up and closing the door with the trim screaming for it to be fixed. He wished he had the money; it is not hard to do that. He only went back to the bed and sat down when he noticed that the cover had bumped along it when he closed the book and saw the title on the book that is scrawled with his name on the front cover:




What the hell? Muddy thought when he opened the book to the first sentence that is typed in New Times Roman on the top of the page in 1” margin format. What is type there is something that stopped his heart from beating for two seconds:

He lain on his bed with his father passed out drunk.

“What?” He spoke with his mouth coming undone in shock.

“Who wrote that?” He got up from the bed and shied away from the book. The book still stayed on the first page like the pages are glued together. It stayed on the pages as snores came into the hallway from the mouth that is sleeping from downstairs. The snores are horrible and contorted with his air working through his throat. It sounded like a freight train that is about to derail anytime soon.

“I didn’t write that!” Muddy came forward and closed the book when something flew past his window. He turned to that when the book opened again, casting another sentence on the same page when Muddy turned to that and continued where the last sentence left off:

“I didn’t write that!”

Something flew out the window and the narrator turned to investigate. The book opened again.

“This is bullshit.” Muddy closed the book and grabbed it off of the bed, going to the closet and opening it as he rattled the chain for the light as the sixty watt bulb came on in perfect clarity. He put the book on the top shelf of his closet that smells of moth balls as he closed the closet door.

He went back to his bed and looked out the window with his mind being troubled.

“It’s only a joke. That’s all it is, only a joke and nothing more.” He laughed nervously when he continued to look outside as the clock in his room reads 12:00 o’clock which is the beginning of the weekend for Muddy Wendell. This is not the last sentence in the book for Muddy. This is not the last sentence. There will be more in due time.

That Saturday morning, he didn’t go to the closet to look at the book as he rather left that alone, going to his bookshelf to see what kind of books he can muster from the middle shelf – that being his favorite when the phone rings in the downstairs kitchen.

“Muddy, get that fucking phone before I break it off the wall.” His father moaned in the living room, rubbing his eyes rather heinously as Muddy stormed out of his room and rattled down the stairs. He met the phone with haste and picked it up on the sixth ring.

“Do you like the book, Muddy?” The Romanian accent clamored through the garbled connection.


“The book; you know what I’m talking about.” Lourell kept her tone straight on the other end of the line.

“I don’t want to look at the book anymore.”

“Who in the hell are you talking to?” His father eyed him coming into the kitchen.

“What is this damn book?”

“Just the librarian dad,” that was all Muddy could think up.

Lourell heard this and chuckled on the other line.

“The Librarian…Good one; I’ll have to keep that in mind.” Lourell continued to laugh.

His father looked at him some before going to the fridge to prepare him a sandwich. Muddy hunched down a little with the phone still clutched in his hand.

“How in the hell did you get this number?” Muddy asked her with his teeth set on edge.

“From a source that you kids use a lot.”

“What do you want to know?” Muddy commanded.

“You sound a little chipper today. Let me guess, your father is drinking off the last of the booze that he got from his unemployment check.”

Muddy looked at his father with a growing sense of languish before staring at the wall again.

“How did you know that?”

“People do like to talk in small towns.” Lourell chuckled.

“The book will give you a little insight on the future of what is yet to come.”

What is yet to come? What does that mean?

“Just adhere to the inscriptions that are on the pages and you will probably come out of this happy or miserable by the choices you will make. Be warned, if someone catches on then you will become something unimaginable that you will never dream of.”

“I don’t want the damn book. I’m scared of it. Take it back where you got it.” Muddy clutched the phone wire that is coiled to the base of the phone. It is remarkable they still have the damn thing.

“No, what is yours will forever be. Just look at it three times a day and you will be amazed by its power, young one.”

The phone is dead in his hands when Muddy looked at it before placing the handle back into the spoon. His father wasted no time telling him.

“Is one of your books late again?” His father rummaged up the bologna that is sitting in the bottom of the fridge.

“No, the librarian told me if the book I got is good or not?” Muddy replied with a weak smile upon his lips.

“Librarians call you and ask you that? What weird manners. I’m going to have to take a hike up there and tell them to keep their fucking weird shit to themselves and don’t call back here ever again.” His father closed the door on the fridge, unfurling the bag of bread that was on top of the microwave.

