Thursday, April 19, 2007

Chapter Twelve: Biggest

Ms. Henderson had been published before, but she was still an extremely shy individual. She had never given a public reading before, and even though she was initially excited when Todd announced her as the next Lit Snob guest, that intense elation soon turned to anxiety. Now, sitting on the stool where she had seen so many go to their up-turned-nose fate before, sitting above the floor which she cleaned every night - and would undoubtedly clean this night - she heard the rumblings in her stomach echoing the snaps of the snooty crowd that had gathered for the weekly reading. She felt as though she could see it in their eyes - they were skeptical, of course, but this was something more. It seemed to Ms. Henderson that the patrons viewed her as something lower.

She was, of course, a janitor for a literary club and café. What they didn't know was that she had graduated from high school and went on to receive a BA in Classics with a minor in English. But after graduating - with honors mind you - things just didn't go as planned. The money wasn't there - and neither were her parents - and so she had found the janitorial job as something to tide her over. Her work had been recently published - that was a start - and she felt that maybe she would soon be able to begin a writing career. And this reading was just another step. She kept reminding herself of that as she leaned in to the microphone.

"Hi, everyone. This evening, I'd like to read a haiku that I've recently written - it hasn't been published yet, so this is kinda like a premiere." With that said, Ms. Henderson - Allison - removed a small paper from her left-jacket pocket and began to read.


Long, gray, winter hair
Slither and slop about, and
Make the floor pristine


There was, as she expected, silence. She had confirmed their disdain for her.

The stupid little janitor - what the hell is she doing reading in our club? She should be cleaning up after us and looking silently pretty.

But they were in the dark yet again. They didn't know what she really had planned for them. Now it was time. She wasn't going to hold back. They'd be eating their words soon enough.

"Just kidding, guys, just kidding! I'm actually going to read from my latest, and as of yet unpublished, work. Enjoy!" Some snaps, but mostly sighs. She wasn't sure if they were sighs of relief or sighs of despair.

She didn't care at this point.

Allison Henderson reached into her right-jacket pocket and removed a small, blue-covered book. Opening, she began to read...

No comments: