The Bulb by Edgar Allan Poe, Custodian

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes.  Here is what I came up with.  I hope you like it.

When I reached to remove the lightbulb in the library, I felt another hand interlace with my own and hold my arm at bay. I could perceive no other party – that is wrong; I could not see another – yet the presence was firm and incontestable.

The bulb in the library had been burning brightly for almost 11 years. A decade’s use had not dimmed its glow. Indeed, the only variation in its aura occurred when I earlier attempted to unscrew the mechanism from the ceiling. As my fingers grew closer, slowly, its light became angry, as if the thin glass sheath was struggling to contain a searing hatred. My digits warily approached, and the fixture hissed slightly, like an exotic reptile warning a clumsy observer.

Eventually,I gave up on the idea altogether of removing the alien thing. I sat in the library, alone, at a small card table long ago designated for my own occupation, and stared. I gazed upon it, marveled at its cyclopean efficiency. Mostly, the tiny beast ignored me. Infrequently, it flickered. I could not and still cannot tell if this gesture was an acknowledgment of my presence, or a brief dropping of its guard.

One morning, after unclogging a toilet, I heard a troubling din from the library. Young men, members of a team, wearing matching jackets with leather sleeves, had been carelessly flicking a toy football near the bookshelves. Their idiocy caused the light bulb – ancient being – to shatter!

Without hesitation, I flung myself into the mob, and whirled my plunger over my head like a savage’s club.

Soon thereafter, I secured employment at Burger King.

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