Contemporary Fiction

Cora, the librarian, did everything possible to keep her composure as she stared at the two young men sitting at a table a few feet from her. They were so enthralled in their loud conversation that they didn’t notice her standing a few feet away, staring at them with contempt.

“Do you realize you are in a library?” she asked, raising her voice a little.

The two young men stopped mid-sentence and turned their heads to look at Cora.

“I know we are in a library,” the one on the left responded.

“And we are here because my book is here,” the other young man with multi-colored hair responded with a smug look. “See,” he said, holding up the book.

Cora looked at the cover of the book and saw a face shot of the young man displaying a strange expression. She looked at the title of the book, ‘My Insanity on Paper’. Cora looked at the young man with his cheesy smile, then back to the cover.

“They let anyone publish a book nowadays,” thought Cora.

“I’m popular,” the young man cried out. “Or I should say even more popular.”

“Your name is Awsten?” she asked, looking at his name in small print under the title.

“You are correct,” he replied. “And this is my buddy, Jeff. Here to celebrate my book.”

“Celebrate your book? I’m sure you have plenty of your books at home to celebrate,” she told him.

“It’s not as cool as being at a library and seeing my book,” Awsten said with excitement. “This is awesome.”

“Awesome for you, but not for the rest of the patrons. They want quiet to read their books.”

Awsten and Jeff looked around, then back to Cora.

“I don’t see that many people in here,” said Jeff.

“There are enough here to warrant quiet,” she said with a stern look.

“Fine,” said Awsten, jumping up. “But I want to check out this book before I leave.”

“Why, when you have your own books?”

“It will be cool.”

“Fine,” she said. Anything to get him out of the library.

They followed her to the counter, as obnoxious as they could be. She quickly checked them out to get rid of them.

“Thanks a lot, librarian lady!” Awsten called out as they left the library.

“Good riddance,” she muttered as she watched them go out the doors, bringing silence once again.

She sat down, already relishing the silence in the room. She looked around, seeing the few people at the tables. Looking at each one, she saw they were around her age or older.

“Don’t young kids read anymore?” she thought.

Nowadays they just wanted to be on their phones all day long.

The front door opened, and in came her daughter Laurie. She had a wide smile on her face as she walked up to the desk.

“Why are you so happy?” she asked her daughter.

“I saw the lead singer of a band outside,” Laurie replied. “I listen to many of their songs.”

“Does he by chance have multi-colored hair?”

“Yes. His name is Awsten.”

Cora just shook her head, wondering how her daughter could listen to someone like that.

“He is out in front doing what he loves to do,” said Laurie.

“Dare I ask?”

“He is using a bat to smash a sandwich on the ground. It’s pretty funny.”

“Excuse me?” asked Cora, not sure she heard her right.

“He is smashing a sandwich with a bat.”

“And that is funny.”

“It’s so stupid it’s funny.”

“Stupid, I agree with, but funny? That would have to be debated.”

“I’m sure you did stupid things when you were younger,” said Laurie.

Cora thought of the many events that took place when she was younger. There were twice she did something not smart, but nothing as dumb as what the famous guy outside was doing right now. She couldn’t even recall any of the boys doing dumb things, but she didn’t hang around boys much.

“It’s a new generation out there,” said Cora.

“Yes, mom. You have said that many times. Anyway, just stopping by to say hello before I go over to Tina’s studying for the big exam.”

“I pray you will ace this test.”

“I feel confident. Now I got to go,” said Laurie. “Maybe Awsten is still out there.”

Cora just rolled her eyes as her daughter hurried out the door.

Thoughts of society crashing to the ground popped up.

“My folk’s and grandparents probably thought the same thing about my generation,” she thought.

Moments later, her daughter came back in with the biggest grin on her face, and jumped up and down as she quickly came toward her.

“This is the best day ever!” Laurie cried out.

“Shh!” Cora replied with a finger to her lips. “Remember, this is a library.”

“Sorry, but I have exciting news.”

