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A Novel Idea - a Soap

Amongst the dust and Cobwebs

Woman w/ light bulb over head

  

Open Book, Spinning

This novel is Written By myself, any attempt to plagerise this will result in legal actions.

 

Should you wish to publish any exerts from this page, please write to me and ask permission....stating, your page details, your reasons for wanting to do so, 

 

If you wish to link to this page that is ok.

 

 

Marushikis Rantings 

 

The continuing saga of life in an academic library

Dedicated to those who did, those who do, those who don’t, those who will

And those who are destined too…

 

 

this work is purely fiction (the result of my sick and twisted mind)., and any resemblance to

 persons living or dead  is purely unintentional...Even though the characters

in this work, may have been inspired by those I’ve met over the years

 

 

 

colleen hunter…2003..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1…MILDRED.

 

 

The sun rises slowly over the hills bursting its warming rays through the window Mildred Mansaw’s room.    She stretches and thinks to herself, “Another day of Shelving and disgruntled clients”.  But what could she do.  She loved her job in the University of Wattle Grange in the Library.  It was the only job she had ever dreamt of having apart from a short time when she thought she might like to be an Architect, all that knowledge and helping to mould the lives of up and coming Doctors and Engineers alike.

 

Wattle Grange was a medium sized city, that had expanded with the establishment of the university, which had attracted a number of prominent professors and students in the area of research and development, in Medicine, Agriculture and Animal Sciences, and more recently Engineering.  These were the main areas that the university wished to develop, but they also had smaller schools to include, Library studies, child health, psychology and a arts related areas.  Their Psychology and Architecture schools were expanding rapidly.  Years ago  UWG and been considered a back water university, but thanks to several medical and agricultural break throughs more and more students and academics had chosen to come to study there.  In the last 50 years the size of the town had trebled, creating many jobs for the towns folk.

 

After a good hearty breakfast and dressing in her comfortable clothing.  She made her Lunch and headed for her door after making sure her cat Ruffles, was properly taken care of for food and water for the day.  She Fed her fish, Hubert and Walter, and her Budgie , Penelope. 

Having always been into fitness Mildred rode her bike daily to work, except in the midst of winter when it was bucketing with rain.  It was a leisurely ride through her favourite parkland area.  She always bumped into several of her friends from work, who also rode there on their way to work also at the University.

 

This morning she knew would start as every day did, clearing the after hours return chutes, making sure all the computers were logged on and functioning.  Chatting with the General assistance who came in daily to shelve the thousands of books and journals that were used and dumped by the clients.

 

It was when she was half way through the park that she heard her name being called by a familiar voice.

 

“Mildred, Mildred….” Came a huffed call as though someone had been running.  “ At last I finally caught you “  It was Errol Finshin.  “Ive been chasing you for the last 5 minutes, didn’t you hear me calling you”

 

“Errol!!! “ She cried with delight, “Its been years since we last saw each other.  My but it is good to see you.  I’m dreadfully sorry Errol” she replied, “I was just thinking of a problem we are trying to solve with the new Library set up.”  It had been a number of years since Mildred and Errol had last met, It was at their graduation 15 years ago. 

“Are you still living in the same place?”  Asked Errol.

 

“No, Ive moved into my own apartment, Im now the Librarian in charge of one of the smaller sections of the ‘Super Library’. Its has the theses, and rare books and special collections”  She informed him.  “ I have a staff of 3, 2 part timers and Tiffany.  She is a treasure, works hard and parties hard.

“Super Library??”  Queried Errol.

 

“Yes 5 years ago they closed all the old libraries that use to be there, and build a new massive library.

It houses all the departmental libraries in one large area.  Well its 4 buildings, 2  has 8 floors and 2 has 4 floors, and they are all connected by several walkways.”  She then went to explain how everything had changed at the University.  Supposedly for the good of all.  They had yet to name the buildings and they were currently running a competition on campus to give each of the 4 a name.  so currently they were referred to by color.  Red, Blue, Yellow and Green.  Due to the color of the plants planted at the base of each of the buildings.  In the middle of this all was a statue of the Universities founder set in the middle of a shallow lake that had rivers flowing off towards each of the 4 buildings.  Out of the edge of the wall of the retaining wall of the lake were fine sprays of water that went off at intervals during the day.  Koi fish were seen swimming amongst the lily pads.  As well as some rare and endangered frogs.

 

“I’ve just been given a lecturing position in the Department of Agriculture Farm management.”  Errol informed her.

 

“Congratulations,  That’s wonderful news”  she quickly wrote down her contact details for him, and arranged to have lunch with him the following week.  “There’s the new library over there…”

 

“Quite impressive looking” Errol commented with a raised eyebrow. 