“When are you going to get some girlfriend and knock boots with her? I’m starting to think your queer or something.” His father didn’t look at him when he started making two sandwiches.

“Soon, dad; real soon.”

The last time he told his dad that he is not interested is when he lost two baby teeth with his father telling him that he is a fucking queer. He told him if he said some shit like that again he was going to beat him to death with his own fists. For Verill Wendell and all things considered, he was not the man to raise queers or full blown faggots. He would kill them before some fag walked around with his last name and disgrace him like that.

“You better. If you don’t get one by next year then you can get the hell out and stay away from here for good.” Verill smiled when he finished up his sandwiches and started eating.

“Get the dishes cleaned up before I get home. I have to hang out with Jerry and fix up some lawnmowers.” Verill waddled out of the kitchen as Muddy didn’t look at him, only swinging his hand up in the air.

No, I’m not interested. I want some fuckers to pay, thinking I’m stupid. I want some fuckers to pay for treating me like dirt. I will fuck these people up. I will fuck them until their ears are bleeding and their brains are squirming all over the floor, all over the floor, all over the floor!

Then he remembered what Lourell said, not asking her where she is when he started going getting ready. He waited for his dad to leave so he didn’t have to go through the headache as Muddy waited and waited until the time came and he put on his boogie shoes out the door.


He got some information around town before someone told him about the tourist with the Romanian accent. That is the one hint that got him going when it led him to the Custer Apartments that is off of Florence Road. The landlord is there when he got some information about the Romanian Accent character, her staying up in room number C-10 for a one month rent agreement. Muddy thanked the landlord and went to the complex on the east end with his shirt underneath his jacket collecting sweat. By the time he got to the front door of the complex, the sweat started to form on his forehead as he looked at the hand-written registry that is tacked up next to the front door.

Muddy looked at it when he came up on the cursive writing that is so unlike the people that live around here, tapping on the plexi-glass to get his attention across to make sure the room is C-10. He pressed the button next to the plaque and got some static on the other end of the line.

“Ms. Lourell, ma’am,” Muddy croaked on the line, clearing his throat.

Before he pressed the button again, the Romanian Accent came through on the other end of the line.

“Muddy I see, so you came to track me down.” She lifted off the button as Muddy nodded his head, pressing the button again.

“I wanted to talk to you about it; if you have a couple of minutes, of course.”

She didn’t reply when the lock to the door unlocked. Muddy clamored inside as he smelled the musty air of the foyer area in the apartment complex. He looked at the carpeted staircase leading up to the second floor of the apartment with the chandelier lighting that made the inside area feeling a little macabre with the imaginings of the boogeyman coming out of the shadows. Muddy went up the stairs, wiping the sweat from his forehead before he got to the second floor landing with the carpet looking ratty along the floor that has seen many years to the point that the edges are starting to crack. The door of C-10 is another stair up when Muddy Wendell doubled over, wheezing slightly with his hands upon his knees before he got his energy to go up the stair again. As he got to the third floor, he saw the C doors that are plaque next to the door when he sauntered down the hallway that is shadowed in shades that he did not feel comfortable. He went down the doors, looking at C-2 then coming up to C-4 then C-6 coming up to C-8. His thighs felt more strained when he got to C-10, feeling that his muscles are starting to get the best of him when he came up upon the door and knocked on it with hesitation.

He waited for what seemed like almost a minute when the door opened, smelling the incense, cigarette smoke, and foul odors that Muddy cannot collar to be descriptive as Lourell appeared through the cracks of the door, looking more beautiful than ever now.

“Come in, Muddy.” Lourell posed with her fingers on the door when Muddy entered. He did not look back at the shadows of the hallway when the door closed behind them.

Lourell will tell the power of the book that is hard to grasp behind the wood of the door. She told it for what seemed like hours which only lasted for more than an hour. Muddy tried to understand when he realized that the book is not false at all but a true story that is much true for him to realize. When he left, he couldn’t walk as he scampered down the hall with one of his shoelaces coming undone.


Muddy felt the pressure between his eyes as he walked home in calmness, feeling the hotness that is bursting behind his eyes. He sees the cracks that are along the sidewalk when he continued to walk home, wondering if his father is home when he realized that it is Saturday and his father is not home at all, probably shooting the bull with his drinking buddies and talking about how much bush they got in their younger years. He got on the street with the sidewalk breaking in a few places as he became familiar with the cracks on the sidewalk, humming tune underneath his breath when a shadow came underneath him.

