I Went to a Writing Group Today - September 25th, 2019

The librarian that normally runs the group was away today. She had a meeting of librarians to attend. A secret meeting. I know the meeting was secret because the room they used was directly next to the room that we write in, and they kept the door shut. Naturally, the conversation turned to what devious things they could be doing behind closed doors. Cooking the books was suggested. That wasn't the official prompt though. The official prompt was - getting away with it.

Cooking the books is an idiom that means forging and faking financial documents and records. But the image that the phrase brings to mind is a literal one for me. Here's how my story went.

- - - - - - -

Little Timmy was trying to pay attention to the teacher, but he couldn't. All he could think about was the workbook. Three-hundred and seven pages. Three-hundred and seven pages of questions, of fill-in-the-blanks, of short answer, short essay, long essay, multiple-choice, true or false, matching, and other fun little exercises to "enhance the development of young minds." All on the exciting history of... accounting.

He couldn't do it, he couldn't take it, he wouldn't make it. Susanna had the best grades in school, so Little Timmy stopped her when they were leaving the class. "Do you think you could help me do the homework?" he asked.

"Sure," said Susanna. "Here's the trick," Little Timmy smiled and relaxed, maybe he could make this work, "you find the answers in the textbook," continued Susanna, "and you put them in the workbook." She turned and walked away like she had just aced another test.

Little Timmy's smile dropped, not into a frown, but nothing resembling happiness either. He looked down at the textbook he was holding, it stared back at him, upside down. Over seven-hundred pages of information to "enlarge your future career opportunities." Little Timmy sighed and went home.

--- Two Weeks Later ---

Little Timmy sat at the only table in his grandmother's cabin. The fire was roaring, driving the autumn chill back out of the cracks around the windows, and the door, and between the logs where some of the chinking needed maintenance. The cauldron was boiling, the savory smell of soup filling the air.

Little Timmy looked at the cauldron, and then his textbooks, page 17. Progress hadn't been great. His eyes wandered along the single bookcase in the cabin. He would rather be reading any of them. One book gleamed and caught his eye, gloss black with metallic red lettering. Grandmother's grimoire. Little Timmy thought, I wonder if there's a recipe in there to cook the books.

- - - - - - -

I ran out of time halfway through that last sentence. I was writing frantically and my hand was cramping up. The next little bit was that he was going to try to boil the textbook and the workbook together and get the answers to transfer from the one to the other. I think it's a fun idea.

Nick asked if he got away with it. My stories come to me, I don't go to them, so even I don't know. I would have to write it to find out myself.


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