Okay, so Jo Robinson of Africolonial Stories was talking about authors promo-bombing social media, hitting people in the head with their books and shoving them in their faces. Then she was talking about hocking gobs. She’s actually a charming and highly literate person, so of course I had to take her out of context.
This story is also a nod to fellow Story A Day pal Chris V, to my brilliant friend Michael Williams, to my husband, who used this title in the classroom to spark discussion, and to my grandsons (who love everything this main character hates).
Slob v Snob
by Marian Allen
Jonathan had always detested dystopian, post-apocalyptic literature. It irritated him beyond telling to now be living in such a world. Irony was a bitch.
His one point of brightness was that he had been provident enough to lay in a goodly supply of excellent boots. They were heavy but almost silent, with soles thick enough protect his feet from the rubble, and to hold him above the muck.
A sucking, rattling rasp warned him in time to stop. The yellow gob, with iridescent white foam quivering atop it, landed in front of him instead of on his trousers.
Two badly shaven men shambled out of the alley to his right, grinning, their teeth still straight and whole from pre-apocalyptic dentistry, but filthy from post-apocalyptic personal lack of hygiene.
They began a rhetorical call-and-response ritual, the overture to the main feature: violence.
“Whadda we got here?”
“Wull, it looks like one o’ them fancy Bookers.”
“Naw, he ain’t no Booker.” A grimy hand, one grimy finger extended, poked him in the chest. “You a Booker? Eh? You read?”
“I bet he reads them hard books.”
Irony being a bitch with a sense of humor, the Hocker who had asked about hard books was struck in the head by one, and stumbled into the street. The face of the Hocker who had poked Jonathan now slackened into panicked pleading.
“Sorry,” Jonathan said. “The Bookers are expanding their territory. Bookers claim Norrel Avenue. Tell your friends, if you have any.”
The Hocker dove back into the alley, giving his associate up for lost. Jonathan watched avidly as bespectacled men and women converged on the fallen Hocker, pelting him with mass market paperbacks and the occasional slim volume of verse.
When they retreated to their new front-line headquarters, Jonathan knelt by the bleeding man. The Hocker’s eyelids fluttered. Breath wheezed through his open mouth, his nose swollen and his nostrils stuffed with pages.
It was better when they were alive. Fresh food was so much better for you.
Jonathan had always hated zombie stories, too. Oh, irony!
~ * ~
Bargain with Fate, Book 2 of Sage is now available in electronic format at Amazon’s Kindle store and on Smashwords. It’ll be in print SOON!