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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Dark · #1638072
When Nick buys a book it sets him out for more trouble then he thought.
              Nick was standing in line to purchase a book from the local book sale.  The book sale was an annual event that was held for charity.  People would spend the year collecting books then on the one weekend a year they would sell them.  He went every year looking for older books.  This year he found one.  It was printed in the late 1800s.  He had not read it yet, but would get to it after he had returned to his house.  He bought these books for their collector’s value and for the different point of view.  This one would fit in nicely with his collection.
         Tom was watching Nick while he was waiting in line.  He looked as if he was in his fifties with his white peppered hair.  He had been looking for the book that Nick now stood in line to buy.  The book was his and been with him for as long as he could remember.  It was donated last week to the book sell by mistake.  Now, he wanted it back.  There was nothing that he could do about it at present.  He was already planning to follow him and do what was needed to get it back.
         Tom stood next to Mia.  She was a stunning five foot seven dark haired woman in her early twenties.  She looked at him and asked if they were going to take the book when he left.  Tom said that it was too crowded and would call unwanted attention to them.  He told her to get the cars ready and they would follow.  She was walking out and passed the word to get everything ready.  This was a group of modern gypsies.  They did what they could to take items from other and make money for themselves.  Lately they had been going down allies and collecting things that people sat out.  She was always amazed at what they could get from others discarded waste.
         They followed Tom to the house.  It did not take long for Tom only lived about thirty minutes away.  Once they were sure of the house they left a look out and took the vehicles to a strip mall close by.  They had trucks that were used for hauling the goods that they plundered from others, but also cars that they could use for getting around.  Unlike gypsies of the past they did not have sleeping areas for everyone.  Hotels and Motels served this propose once they had everything set up Tom decided that he was going to go and see if he could get the book back.
He went to Nick’s house and knocked on the door.  When Nick answered he told him that he had seen the book that he purchased and would very much like to buy it from him.  He offered twice what the book sold for, but Nick declined the offer.  He told him that he collected books and he did not want to sell this one.  Tom told him how he owned a store and if he would allow him to put the book up for sell there he would give him three quarters of the selling price.  Tom still refused to give him the book.  He did say that if he wanted he could put a photo of the book in his store and if anyone was interested he would come down and sell the book.  In return they would keep the same split of the money.  Tom agreed to this.  He thought this would give him an edge on having the book back in his position.
Tom went back to the car where one of his people was sitting.  He retrieved a camera and asked that the other do the same.  They walked back up to Nick.  Nick met the out in the yard with the book.  He held it as they took photographs.  As he was doing so he was thinking about what a great day it was for taking photos.  He noticed that Tom had a little digital camera.  He was taking photos but Nick realized he was to far back to get much detail with the camera he had.  He noticed the other man had a single lens reflex camera.  Though it was a film camera it was definitely the better of the two.  He noticed that this man was getting closer, but that he had a high powered lens on the camera.  He started to feel uncomfortable.  He told them that they should have enough photographs and when they tried to stop him saying the needed more he disappeared inside the house.
Tom became upset.  He was hoping to get the book put down so that his cohort could take it and run.  This had not worked out.  Though he was disappointed he still had other means to get the book back.
Once Nick was in the house he thought about how things did not seem right with the two men.  They not only did not seem to know how to do basic photography they also did not seem to know what they had as far as equipment.  He decided to put it behind him unless he heard from them again.