“Please tell,” said Cora, having a feeling it would not be exciting to her.

“I got a signed copy of Awsten’s book,” said Laurie, holding up the book.

Cora grabbed the book and opened it up.

“This is the library’s property.”

“Oh,” said a crestfallen Laurie. “Can I keep the book, anyway?”

Cora looked at her daughter, back to the book, then back to her daughter.

“If it means him not coming back in here, you can have it,” she said, handing the book to her.

“You are the greatest!” Laurie cried out and turned around and rushed out of the library.

Cora looked at her watch and saw that she was only halfway through her shift.

“Why does time go by a lot quicker when nothing happens?” she thought.

For the next couple of hours little happened as only a couple of people came in, and a couple of them left.

Then the door opened. Cora looked up and saw Awsten enter. With a silly grin, he came up to the desk.

“What is my pleasure seeing you again?” she asked.

“Your daughter took my book that belongs to the library,” he said. “So I brought two books to replace it.”

He plopped two books on the counter.

Cora just looked at the two books, then at Awsten.

“Thanks,” is all she could say.

“You are so welcome,” he said and skipped out of the place.

Cora took a deep breath, then put the books away.

Interesting day at the library.

April 27, 2021 04:46

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Kelly Dennison
15:11 Apr 27, 2021

Ahhh, kids these days LOL I'm still stuck on why anyone would smash a perfectly good sandwich with a bat!! Nice story! :)


Corey Melin
16:43 Apr 27, 2021

thank you for the comments, and my daughter actually listens to a band where the lead vocals smashes sandwiches with a bat. Crazy!


Kelly Dennison
16:45 Apr 27, 2021

You know...I believe it! haha!


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The Cold Ice
04:35 May 04, 2021

Wonderful story. Keep writing. I loved it. The ending was interesting. Keep going. Well written. Would you mind reading my story. “The book reader”


Corey Melin
15:34 May 04, 2021

Thank you for the comments. I will check out your story


The Cold Ice
16:15 May 04, 2021

Thank you.


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Taylah G
03:00 May 04, 2021

This is a very humorous book that shows the arrogant side to a writer. It is very realistic and I enjoyed reading! If possible, could you give feedback on my submission 'The Hungry Librarian' as I hope to improve my writing?


Corey Melin
03:05 May 04, 2021

Thank you for the comments! I will check out your story


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Moon Fox
21:16 Jul 18, 2021

Kelly your absolutely right.


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Ryan Lm Colli
12:40 May 07, 2021

Great story Pls JOin This: https://www.guilded.gg/i/wEwWwYmE


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Alison Brewis
12:28 May 06, 2021

I like the idea of Awsten coming into the library to celebrate his book. I think I would do that! In the first sentence, you've put "Cora, the librarian, ...". Do you need to tell us or is there some other way to let us know she's the librarian? Keep up the good work!


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Charli Britton
22:11 Apr 28, 2021

So much personality. Nice Job! I like that it is from the librarians POV.


Corey Melin
22:18 Apr 28, 2021

Thank you for the comments!


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Sue Marsh
15:31 Apr 28, 2021

Loved the story, good read


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Rachel Loughran
09:34 Apr 28, 2021

This was funny, Corey! Nice job! I'm now of course incredibly curious - what's the band your daughter listens to that smashes sandwiches with a bat?!


Corey Melin
14:01 Apr 28, 2021

Thank you for the comments. The band is called Waterparks. My daughter actually corrected me on this one and told me it was actually just a stick he used


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Kristin Neubauer
14:45 Apr 27, 2021

I loved this, Corey! You addressed so many themes in such a short space of time - and contained in a single setting. That isn't easy to do....at least not for me. Also, in that brief time, you created three very distinct characters. The details and dialogue told so much about them. And such wry humor - smashing a sandwich with a bat? Hilarious! Great story!


Corey Melin
16:42 Apr 27, 2021

Thank you for the comments, and when it comes to the smashing of sandwiches with a bat my daughter actually is into a band where the lead vocal does such a thing. Crazy!


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