Perusing the shelves

Chloe was fascinated by the old boy who came in every day and stood at the same section, though today there was something different. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, and wondered if this time he would actually select a book to purchase.
His fingers drummed the mobile phone behind his back which he then raised to take a picture of the titles in front of him.
With a satisfied smile, he turned to walk away, catching Chloe’s curious look in his peripheral vision.
‘Ah,’ he said walking up to the counter. ‘You caught me.’
‘Well, sir,’ she said, ‘I am a little bemused. Are you looking for anything in particular? We put some new titles out over the weekend, so perhaps there was something you found of interest.’
‘Oh yes, most definitely,’ he beamed, ‘but not to buy.’
‘Oh,’ she said a little disappointed.
‘I have just won a twenty pound bet and have taken a picture to prove my claim.’
Intrigued, Chloe encouraged more details.
‘It’s a bit of sibling rivalry really. My brother said I’d never get any of my trash in print, let alone sell any, and there today is my book on your shelf! I cannot say how pleased I am to see it. I could only afford to have ten published, and my brother did not want a copy, so I gave them away, bar one, which I kept for myself.’
‘Which one is it?’ she asked excitedly.
He went back to the shelf and brought it to her.
‘Would you sign it?’ she asked.
‘This belonged to my aunt who passed away last year and Mum finally got round to sorting things out.’
‘What was your aunt’s name?’
‘Edith Murphy.’
The old man’s eyes misted over.
‘I remember Edith. We were friends at school and she always believed in my writing. I gave her the very first copy.’

Written for FOWC 22nd March

The image is from Celine Ylmz at Unsplash.

For the visually challenged writer, the image shows a man with longish, gray hair wearing a brown trench coat standing in a bookstore.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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26 Responses to Perusing the shelves

  1. Such a sweetly romantic story.

  2. Sadje says:

    Very nice story.

  3. quiall says:

    What a wonderfully poignant story.

  4. Fandango says:

    A wonderful, warm-hearted tale, Di.

  5. This is a wonderful tale with a real dream we writers all share and sadness as well. Beautifully written!

  6. murisopsis says:

    Ah! This is all about “six degrees of separation”… Great story!

  7. willowdot21 says:

    I love your stories Di πŸ’œ

Comments are closed.