Fragments from books that don’t exist: Evening at the Drip Factory


Susan settled into a corner of the room and stayed right there for hours without making a sound. Others came and went throughout the day, but she didn’t seem to notice them. She had her yellow blanket, folded neatly on her lap, and she had her paperback novel, which she didn’t look at once. Milo drifted by occasionally, trying to catch a glimpse of the cover. He always wanted to know what she was reading. Susan never talked to Milo. It was a rule. She had a lot of those. She spent a lot of time revising and editing the rules, but always in her mind, never on paper. It was one of her rules to never write down any of the rules. Peeves were different. She kept a binder full of peeves, each one written plainly on its own separate piece of paper. They were kept in order, but she often shuffled them as the peeves rose and fell in their rankings. She had rules about what defined a rule as opposed to a peeve. People trying to figure out what she was reading was a peeve. Never telling anyone what she was reading was a rule. And, of course, no one was allowed to read the peeves. That was rule number one.


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