The Historian: The Secretive Secret Secret-Keeper

Jul 20th, 2005 | By | Category: Prose

I enjoyed reading The Historian as much as I enjoy being called “ma’am” by the bag boy at the supermarket. After taking pages and pages of copious notes on the text, I thought it best to simply bring a sample of the book to your attention so that you can come to a conclusion on this novel. “Blockbuster” or “Ball buster”? Decide or perish!

Dear Unfortunate Guy Who Is Inheriting Stuff,

Oh woe my friend, it is with great, inexplicable, sorrowful, saddening sad sadness that I bestow to you a dark dark dark dark secret of obsidianly nightmarish proportions! Even now as I write you I fear someone might trespass upon the letter I am writing to you (about the secret) so that I will no longer be able to continue with this letter to you about this horrible horrible evil secret! How I have erred! How I have sinned! Oh dear, is that a knock upon the door? Hold on and let me check.

Nope nothing. As I was saying. Poor man! I am sorry to say, you are the guy who is stuck with the bill. Because I am dead! Or wait, will be! But not really! First I must disappear! Because of the nasty life-threatening odious secret. Have I mentioned the secret? This thing that has caused me woe? Oh a puzzle a puzzle of puzzlement and tiny tiny pieces that will not fit. Damn you Hasbro!

Ah-ha! There is a knock upon my door again! What is it? What have I spied! No, I must continue writing this letter of all letters containing a dark secret and…seriously that knocking is fucking annoying. Jesus, these large cathedral doors ECHO man, they really do. Hold on a second, I have to find out…”Who is it? Hello?” God Damn it; let me go to the door. I have to bring my parchment with my candle for ambience. Did you know it’s thundering too? Isn’t that cool? Lends a real scary feel to everything, huh? You know this story should have taken place in like–Scotland. Because that’s a totally freaky place. Ever been on the Ghosts and Ghouls tour in Edinburgh? I nearly shit my pants! Oh hold on, let me open the door.

Nothing. God that was annoying. What was I saying? Something about a secret?

Wait? What was that? Did you hear that sound? It’s–It’s–

Ah-ha! It is I, Domingo, the Baron Pirate! I have broken into this scholar’s finely furnished one-bedroom apartment over the Roman cathedral so that I might find the secret to Dracula! And his treasure! Faith and Begorrah! Wait, that’s not historically accurate is it?!

No matter! I am a pirate, a rogue! A murderer! See how I write in Red (yes, thank you). I write with the blood of this fallen scholar! Actually it’s a colored sharpie I bought from Staples. I’d go to OfficeMax but frankly, the service sucks. As soon as I walk into the door people are all like “Look a pirate!” and ‘Where’s your parrot?” I have a name you know! Arrrrrr, doubloons! Doubloons and booty!

Now that the scholar has succumbed to my blade, I will wrap his body in these cotton sheets imported from Italy, stuff him in this antique Ottoman trunk with red trimming, and be off with his secret to collect Dracula’s treasure! I have traveled over seas and land and bumpy roads and highways and bi-ways as evil ogre bandits trail my mighty ship The Pegasus!

I hear a noise! What could it be?! Something at the dead man’s window, the man writing to some poor unfortunate bastard who gets lots of stuff–it looks like–it looks like a man, and he has a library card. MY library card. No. NO! It’s Mr. Smitty the Librarian! My throat constricts as he pastes overdue notices all over the rain slicked window, floating in the air like a ghostly phantasm ghost! I’m trembling on the 3rd floor of this old mysterious slightly decrepit Roman Cathedral in the room of the man I just killed to discover the answer to Dracula’s secret and find a treasure so that I might trade it with the ogre bandits for the return of my love, Lady Branwyn!

What does Mr. Smitty want? He mouths his answer, his otherworldly ghostly phantasm breath rippling over the slightly dampened four paned glass. No! I will not pay those overdue fees! I never took out Bridges of Madison County. It was Branwyn’s I swear it!

Wait, what is that? a knock on the door! I shall stride over this Oriental far east carpet and take hold of the metal doorknob. “Hark!” and “Arggggh! Who you be?!”