         The next evening Nick was at his house with Sabrina.  The two of them were talking about the upcoming photo shoot that they were working on.  Sabrina was young still in her twenties and new in the business.  She was short and had dark hair.  She was nervous about the shoot because it was her first on for a major client.
They heard a sound at the door.  When Nick went to see what it was Tom was coming through the door with the man from the day before.  He said “that was easy” and started moving into the living room.  When the two were in Mia appeared in the door.
         Tom retrieved his gun from the family room where he had put it and told them that they had to leave.  Tom taunted him saying that he would not use the gun.  Nick tried hard to keep the fear from his eyes.  He was hoping that just having the gun would scare them off, but that did not seem to be working.  He pulled the trigger and the gun did not go off.  Tom laughed and said that he did not think he would ever do that, but if he was going to shoot someone he should put bullets in the gun.  He pulled the trigger again and still nothing.  He knew the gun was loaded he had checked it before.
         On the third shoot the gun went off.  The bullet hit Tom in the gut, but just stuck to his shirt.  Nick could see the anger in Tom’s eyes as he waited to see what he would do.  Tom shrugged his shoulders and said “you have more guts than I thought you did.”  He then turned around and said it is time for us to leave and the three headed out.
         Once they were gone Sabrina asked Nick what was going on.  He told her about the book and how these guys wanted it.  He also told her that he did not think that it would go this far.  She asked him what the book was about and he had to confess that he had not read it yet.  That night the two of them opened the book and looked at it.  Nick was surprise to see that the book resembled a hand written journal that started in 1809.  The more amazing thing to him was that it seemed to continue on till the present day.  It was not a journal that was written in everyday, but seemed to have only significant events.  Once looking at it Nick knew that Tom would be back.

         On the third day they heard scrapping at the door again.  When they arrived Tom was already through it.  Again proclaiming that it was easy, he started going down the connective hallway that lead to Nick’s study.  Nick was watching Tom and did not see Mia come in.  He thought about shooting at Tom again but did not think it was going to work.  He handed the gun to Sabrina and went down the hall grabbing the staff that was beside him.  He reached Tom right before he got to the door and started swinging at him.  He hit him repeatedly and Tom just laughed.  The more he laughed the harder that Nick would swing at him.  Then they both heard a laughter coming from the living room.
         They turned to see what was happening.  There was Mia with Nick’s gun in her hand.  She was laughing.  Nick though that he was dead and wondered how she got the gun.  She said “Tom it is time to go.”  Tom started walking back down the hall and Nick followed thinking that he was going to be shot.  When he got back in the living room Mia handed him the gun and left with Tom.
         When they were alone Sabrina told Nick that the girl had pushed her out of the way and when he went to give her the gun he had handed it to her.  He did not even look just figured that the person beside him was Sabrina.  Nick said that it is time to put a stop to this.  They went to the back room and Nick picked up the book.  He started to read it.  Sabrina spent the night again to see if she could help.  While Nick was reading she feel asleep.

         When she awoke Nick was still up with the book.  She asked him if he would like some breakfast and he said he would.  When she brought it to him she noticed that he was writing in the book, but said nothing.  She asked him if he knew what he was going to do.  He said he did.  That he was going to give the book to Tom.  Again she thought this was strange.  Nick was not the type of guy to write in books or to give them up.
         That evening Nick waited out in front of the house.  Sabrina was inside watching.  When Tom appeared Nick told him that he had decided to give him the book.  When Tom looked at him he told him how he was not a violent man and that protecting the book had turned him into something that he did not wish to be.  Tom seemed to feel this was right and took the book.  When Tom walked down the drive way he disappeared.  At the same time so did the other people in his group that had been stationed around the neighborhood.
         When he entered the house Sabrina asked him what had happen.  He told her that when he was reading the book he had found that it had been passed on from person to person.  But that the owners had to try to get it back.  I came across a section that said that the owners could not be harmed in a way that they did not employ, but if a method to try and stop them would kill them they had to leave for the day.  I realized two things from this the first is that the reason the girl did not shoot me was because she could not.  If she would have shot me then all the times that they had been shot would have occurred and they would be died.  The second was that if this was normal circumstances I would have killed this guy two times.  I did not want to be this type of man so; I had to put a stop to it.
         I found that the other new owners had simply written off the old one, but this lead to them becoming obsessed with the book.  They would not care about anything else but having position of it.  I did not want to be like that.  I decided to give him the book back, but could not let this happen to somebody else.  I wrote in the book that when he regained it that he would be transported to another place.  I chose this place to be where magic existed.  This world would give him more of a challenge in keeping the book.  I also put in this world that there were ways to destroy the book.  This was the best way that I could come up with.
         When they were done talking the two of them put the house back the way it had been.  They then prepared to go on the photo shoot.  They both knew they could tell nobody about this experience because it would not be believed.  After all there was no such thing as magic in the world that they lived in.  All they could do at this point is go on with their lives as before and put it all behind them.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1638072