the abortion

an excerpt from The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966 (but published in 1970)

pg. 24

The 23

Ah, it feels so good to sit here in the darkness of these books. I’m not tired. This has been an average evening for books being brought in: with 23 finding their welcomed ways onto our shelves.

I wrote their titles and authors and a little about the receiving of each book down in the Library Contents Ledger. I think the first book came in around 6:30.

MY TRIKE by Chuck. The author was five years old and had a face that looked as if it had been struck by a tornado of freckles. There was no title on the book and no words inside, just pictures.

“What’s the name of your book?” I said.

The little boy opened the book and showed me the drawing of a tricycle. It looked more like a giraffe standing upside down in an elevator.

“That’s my trike,” he said.

“Beautiful,” I said. “And what’s your name?”

“That’s my trike.”

“Yes,” I said. “Very nice, but what’s your name?”


He reached the book up onto the desk and then headed for the door, saying, “I have to go now. My mother’s outside with my sister.”

I was going to tell him that he could put the book on any shelf he wanted to, but then he was gone in his small way.