Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Guest Post by Catherine Schaff-Stump

We All Dance to Our Own Music


From a story in progress
From the land of pixies

The Love Song of Oliver Toddle
by
Catherine Schaff-Stump

The story I'm working on now, The Love Song of Oliver Toddle, is about a little gnome who works in a garage.
Oliver waltzed the toy broom around the square edge of grease pit, nimbly balancing as he twirled the pink handle in his hand. He dipped the broom and used one square hand to smooth the rope mop that was his partner's hair. “You look lovely this evening,” piped Oliver. He waggled his eyebrows suggestively, and smiled knowingly at the face he imagined was there.

Oliver and his partner spun away from the pit. He two-stepped a dust hill of wrappers and metallic dust. The air was acrid with automotive fluids. He peeled the mop off the broom handle and reached up to place it on a stool. Then Oliver swept stray dirt back into a tidy pile with his partner's bristles. The shop’s speakers silenced for a second, the torch song ended and the baritone voice of the jazz station announcer echoed through the garage. “This is Gentle Breeze, jazz for lovers.”

Oliver used a whisk broom to urge the dirt onto the square plastic dust pan. It was also pink, like the broom. Usually the brooms Dan bought him were pink or yellow, because in the toy section those were the most popular colors. It was easier these days to find plastic vacuums, but of course they did nothing except shoot colored plastic balls into what Oliver thought of as the maelstrom chamber. Oliver propped the broom against the wall, balanced the dust pan, and climbed a small stepping stool to the top of the shop's industrial plastic trashcan. Oliver gnome-handled the lid with one arm. The plastic twanged and scraped. He pushed the lid back down with a domestically satisfying pop.

Before clambering down the step ladder, Oliver paused to click open the lid of his golden pocket watch. Three. Time to turn off the music and straighten the manager's office. He slid the watch into the side pocket of his coveralls. Dan’s wife embroidered Oliver's name on them every time he got a new set. The guys were all pretty good to him.

Visit Catherine here: http://cathschaffstump.com
Catherine's novella Sister Night, Sister Moon is available in the collection Needles and Bones from Drollerie Press. In January, 2010, her first book Hulk Hercules: Professional Wrestler will be available from Cats Curious Press.

1 comment:

Gary Inbinder said...

Nice excerpt, Catherine! Good luck with the story.

Best,

Gary