So this week I’m reading The Oddfits, by Tiffany Tsao, an odd little fable that reads kind of like you put Matilda, the good parts of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (I was not a fan), and The Hole Behind Midnight into a blender, and then hit puree. Oh, also, there’s ice cream.
The main character, Murgatroyd Floyd, AKA “Shwet Foo” (it’s complicated), is an Oddfit, meaning he’s someone who is able to visit the “More Known World”, which is like a set of extra dimensions or worlds folded up inside the one that we normals are able to perceive. Unfortunately, Murgatroyd doesn’t know that yet, so he spends his time waiting tables at a local (“local” meaning “Singaporean”) restaurant whose .
But the jokes and teasing would only occur at the times surrounding his arrival and departure from the restaurant, for the very instant Murgatroyd put on his patent leather shoes, knotted his bow tie, slicked down his hair, and donned the black jacket, he underwent a complete metamorphosis into another being entirely—a being endowed with superhuman table-waiting powers; a being whose movements and words bespoke deference and authority, humility and capability, all at the same time; a being whom even the head waiter treated with special care and respect. And of course, there was the fact that he was Shakti’s pride and joy. While she treated the other staff in what she believed to be an authoritative, strictly business manner (the staff, on the other hand, believed she treated them as if they were idiot slaves), Murgatroyd brought out the maternal in her. This situation would have undoubtedly resulted in jealousy and resentment on the part of Murgatroyd’s coworkers, except for the fact that being the object of Shakti’s motherly affection seemed to be far more a curse than a blessing.
Ah, yes, it’s never a good thing to attract the notice of gods, or bosses. Or haunted houses, for that matter, like the one in Father’s Books.
She climbed to the second floor. The stairs went creak, creak beneath her feet. At the top, she stepped into the long hallway that ran from one end of the house to the other, from window to window. She looked through the one behind her, at the crowns of the trees spreading close to the house, a canopy of green just beyond the glass. Her own face was reflected in the pane, a faint transparent image superimposed over the foliage. The distant hallway light formed a fuzzy nimbus around her head, as if she was some kind of spirit.
Well, you’re not a spirit yet, unnamed character. But give it time.