Coffee Break Read – The Chair of Ancient Scrolls

The door of the staff dining room banged open and the handsome figure of Launcelot Gribble stood in the doorway with his romantically tousled head held high.
“I think I’ve just broken my geek,” he announced. The Bursar sighed and looked up from the column of figures she was conning. “Again? And what makes you think this one is broken?”
“He’s just sitting staring into the middle distance and making strange sheep-like noises.”
Matron gave the dramatic figure in the doorway a look of deep dislike before grinding out her evil-smelling cheroot and heaving herself to her feet. She headed for the door, and as she passed Gribble she smacked him solidly across the back of the head with one large red hand.
“Ouch. That hurt.”
She didn’t even bother to answer him, just stalked along the dusty corridor like a vengeful leviathan.
Gribble dropped his pose of romantic ennui and ruefully rubbed his head.
“Why’d old iron tits decide to smack me around the head?”
Democratic Runes looked up from the volume of arcane verse he was studying and regarded his colleague in disbelief.
“Why wouldn’t she? You break geeks and she gets to fix them. How many is it this year?”
Gribble studied his feet and muttered something unintelligible.
“Come again?”
“This one is number thirteen.”
“Who else is egotistical enough to break geeks at that rate. Thirteen down and it’s only the ninth moon. You are a fucking liability, my friend.”
Gribble hunched a shoulder and turned his startlingly green gaze on the sturdy figure of the Bursar.
“I’ll just go choose another geek then, shall I?”
“No. Indeed you will not. There have been complaints. The University has generated a memo. Allow me to read it to you. ‘It has come to our attention that the Chair of Ancient Scrolls is somewhat careless of the technicians who assist him in his work. This is unsatisfactory. Should any more instances occur, the choice of assistant is to be removed from his remit’.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that you don’t get to choose. You will be assigned a geek. And proper contracts will be signed.”
Gribble bridled. “I don’t sign contracts. It’s an honour to be chosen to help me.”
“As of now you do sign contracts. Because if you don’t, you don’t get a geek. And shut your mouth – you look stupid with it half open.” The Bursar got up and jerked a thumb at the gaping professor. “My office. Now.”

From Gribble’s Geek by Jane Jago which is only 0.99 to buy throughout November.

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