Strolling down Bridge Street my eyes wandered to a sign in a window reading, in big bright yellow letters, BOOKS WANTED. I walked in, greeted the man behind the counter with the highest grade of courtesy I could muster, and handed my CV to him with a casual assurance born of weeks of beating the city’s pavement looking for odd jobs. A manager was produced; we conversed. For this kind of position, you see, credentials don’t matter that much but eloquence, the gift of the gab do. And with these I am blessed, and soon I was offered my own office space, on the shelf, where to box in my chatter. What will I be, the brave man inquired. “A Mikhail Bulgakov, sir.” Of the worst kind, of course. A wild and purring mad Master and Margarita. A slight frown shot through my new owner’s face, then disappeared – he would have preferred a Brown or Meyer, a Rankin even, something he’d get rid of in no time. But as a man of taste, he soon muted his commercial concerns and congratulated me for the soundness of my choice.

So here I am, dear reader, sitting on this shelf as I have been doing for weeks now, and if you are reading this at this very instant, it is that I have started tearing up bits of myself, flyleaves, irrelevant front and back matter, to kill time and boredom and sending them for help. Nobody asks for a Bulgakov these days. I’ll grow old on this shelf. But hell, it’s still better than my last gig as a kitchen porter.

by Armel Dagorn

Armel Dagorn was born in 1985 in France and has been living in Cork, Ireland for the past few years. He reads and writes in his adopted language, English, whenever he gets a chance. His stories appear in magazines such as Southword, trnsfr and Wordlegs. He just opened a little place at

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