The Pompey Bookshop… #shortstory #Fiction

The Pompey Bookshop   

“I love the smell of this old place, don’t you, Fred?”

“Yer, it smells of death, all that paper and the old trees whispering. You found anything good to read yet?”

“Not so far. Quiet, here comes one now. I wonder what she’s looking for. Watch out, she’s coming your way, to the esoteric stuff. She’s looking for a little magic…”

“Let’s give her some then, drop a book on her.”

“I can’t do that, Fred. It might hurt her, besides, she’s troubled. Can’t you see the sadness in her eyes? Can’t you feel it?”

“Yer, yer. I thought we could have a bit of fun for a change.”

“Trouble with you Fred, you are a good ghost. You don’t hear too much about good spooks these days. Maybe we can help her out. One of these old trees might be of use. This one for instance, How to Find your Own Bliss.”

“Go ahead then Jim. Poke it out, your best at that, but don’t be too heavy-handed. Don’t want it dropping on her head, remember?”

Jim did his best and the book moved slowly, sticking out about two inches, but the woman didn’t notice it had moved.

“Damn…” Jim said.

“Now what?”

“If I push any harder, it’s going to fall…”

“Let me help, I’ll play with her hair to make her look up. You push.”

Alice touched the top of her head. Must be her nerves, she thought, it felt like fingers playing with her hair.

Jim pushed, and the book fell at her feet. Picking it up, Alice read the blurb on the back and decided to take it. She continued her search, her fingers brushing against the spines, the pages inside rippling at her touch.

“You can stop playing with her hair now, Fred. You’re messing with the pages. They’re getting all excited, thinking they might be read. They don’t know how lucky they are. Luck, maybe that’s what she needs. After all, that’s what this Bookshop is all about, helping people find what they need.”

“Good idea. No pushing this time. Look, she’s still stroking the spines. She’s coming up to the one with the green spine, that one will make her hand tingle…”

“Which one are you on about, Fred?”

“That one, Luck Made Easy. It’s a big book, so will need both of us.”

“Ready? Now…”

 Alice snatched her hand away from the book, her hand stinging.

“Now see what you’ve done. You’ve come on too strong…”

 “She might not be brave enough to touch it again. She must believe in stuff like this, or she wouldn’t be here. Make it glow, Fred!”

“It’s almost closing time; Mr Pompey will be looking to see if the shop’s empty before lights out.”

The book had moved out of line just a bit and was glowing. Alice found some courage and pulled it out. She almost ran to the till.

“You’re our last customer of the day, Miss. Have a good evening.”

Alice’s thank you was barely a whisper as she made her way to the door.

“Good job done there, Fred…”

“Let’s hope so, Jim. I reckon she‘ll find just what she needs between them old leaves. “

 “Night, Fred…”

“See you come morning. Jim.”

The Bookshop didn’t sleep. The leaves between all the book covers were too busy whispering their stories to each other all night…

©AnitaDawes2018

The Sunday Whirl ~ Wordle #542 ~ #Poetry

Hidden noise we do not hear
Yet sinks inside our head
Like the secret noise inside a shell
We take no notice of the sound
Of bare feet on vinyl
We lead strange lives
Hand in hand with superstition
Burying shoes and witches bottles
Under the threshold 
to ward off evil and protect the house
Amidst the strange and wonderful
Like Nero, we play our invisible fiddle
Letting the world spin around us…

©AnitaDawes2022

#Mindlovemisery’s Wordle 274 ~ #Poetry

My fingertips to write
To adlib, make magic on the page
The read back was no more
than a bunch of garble
Stop press, this woman is a fool
I jiggle my appointments
to manage my time better
I have no wish to waste it
To see it perish, like old apples in a bowl
Off the cuff, I decide that fresh air was needed
Stopping in the middle of the road
Remembering the parish church
have a monthly boot sale
There, I picked up a wonderful fleece
Would it prove true the legend?