He knew what the shadow is when the foot is planted on his back.

He flew forward like a dove taking off when he landed on the sidewalk, dropping some of his change that was in his pocket as the shadow came over him yet again with the world going black.

“Where is my cuccas, shit brain?” An ill-English talking teen says over him with balled fists.

The teen that stood over him with balled fists and a Tupac shirt with the sleeves ripped off is none other than Miguel Satorova with his tanned muscles showing off what kind of work he does for thirty hours a week at some farm more than twenty miles away from here, harvesting the last of the melons for the year.

“My cuccas, I know you got em. Where is my cuccas?” Miguel hunched closer upon Muddy as Muddy gathered the change across the sidewalk and handed him it with no problems persisting.

“Oh sweet, I knew you had it.” Miguel grabbed the change with some of it falling through his fingers.

“This is money for shoes. You hear me, shoes!” Miguel giggled through his gapped teeth, showing how yellowed and diseased his teeth look like.

“You get nada, you cracker shit. You get nada.” Miguel gathered the change and flushed it into his pocket, walking away with the shadow leaving Muddy when he knew that it was the change that his father gave him for tonight’s meal.

He knew that he is going to get it now when he flashed up and ran home with Miguel walking the other way.

He got to the stoop of the door and got the key under the mailbox, pushing the key into the knob of the door when he turned the key and raced upstairs. He ran into his room and opened the door, dropping the contents all over when he grabbed the book with his name stamped on the top of the book when he flipped through the pages up to the point on the sentence of what he is doing now.

He smiled at the personal journal that is within his grasp when he thought in clear consciousness of what is coming next when the sentences came with each blink:

As Cruz “Muddy” Wendell contemplated what is to come, Miguel Satorova continued to bounce the stolen change that is in his pocket. What Miguel didn’t know was the broken tree branch that is going to drop upon his head and break his neck in two, followed by the murder of crows that will kill him with slow taste that is like for a thief like him. They will peck out his eyes and eat at his brain with his mouth open and they will get at his tongue and rip it out. He will continue to scream and scream and scream until death becomes him.

He closed the book and heaved deep spouts of breath when he laid in silence along the bed. A bird flew past his window when he heard nothing but the sound of the lawnmower that is dying out from outside from the lack of gas that is no longer burning. Muddy waited for a minute when he got the energy to get his feet in gear as he walked outside to a day that is sunny, walking down the sidewalk with both of his shoelaces undone. He continued to walk as the day got darker and in a hurry.

Muddy did get his change back before anyone else took notice of the murder of crows that is in a pile. Muddy did get his change back indeed.


Verill rattled the truck home – drunk as a skunk more than usual with his hands limber on the wheel. He parked the truck halfway in and out of the driveway, almost not gearing the truck in park. The sun is going down in the west at this time when he got the clarity to speak, yelling at the house for Muddy to get his ass out of the house and help his father inside.

It took Muddy twenty seconds to come out of the house with a smile upon his cracked lips as he grabbed his father under his armpits.

“Did you-you get some, boy?” His father grumbled, spitting a little and landing it on his son when Muddy could do nothing else but to nod his head.

His father will not remember by morning. His father is too deep in the sauce.

“Go-good, that’s real good.” Verill nodded his head as they came up the stoop of the stairs leading to the front door.

“What about…Dinna,” Verill asked him as Muddy made up something as they trudged inside with the air smelling so foul that Verill and Muddy cannot tell. It is their home after all.

“I got it all fixed up for you dad. I really do.” Muddy smiled when they dropped inside the house.

Muddy didn’t want the food as he prepared a little dish called, “The hand of Miguel Satorova” With the bones ground so fine that it could be misplaced as onions as his father ate it. Muddy continued to smile as his father almost dropped his head upon the table, calling his son a queer for making a girl dish like this when he passed out on the table with Muddy still smiling.

“The crows helped after all.” Muddy spoke after his father is knocked out.

“The crows really helped. So, dad; if you’ll excuse me…I have work to do.” Muddy patted his father on the shoulder as he got up from the chair and hiked up to his room to do some necessities that is meant for his life.

This book is turning out to be a real page turner. Thank you Lourell and the van you came into town with.

© Copyright 2018 Adam Steele. All rights reserved.

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