 

The building they were looking at, or series of buildings was a mixture of white and chocolate brown.

The two tallest buildings were at the back and the two smaller ones were in the front,  there were a series of walk ways joining all towers.  One on the 2nd level, joining the two smaller ones together.  One on the 4th floors of both small buildings , joining one of the smaller ones to each of the larger ones.  And then the two larger buildings were joined by walkways at the 1st, 4th and 7th level.

 

“Looks like something old Tinkles would design”  commented Errol.

“He did”  replied Mildred with a knowing  smile…

 

Tinkles was the name they had given to Mildred’s cousin Rupert Mansaw who had shared a house with them for a few years while they were all finishing their studies.  He had been given that nick name by his class mates due to a series of unfortunate pants wetting episodes at primary school.  Since then Rupert had won numerous Architectural awards.  He had a very strange view on how the world should look.  As attested the new library.

 

“How is Tinkles these days” Errol asked.

 

“Rich” came Mildred’s reply with a hint of jealousy in her voice.  For she had thought of doing Architecture at one stage, but her love of books and an unfortunate romance took her into the path of Librarianship… 

 

“Well must dash off to work,  have great day, ill see you for lunch next week”  Errol called over his shoulder as he headed off the path pointing to the Agricultural building towards the other side of the campus. 

 

“Great seeing you again.”  Mildred called after him.

 

Mildred parked her bike in her usual bike rack, and waved hello to Joelle.  “good morning Joelle.  Your bright and early as always”..

 

“Morning Mildred”.  Sang Joelle Zoloski as she finished chaining her bike to the rack.  “Say who was that dish you were riding with”.

 

“Dish?” commented Mildred, “ Oh you mean Errol Finshin, I’ve never thought of him as a dish..” she had a smile on her face at the thought of anyone thinking Errol was a dish.  But then she had known him all her life since childhood and had never really thought of him as anything but dependable Errol.  “ You should see his boyfriend,  now there is a Dish with a capital ‘D’.”  She fiddled with the pendent she was wearing.  It contained a lock of her hair and a lock of Errol’s.  He had given it to her not long after they first met.  She was being bullied in the 2nd year at school, and Errol was a large child for his age.  He had rescued her, ever since they had been best of friends.  He had given her the locket for her 9th birthday.  She wore it all the time, except in the shower.. His father had been a jeweller by trade, so Errol was able to get nice things like that for presents at low cost, in exchange for work in his fathers store.  It was not until Errol, who was named after his mothers favourite actor Errol Flynn, was 20 that he found out he was adopted. 

 

He was wanting to find his birth mother, she must make a point of asking him later if he ever did.!

 

Errol and her had always had a special connection for some reason.  It was as though she had known him all her life, they thought the same, liked the same things… 

 

“You mean he is Gay”, the disappointment in Joelle’s voice was obvious.  “What a waste!  Are you ready for today’s show down”

 

Joelle and Mildred had known each other since their days at university.  Joelle was now a User Education Specialist,  formerly referred to as a Reference librarian.  The Current Director preferred the term User Educator to Reference librarian, as he thought it sounded more appropriate and more to the point.  She was very intelligent and had completed a PhD in Medicines from Ancient History to Present days..  Where as Mildred had preferred to work with the rare and valuable books.  Where Joelle was vivacious beautiful and good with people, good at teaching and dealing with anyone.  Mildred was quiet, studious and very knowledgeable when it came to the old books.  She loved their dusty smell, the feel of the old materials, and the way they bound the books in elaborately decorated covers.  Even though she had to deal with people in her job, Mildred had a quieter more studious clientele who were more independent and only really needed help with very tough questions. 

 

“Oh heavens, I almost forgot he was going to be here for todays meeting.”  The thought of Mr Urgent being there was way beyond her.  Mr Urgent was what everyone called the managing director, Anthony Bigell.  Everything was Urgent.  Joelle had worked as his assistant for a few months while his usual secretary had gone off on long service leave. 

 

“I Guess he will have his Red file with him.” Sighed Joelle “and we all know how urgent things in that file are.  I wish someone would lose that file.”

 

“Me too” agreed Mildred.

 

The headed on into their lockers and stored their things.  Then popped down to Marge and Hilda who ran the staff canteen.  The canteen had been an added extra when they had merged all the libraries into the Super Library.  And it was very nicely decorated in a soft pastel peach, and lemon colours.  With an open terrace surrounded by a lovely lake which was inhabited by 100 gold fish and numerous water foul.  There was a medium sized waterfall at the far end, very soothing..  The food had improved greatly since Marge and Hilda took charge.  They were retired from the Army where they cooked for the Generals and high ranking officers.  Everything was ship shape and above board.  They stood for no nonsense form staff, and only expected the highest quality in supples and service.