© AnitaDawes 2022

WWW.Wednesday ~ What are you Reading this Week?

This should be a peaceful, happy time.

Three days until Christmas, and all I should be thinking of, is the timing of defrosting the turkey and the making of mince pies. Unfortunately, there is an awful lot more on our plate right now, and has been for a while. (More about that later, when we make it to the other side!)

Unable to concentrate on anything, especially the WIP, I reached for a book to stop all those unwanted thoughts from swimming around in my head. The book I chose, The Last Dragon in London, by our good friend Widdershins, may have saved my sanity. From the very first page, I felt the magic on the pages travel up my arms and into my heart. Somehow, I had been made welcome and felt at home, as if I had been there before and already knew these people.

The mince pies will be cooked, and the turkey defrosted, but my mind will be inside this book…

Book Description

In the second decade of the Twentieth Century, Mildred Norman, Mildy to her friends, not many of whom are left alive, is broken in body and spirit after a long hard war.
An old friend suggests that she might like, as a bit of a distraction, to spend some time doing a bit of a ‘grand tour’ of all the places named ‘London’ throughout the world.
What begins as a whim, ends with a discovery that challenges everything she believes is possible.
Arriving in the last ‘London’, on her list, a tiny village tucked away in a remote valley, she meets up with a few of the locals and shenanigans ensue.
With the help of a child hunting mythical beasts, the child’s grandmother, and a cast of quirky villagers, Mildy shows how dangerous a stout woman with a lethal arsenal in her pockets can be.
She uncovers a plot to alter the course of history, begun so long ago that no records of the conspirators remain, except for one place, the place she now calls home.
To protect those she has come to love from certain destruction at the hands of a cruel and loathsome cabal, she must battle threats both near and far, and confront the mysterious force guiding it all.
And then, of course, there’s the question of dragons …

A slip in time…

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

“What’s your name,” I ask the old man, sitting on the park bench feeding the pigeons. I liked the look of him. Small, with a slight hunched back, snow white hair and the beginnings of a beard.

“My name, do I have a name?”

“Everything has a name.” My reply did not fuel the conversation. Something about the way he moved his hands, the way the small bag of seed did not empty, the way the trees around us held their breath. The silence and the sharp pain at the back of my head, stirring, waking something in me.

“You are Merlin.”

“Am I?”  His blue eyes sparkled with the mischief of a five-year-old child. “Yes, you could be right. My memory is not as it should be these days. I have little to offer you, young man. You are wondering who you are.”

“Not true, I know who I am.”

“Do you know when you are?”

“Yes, I am here, in the park, talking to you.”

“Look around you, do you see what lies before your eyes?”

I looked and the trees parted, like an ancient curtain being pulled aside. Wondering if I had named him wrong. Could he be Moses with no sea to part? He split the trees. I saw a castle, dark jagged rocks surrounded by vast ocean. I look again at the old man. I could see a tear in his eye, the smell of apples filling the air.

He vanished. The air had taken him. It looked for all the world as if I sat there, talking to myself.

I cried out, “Merlin, where are you?”

Rushing through the trees, calling again, I heard his voice.

“Here I am, look again…”

© anita dawes 2020

Eugie’s Weekly Prompt ~ Magic ~ #Poetry

Eugi’s Causerie Weekly Prompt – Magic – May 20, 2021

I kissed the moon, the clock stopped.
Clouds held their position.
I found myself in Avalon, sitting beside Merlin,
A large book on his lap
Teaching me the power of thought
Around us, beneath the silver light
Morning glories grew, those beautiful purple bells,
Ringing out a sound no one should hear
Until you learn to hold on to the ground
My feet, floating free, my heart singing a song,
words I could not understand.
The sound pleasing to my ear.
Merlin wasn’t pulling a voice, so I carried on.
Emptying the joy from my heart
If I am dreaming, don’t wake me!

© Anita Dawes 2021