River Mist Tales: Used Books

Come in, come in, the mist is rising from the river, but here you’ll find some warmth, some tales, so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

The chairs by the window give the best view, allow the best hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

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Used Books

“A used book store, Simon, don’t you think that’s a little too obvious,” said Brian wondering why his brother had stopped walking.

“We are looking for a book,” replied Simon, ignoring his younger brother’s exasperated tone.

“Part of a book,” mumbled Brian, shaking his head.

But Simon did have a knack for finding things well hidden, even when those things were lost in time and protected by both mundane human disguises and faery glamour.

Today’s task was not unlike dozens of others that the Harrington brothers had performed, some with ease, some with varying degrees of complications, most accomplished without bringing too much attention either to themselves or the objects retrieved.

It was the family business after all, generations of men, and women, collecting objects, securing them, preserving them, keeping them out of the hands of those who would misuse them, both human and other.

Initially Simon was reluctant to join the family business, he had ignored his abilities, his gifts as the family called them, preferring a life in New York, creating a personal fortune, exploring the world of art and music, falling in love.

However some gifts are not meant for commerce and mere money making, and Brian found many small ways of luring his brother back, helping Simon realize his true calling, fulfilling his deeper potential.

The bookstore was small, three tiny rooms packed floor to ceiling with odd sized volumes, mostly hardbound, all showing age and various degrees of decay.

A balding man, round, sloppy in his appearance, said hello before glancing up as the brothers entered his shop, raising his eyes fully and recognizing the pair before him, the shopkeeper rose from his stool, closed the front door, locked it, hanging the closed sign.

“The sons instead of the father, well, before you ask, I have a proposal that should please both our masters,” said the shopkeeper speaking quickly, looking from one brother to the other.

Smiling Simon glanced upward, three books fell to the floor startling the shopkeeper, “As you know our father, then you know there is no bartering, besides, it appears the book has decided where it wishes to be.”

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