 

The only way you could tell them apart was one had a blue pair of glasses and the other had green.

 

“There is your coffees dears”  Called Hilda as the girls walked in.

 

“thanks Hil.”  Called the girls,  as they handed over a check in payment of their monthly bill.  It had been Marges Idea to start running accounts for the staff, and then on pay day they could settle their accounts.  “How was your weekend?”  Asked Joelle.

 

“Marge and I took 1st place in the bowling tournament on the Saturday night” Hilda said with great pride. 

 

“We creamed the pants off the opposition” added Marge who had just appeared out of the cool room with a tray of fabulous looking cakes.  “You girls want to try one of these, they are new”  she handed each girl a small sample of some cakes they had just arranged to have scored a good deal on.

 

“Hey these are fabulous”  Mildred commented with her mouth covered in chocolate mouse and cream.

 

“You have a good day girls see you at lunch” called Hilda as the girls headed to their table by the lake.

 

After finishing their coffees and cakes, they headed up to the war zone, as they liked to refer to it as.  It was only half an hour till the clients were due to come in and they had all the computers to turn on

And make sure that things were in readiness for them.  Joelle worked on one of the main loans desks in the 2nd of the smaller towers which dealt with the arts students..  She loved some of the prints they had on display.  A new pile of theses had freshly arrived for Mildred and her staff of 3.  2 of which were only part timers, so it was her and Tiffany who took care of the collection and saw to it that the clients were kept “Happy”.

 

Tiffany had just arrived as well,  “Hi Mil”  welcomed Tiffany.

“Had a good weekend!” commented Mildred it was obvious she did, as she still had bags under her eyes.  “looks like you were out all night partying.”

 

Mildred did not know, but Tiffany worked 2 jobs to support her and her 4 kids.  But she was too proud to let on that she was not coping financially. 

 

“Yeah major party last night”  she neglected to tell Mildred that she was one of the waitresses at a convention centre on weekends and some nights.  “you should have seen who was there, any one who is any one was at the party”  Any one being, all the used car salesmen.  “Lechers”  she thought to herself.  Her posterior was well and truly bruised by all the grabbing that usually went on at these things.  But if it meant her children getting a good education and nice clothes on there backs then she would make that sacrifice.

 

“What time is the meeting?” Tiffany enquired.

 

“9.30, in the meeting room on the 5th floor Blue tower. We had better get a move on if we are going to get there in time,  ah, here is Mary to cover for us”

 

Mildred left instructions with Mary as to what needed to be done.  She was a Post grad student who was working to earn extra cash to support her studies.  A very reliable girl but rather excentric or so Mildred and Tiffany thought. 

Ill be glad when they name the buildings rather than by color… it gets very annoying”  commented Tiffany as they hurried out the door leaving the special collection counter in Mary’s capable hands.

 

It took them a good 10 minutes to get from their building to where the meeting was.  They were in one of the smaller buildings the Red tower so had to go via the Green tower to get to the fifth floor, and of course the lifts were not working in the Blue tower yet, so they had to take the stairs.

 

***

 

They reached the executive meeting room with plenty of time to spare, most of the others were still ambling on in as well.  Mr Urgent was in his Usual seat of power, Tiffany commented that His new secretary was rather pretty.  Mildred agreed that she was, and just the type the usually went far.

 

Everyone settled in the plush new leather seats, they were oh so comfortable.  The 5th floor of the Blue tower had been designed specifically as a meeting room come training facility.  There were 6 Rooms all together, all with computer access and the latest in facilities, the executive meeting room had room for 20 people, the table could be reduced to fit 10 around if only the Executives were meeting.  There was a coffee facility available with pre arrangement, Hilary and Marge were in charge of that and required 2 weeks notice.  They would organise morning and afternoon teas and lunches if necessary for conferences or day long training sessions.

 

“Good morning all.” Boomed Anthony Bigell’s voice “thank you all for coming, now lets get started.  This is my new secretary,  Emma Sandsfit.  She has just recently taken over from June who recently retired just before our big move”

 

Everyone exchanged welcoming smiles with Emma secretly thinking.. “hmmmm we know why you got the job”.

 

“Now down to business.  As you all know there was a contest amongst the university staff and students to name all four of our new buildings, to make it more friendly.  Here is a list of the winners of the competition and the new names for each of the buildings.”  He passed a bundle of papers and everyone too one.  “Please place the on each of your notice boards.  The winners will receive their prizes in the next week or two”.

