October 2, 2015 by David.Groveman
This novel is a tongue and cheek work of Fiction concerning Luke Thompson and his extraordinary book. The book, the narrator and active character in the novel, is intent on turning Mr. Thompson’s life upside down. Though… from the title, I’m not sure you should trust in that.
Congratulations on making the sound decision to purchase this novel! You are a handsome and intelligent person with tremendous potential for greatness. This recent purchase will in fact increase your sexual prowess, be the source of a substantial windfall and make you the most popular person you know.
If you are browsing in a book shop and have picked this book up, merely considering its purchase, let me assure you that failure to purchase this novel (at its full face value) will have devastating consequences to your future success and happiness. I’m sure you agree that your making this purchase is an all but assured future reality as you are clearly very intelligent and, having read the previous paragraph know the great rewards that await.
For the blighted morons who are about to put this book down and instead pick up the latest edition of ‘So I Married a Preteen Werewolf, The Adventures of a Vacuous Teenage Girl Wrought with Angst’ be warned. There are countless dread consequences for those that do not purchase this book. For one, the publishers will be denied their percentage of the proceeds. This will lead to them not publishing more books, which will lead to less children reading books, which will lead to the eventual downfall of mankind and rise of the machines (or apes, zombies, dingos, avacados etc…). For another, there’s probably a curse involved.
STOP! Please don’t put down the book! Look, I don’t say this to everyone, but I feel a real sense of connection to you. I promise, purchase me and you can stick me on a shelf next to that leather bound collector’s edition of Jane Austen stories you’ve never read. Besides, the story is probably really really good.
It all began in a bookshop, and not one that offered Pumpkin Spice Lattes with Ginger Biscotti. It was a simple bookshop, a small bookshop and a doomed bookshop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Some people said the bookshop was doomed because of their reluctance to offer Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Ginger Biscotti. I hate those people. Others, like Luke Thompson, believed that the bookshop was doomed because the owners had done their best to disguise the bookshop as a alchemy lab for misanthropic necromancers who listen to reggae.
No matter the reason, on a rainy October morning, Luke Thompson entered the bookshop and asked, “Can I use your bathroom?”
The owner, a woman in her mid-to-late whatevers (appearing no less than 90), answered in the screeching tone of rusty nails against a chalk board. “Bathrooms are for paying customers only!”
“Fine, yes whatever,” Luke fished a twenty dollar bill out of his pocket and slapped it onto the desk at the register. “I don’t care what the book is, but if you don’t let me use the bathroom the front of your shop will likely smell a lot more like urine.”
The owner handed Luke a key on a chain attached to a ten pound anvil and pointed a skeletal finger towards the rear of the shop. Luke followed the vague direction and moved at the fastest pace a man with a full bladder carrying a ten pound anvil could travel.
At this point, it’s only fair to tell you that Luke was having a terrible day. He’d been fired from his job, dumped by his girlfriend, hit by a Chinese food delivery bike and locked out of his apartment for the past three hours with a terribly full bladder. You didn’t particularly care about any of this, as you’ve just met Luke, but believe me when I tell you that these facts will become more important to you as time goes on.
Luke emerged from the bathroom a new man, three liters lighter with a sense of catharsis usually reserved for pregnant women who carry their children months past due. He lugged the anvil back to the register, returned it to the crone behind the desk and opened the door to leave when he was stopped by the gnarled skeletal hand of the shop’s owner.
“You forgot your book,” She spoke in an ominous way that such minor characters often do when prompting an important bit of the narrative. Luke blinked and grabbed the small parcel the owner had prepared for him and stepped back onto the street.
This was how I came to be in the possession of Luke Thompson. He did not know it but I would forever change his life. The events that followed which would change his life and lead to his tragic but inevitable death I take no responsibility for. Being an inanimate object, I am above the law.
At this point in the story I spent several weeks wrapped in a brown paper bag sitting on the floor by Luke’s apartment door and used, unceremoniously, as a doorstop. At the end of the several weeks when Luke had fully packed his belongings to move back in with his parents on Long Island he finally picked me up and opened the cover.
“What stupid trash,” he spoke to himself, chuckling as he read the first couple paragraphs descending the eight story walk-up. “Is this some kind of self-help book. When he reached the first bit about Luke Thompson and the bookshop he missed a step and nearly tumbled three stories. Thankfully, he caught himself on the long-defunct fire extinguisher on the third floor.
He breathed heavily and re -acclimated himself before re-opening the cover. This time he, wisely, chose to remain still. Reading hurriedly to this very point in the text. He screamed at the pages, “Who are you?!?” which caused Vanessa in apartment 3E to phone the police.
“Wait, the police?” He asked, expecting a book to answer his questions like a full-blown schizophrenic whack-job. He closed the book and decided to get in the waiting cab before it sped off with his remaining worldly possessions.
The taxi drove off, in no real rush, along the least efficient route to his parents home. He might have corrected the driver but he’d chosen to keep the book closed tightly until they had become entrenched in traffic on the Long Island Expressway.
His mind raced, ‘How do you know it raced? Can you read my- STOP IT!’
So I did. You see, what Luke had not yet discovered about the book he was holding is that when it came down to it, it was a pretty good guy. The kind of guy who invites you to drinks and makes you laugh after a bad day. Not a really good guy, like someone who’d willingly offer to help someone move, but still.
His mind settled and he began to quest through his own thoughts, ‘I think this book said I was going to die. You know what, throw the book away. That’s a very good idea. That’s the best idea you’ve had all day.’ He rolled down the window and was about to throw it out but reconsidered his options.
It was not a good idea and as Luke realized this, the cab driver stopped in front of his parent’s driveway and said, “That’ll be $123.67, please.”
He paid the money and unloaded his things, forgetting about the book as he hunkered in for an uncomfortable evening with his parents, who were likely going to judge his failures and secretly wish they had a girl. I was placed on his nightstand and proceeded not to do very much of anything at all.