Introducing Chapter CCCLXV of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular shares a personal experience. Oh, boy.
“I had a most unpleasant time yesterday,” she writes. “A busload of literary critics pulled up in front of my house and at least two dozen of them poured out and started yelling and throwing things. I am not sure why. Some of them carried signs bearing lewd and unsavory messages regarding my epic romance, Oy, Rodney. A few of them demanded that I come outside so they could drown me. Several carried pitchforks.
“I called the police, but there was no one there to take my call. I don’t know what would have happened if it hadn’t started to rain. The critics in a mad panic swarmed back onto the bus and it pulled away. I’m afraid they stomped my crabgrass.”
Nothing daunted, she goes on to write the chapter.
Here we have the aristocratic thief, Sir Robin Banks, hiding out in an unused wing of Coldsore Hall, wondering whether he ought to explore the other rooms in search of something valuable to steal. He is interrupted in his meditations by a sound of footsteps in the hall. It’s only Johnno the Merry Minstrel, searching for cuss-bags planted by the medieval sorcerer, Black Rodney; but Sir Robin decides he’d better hide in case it’s the police.
The only hiding place in his room is a ratty-looking cedar chest just big enough to accommodate him. Deftly, he crawls inside and shuts the lid.
Unforeseen by him, the lid automatically locks when it is closed.
“Here I break the chapter,” writes Ms. Crepuscular, “to heighten the suspense! Will Sir Robin get out of the cedar chest, or is he doomed to die in there? How awful it will be, years from now, when someone discovers the chest and goes to see what’s in it! I feel quite faint, just thinking about it!”
A snack of toothpaste sandwich cookies, washed down by a tall glass of absinthe, restores her equanimity.