 

On the paper it noted

         

          Red Building Now known as:… William S Murtle Building : suggested by Murray Hicks from

           Medical Students register  (William Murtle was the founding director of the University in 1889)

 

          Blue Building Now known as…. Martha L Maxell Building  suggested by Mark Hington Senior

           from  Lecturer from the Department Architecture  (Martha Maxell was the first female graduate

          of University of Wattle Grange in Architecute in 1930)

 

          Green Building Now known as … L.P. Summerford building. Suggested by 1st year Arts Student

          Marilin Martin.  (L P Summerford was the winner of the Nobel prize for art 10 years ago and a

          Former resident of Wattle Grange.

 

          Yellow building now known as…Henry Manford Wallington building.  Suggested by Maurie Hill

           One of the          Care takers / grounds keepers.  (Henry Wallington was the Killed in the construction of the 4 buildings in an unfortunate cementing accident).

 

Everyone thought that the name for the Yellow building was very appropriate, Mr Wallington (or Mr Wally as everyone called him) had been known to most of the staff and students at the university for years.  He had a hand in building most of the departmental buildings for the last 15 years..  a very likable man and always a kind word to those he passed.  One year he had saved the life of a student who was in distress, and considering suicide.  He sat and talked with her for some time until an ambulance could reach them.  He then visited her and became a father figure for the girl, who never knew the love of a father.  Mr Wally had 12 kids… and could not bear the thought of seeing this lovely girl suffer.  The girl was now Maurie Hills Daughter in law.

 

The meeting continued with its usual dullness and lasted 3 hours

 

*******

 

 

“Whew Im glad that is over with….”  Sighed Mildred “he does tend to prattle on”

 

They all went back to their desks and offices to take action on the meetings findings, or to resume

Their rostered places.  Mildred had been given the responsibility of ensuring that an appropriate

New letter head was designed for the stationery.  Which was a job she enjoyed as it allowed her

To let her creative juices flow..

 

Before she knew it it was time to go home, it had been a fairly quiet day for a change as the students were on study break and were due back next week.  They all relished the break from the normally hectic schedule f the day.  Although Mrs Fudswalling was there every Monday as usual looking at the Microform collection and getting herself in a pickle.  All the staff had lost count on the number of times

They had explained to her the usage  of the machines and not to shelve things herself.  It took weeks

To get things in proper order every time Mrs “F”, as she insisted on being called, had tried to be of help.

 

They would leave enough work for the night student to do as well as finding these misplaced items.  They packed up Their desks,  Mildred was heading home to her pets and a good movie.  Tiffany was heading off to pick her children up from her Aunties place and drop Michael the eldest at Base Ball Practice, June the Next at Gymnastics, and Lizzy and Johnny at their art class.  Then she would go home for a few hours until they were dropped off by the mothers of some of the other kids.

 

It would be 9pm before Michael would be home, as they usually went to the coaches place for dinner.

 

******

 

 

Mildred put her bike in the garage and locked it, entered her home and tended to her animals.  Her mind was the happy thought of catching up with Errol early next week for lunch, and finding out all that had been going on in his life.  He always managed to have some exiting adventure to talk of in his letters.  She was a little surprised he did not mention it to here that he was going to be working at Her University.  But then that was him full of surprises.  The movie she wanted was due to start at 8.30 so she had plenty of time to have a nice relaxing bubble bath and  reheat the roast she had left from last nights dinner.

 

She saw that the animals were taken care off.  Penelope was let out of her cage for a fly around while Ruffles was let out into his outdoor enclosure for a few hours each day to get fresh air and to give poor Penelope some peace.  If the weather was nice she would put Ruffles out for the day while she was at work, but if the weather was not good during the day he would go out when there was a break in the weather,  the enclosure was well covered so there was no worry about him getting wet or anything.  There had been a smart cat door attached to the window in the laundry, which allowed him to come and go as he liked, but when the bird was having her exercise, the flap was closed so he had to stay out in the out door enclosure.

 

“I do wish you would leave the bird and fish alone Ruffles”  she said in exasperation as she put a very reluctant cat in his enclosure.

 

She set Penelope out of her cage and then stepped into her bath that had just finished running.

 

While relaxing, she started to think of letter head designs for the new Super library.  She really relished

The opportunity to do this, she would use the 4 colours that the buildings had been called for the last 8 months… maybe a picture of the native flower from the area, so much to think about.  She would worry about it all tomorrow.

 

After she had finished her bath she put on her cozy Kimono she had bought from Japan when she went over on holidays a few years earlier.  Collected her dinner from the oven which had heated up nicely and got comfy in her favourite lounge chair.  Turned on the TV and settled in for a good cry at her favourite movie.

 

©Colleen Hunter 2004

 

 

 

 

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Please note that all contents of this page are copyrighted by the author.  c.2003 colleen hunter
any attempts to pass this work off as your own work, will see you in court.