After the incident with the kittens last time, you'd think I'd give The Preserver and The Handler a break. Well no. Here, a little later than planned, is what happens when The Preserver and The Handler discover a book has been ruined by a child.
For the record, the child is at the scene of the crime.
The Handler, after a hard day at the office, returns home to find her youngest child scribbling over her books beside the sofa. Books which she hasn't read. We're not talking pencil scribbles, or brightly coloured crayons. We're talking dark, permanent felt tips.
The Handler looks at her kidlet, who is happily tearing pages from a road atlas. That doesn't matter, because she has sat-nav. The Handler flips through the pages, smiling at the stick figures which permeate not one page, but five, each getting fainter as the ink run-through stops. Children will be - children. The Handler won't ban kidlet from the room - what's the point? It will only make kidlet more determined to get back in and discover what their mother is hiding.
The Handler calmly picks up kidlet, and opens out the book. 'This is your book now. I'll keep it here, for you to play with. Ok?' All The Handler gets as a response is a giggle.
'There goes my daily coffee at work' thinks the Handler, planning to skip coffee to pay for a new book. Children = expensive, and nothing in the house is safe from the younger kidlet. Words will be had with the eldest kidlet, for not keeping a closer eye on kidlet's playing.
Perhaps Eldest will even pay a contribution to the book fund. Perhaps. The Handler forgives Eldest later upon finding dinner already prepared. Distraction in the name of food is permissible.
The Preserver is not quite as forgiving. The Preserver knows better than to yell, screw up her face or express anger of any kind before her kidlet. It isn't her kidlet's fault. She shouldn't have left the books within reach.
But she kicks herself at the desecration of the book. All those precious words obscured by black ink! She holds the book up to the light, to see if its possible to read the words from the other side of the page. It isn't.
Eldest kidlet will not be saving for dvds any time soon. The book was a first edition. Signed. The Preserver usually keeps the living room out of bounds, but clearly Eldest wasn't doing her job properly in looking after youngest kidlet. The elaborate dinner isn't a good reason to avoid babysitting duties. The Preserver knows the book will be replaced, but with a horror of horrors second edition. Unsigned.
Unable to bear looking at the offending book, The Preserver places it in the bin part of the shredder, and leaves a note for her husband to dispose of it. She can't bear to see its marked pages taunting her forever. This is one book which she won't keep.
Are there any scenarios you'd like to see The Preserver and The Handler encounter? If so, let me know and they might feature here.