It is a girl! A girl I have no description for–but she is a teenager and is scribbling down her homework! How dedicated–also she’s holding a wooden stake. She can multitask! I must tell her my back story:

“My name is Domingo! I am a pirate fresh from the seven seas! I have come here, with my red sharpie, in order that I may find Dracula’s secret and his treasure! So that I may save my love the Lady Branwyn—who has a thing for overwrought romance novels! There are ogre bandits and everything! Oh and there is a man floating at the window–he’s an evil librarian and he’ll probably try to kill us both–not that you haven’t noticed because you’re standing right here and–say is that Chemistry you’re studying?”


“Oh, that’s a tough subject.”

“Yes, well I’m determined to finish it. I’m a teenager living in 1970s Amsterdam–so I’m very much into homework, as all youths of my age. Is that my dead father lying at your feet in 500 thread count Italian sheets?”

“Arrrr, walk the plank with me lucky charms!”

“It’s probably better that he’s dead. He and I spoke in the same narrative voice anyways.” She squints. “I need to find some flash cards for this section. And that man is banging awfully hard at the window.”

“He’s going to kill us! Because he’s a librarian! One of Dracula’s ghouls! Thar she blows!”

“Do you have tea? Or coffee? Or both?”

‘I think your dead father would have some.”

“Yes, he loved coffee. And tea. Especially coffee picked by migrant workers off the coast of Guadalupe. There they tenderly pick the most ripe beans and crushed them, one by one between their butt cheeks. In this way the beans would take on the natural flavor the townspeople. For a divine and rich flavor that whispers into the mouth, “Guadalupppeeeee”.

“Arrrrrrr! Well during your long and incredibly descriptive statement–”

“I’m going to go to Yale, you know.”

“The evil librarian has broken through the double plated glass window on this overcast thundering day and stabbed me in the back.”


“So, Arrr!! I must die!”

“Shameful. I did so want some coffee.”

“But first–Arrr! I have a secret! A secret that will lead to the secret of Dracula–and his secret! This secret is hidden in a bigger secret, which is hidden in an even bigger secret, followed by an incredibly large secret. And like a set of metrushka dolls, these secrets are connected by the same theme, as well as adorable costuming and cutesy wutesy eyes that—Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”

I have stolen the parchment from the dead pirate–so that I may continue with this letter, and the secret–the horrible secret! I watch as Mr. Smitty raises his bloody hands triumphantly–he is about to kill me I know it! Kill me here  where my father brought me–from my home of where I know nothing but classical literature–except Dracula -because I am a teenage girl from Amsterdam and therefore have been closeted from certain popular horror novels. Also my father. Even though he was a worldly diplomat. Can you believe he has the original leather hardbound edition of Lolita and has never read Dracula?

As sweat stings my brow in the ever blossoming night, here in the small town of MakadaPasta, Italy, Population 400, I wonder if I shall ever discover Dracula’s secret. Last night I had a dream. Or was it a nightmare? Or was it a dream within a nightmare followed by a dream? No matter. As Mr. Smitty spit shines his knife I doubt that the dream within the nightmare dream of dreams could be true: Dracula’s secret.

He wants to be the biggest book seller in the world—outdoing Barnes and Nobles, Borders and With his limitless knowledge on text, and the ability to enslave the most intelligent of men and women to do his shelving as drooling ghouls—Dracula’s goal is to conquer the world with express shipping, thousands of titles at your fingerprints and low low prices.

You know, now that I think of it, Lolita was a little long-winded. It took so long to get to the point–just pages and pages of frothy unending prose, describing everything–really where’s the suspense in that? I just wanted to know what was going on and–*gurgle*

Rauuurrrrr Smitty hold parchment now! Smitty ghoul–Smitty angry about overdue fees! Smitty tell you all to not read The Historian –academics are not scary! Researching not terrifying unless you college dropout! Smitty says go read The Haunting of Hill House or even some Peter Straub! Raurrrr! ME EAT BRAINS NOW

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