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bookstore


deere

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I should probably be working on finishing something else I've already started, but I wrote this instead.  [shrug] 

Edgar looked up from his book when he heard the bell on the door tinkle.  It had been a while since anyone had come in- the used book business was slow these days.  Edgar wasn’t really sure how the store managed to stay open at all, in fact, but he was glad it did- working here, he could do almost all his graduate-school homework while getting paid for it.


The young woman woman who walked in was thin, really remarkably skinny, with straight brown hair.  Her name was Victoria, but of course Edgar didn’t know that yet.  The first thing he noticed about her was her eyes- bright, sparkling blue.  She was wearing a faded red t-shirt that didn’t quite reach the top of her tight low-rider jeans, and scuffed brown western boots.


“Hi,” Edgar said.  “Is there anything I can help you find?”


“I’m just browsing, for now,” she said.  “Can you point me toward the history books?”


“Right over there,” Edgar pointed.


“Thanks,” she said.  He thought he detected a little sniff as she walked past.  One of the other perks to working here, he’d found, was how many people found themselves allergic in the store- too many dusty old books, he supposed.


Edgar returned to his studying as she walked out of sight, but reserving some of his attention to keep track of his only customer.


hi’shew  hi’shew


“Bless you!” Edgar said.


“Thank you,” came her soft reply from the back corner of the store.


Edgar tried to go back to studying, but it was getting harder to focus, particularly as her browsing brought her back to his range of view.  She was crouched down now, her back to him, looking at some books from the bottom shelf.


hi’shew


She closed the book, and added it to the pile beside her.


hi’shew  hi’hi—hi’CHIEWWW


“Bless you again!” Edgar said.


“Thanks,” she said shyly, picking up the pile as she stood and turned to face him.  “Would you mind if I left these on the counter while I keep looking?”


“Not at all,” he said.  As she walked over to him, he could see a slight twitching around her eyes, a faint hitching in her breath.  As she set the books down, the hitch was unmistakable.  She barely had time to get her hand over her face before she sneezed again.


hi’shew  hi-shhew  h’hI-SHEW hi’shew’hi’SHEW


“Excuse me!” she said. “I don’t know what’s come over me.”


“Would you like a tissue?” Edgar asked.


“If you” hi’shew    hi’shew hi’—hi’sh’CHeww “have one,” she said.


Edgar reached for a shelf behind the counter.

“Thanks,” she said, as Edgar set the box on the counter in front of her.  She took one, and softly blew her nose into it.


“Is there anything else I can help you find?”


“I didn’t see any Steinbeck in the fiction section,” she said.  “I’m looking for a copy of East of Eden, and maybe another copy of Grapes of Wrath too.”


“Steinbeck gets shelved with the classics, over here,” Edgar said, walking towards the back corner of the store.  “The older, rarer” (and dustier, he thought, smiling to himself) “books are back here, along with the literary greats.”


To Be Continued…

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I have always liked the scenario of an uncontrollable sneezing fit being set off by the dusty books in libraries or bookstores - especially as these are usually places where you are expected to keep quiet :D I look forwards to more...

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Are you interested in feedback or constructive criticism? I had some thoughts on how your piece is put together, but I don’t want to just butt in here and be critical if that’s not what you’re looking for.

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On 4/16/2018 at 3:42 PM, Kiaory said:

Are you interested in feedback or constructive criticism? I had some thoughts on how your piece is put together, but I don’t want to just butt in here and be critical if that’s not what you’re looking for.

You can offer it, but I won't promise to follow it...

I know I could improve my writing by, for instance, figuring out what I'm doing before I do it.  Or proofreading.

But that takes some of the fun out, so...

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