Showcase: “The Hell-Hunter and the Librarian”

by Luke Wildman

 

First off, something about me: my name is Luke Wildman.  I was raised in various West African countries (and also in various facets of my imagination), and I’m a sophmore professional writing major at Taylor University.  I’m also the moderator for the Showcase section of this blog.  What’s the Showcase?  It’s where students from our program post assorted samples of their writing: essays, flash fiction, contemplative musings, poetry . . . it all fits.  My interests largely rotate on speculative fiction, mostly fantasy (but I accept all kinds of submissions — and these submissions count as real credentials!).  An example of my writing, snatched from a continuing story on my personal blog, is posted below.

“The Hell-Hunter and the Librarian”

He ran.  His lungs burned, his nose dribbled blood, and every step jarred his aching bones.

He ran.

Stumbling, his black boots slipped on the crest of a dune, and he tumbled down its slope.  The sand scratched at his charred skin.  But the moment he ground to a halt, he leapt back to his feet.  And he ran.

He ran as if all hell pursued him.  His heart beat the rhythm of his terror.  Laboring up another dune, he slipped once more and tumbled again.  When he looked up from the sand, he was staring at a pair of boots, shiny in the moonlight.

Black boots yielded to black pants, yielding to a red silk shirt with a high collar.  His gaze ascended further, resting on a face.

“Why are you running, Jack?”

Jack grabbed the boots pleadingly.

“You won’t take me back!  You can’t, and you won’t!”

“Yes, I will.  For hell I will.”  He chuckled.

Then he shot Jack in the head.


 

Did you know that hell has a library?  A damned nice one, too.  Sorry; a little humor there.  I’m not a profane girl.

Ideas are like energy: they can be neither created nor destroyed.  But someone has to keep them somewhere, because sometimes they get forgotten for a while.

As hell’s only librarian, I’m the someone who keeps some of them somewhere in case of the sometimes.

You can call me Katy.  I have brown eyes, curly brown hair, and glasses, as every librarian should. Unfortunately, I don’t fit the pretty-yet-awkward stereotype, which is what I really want.  Only the awkward.

That doesn’t matter, however, because no one ever comes in here.  Even if people could, why would they?  We only have half the collection.  The bad half.  Those ideas that can’t exist in Heaven.

I still think it’s a shame nobody is around to borrow any books or scrolls or stone tablets or electronic files.  All that knowledge, the damned and the damning alike.  And I can’t read, which is probably why I have this job.  My own special brand of hell, because I desperately lust for the words and ideas living on the shelves.

I don’t remember anything about a life.  It seems like I had one, once . . . maybe . . . but it’s so far away that either I’ve forgotten, or the details are kept just blurry enough to cause me torment.  Either way, I can’t remember whatever choices brought me here.

Remember how I said that nobody ever comes in?  Once upon a time, somebody did.

 

This is an example of what we post in the Showcase, though submissions don’t need to be this weird, or even fiction.  We want a variety of work from pro-writing students, reflecting the diverse interests and specialties of our major.  Proud of an essay you wrote for class?  That poem scribbled in your algebra notes?  A particular scene from your novel?  Why not submit and garner publishing cred?  

If you hate cliffhangers (or even if you love them), read more of my above story at lukelawwildman.blogspot.com.  Also, you’ll discover why I view writing and vomit as fundamentally similar.

 

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