by Austin Heiwa
Ben, George, and the Magic Mundus Spell Book is my first writing piece. More info inside.
| Please note that this is a book prompt, or rather, a chapter 1 written for a book that doesn't really have a chapter 2. Therefor, I cannot guarantee that any form of follow up on this prompt will be made by me or another author. However, I didn't want to see this small bit wither away, so here it is for your enjoyment. After the prompt, I left a comment best read after you are finished with my prompt. It's an after thought, on my part, and I do so very much hope that one of you readers take it upon yourselves to say, “Austin, do the world a favor and write chapter 2!”. Thank you for reading this first, And I hope you enjoy reading this prompt as much as I enjoyed writing it over 2 years ago. For the most part, this is unedited, so bear this in mind as you read and try to ignore the lack of details.
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Ben Kanyon was only twelve years old. He wasn't some extraordinary kid with a special talent. The opposite was true, that he was a rather normal, possessing not a single useful skill to his name. He lived on his own in the alley behind the old library, one of only two places he felt safe. The other was a book store owned by a kind old man. Ben had no friends, save for George, the owner The Mundus Book Shoppe. Nobody wanted Ben, and he had no parents to worry about where he was, so Ben was content with his life, relying on George's support while immersing himself is books.
Our story begins on a chilly October evening in the year 19--. Ben walked down the street, hugging himself for warmth, his ragged clothing doing little to hold back the biting cold. He was only two blocks from the bookstore when a man in an expensive looking suit grabbed his arm, pulling Ben away from the evening crowd. Some people noticed, and wonder what this was about, but all were either too cold or in too much of a hurry to spare Ben and the man their time.
Once to the side, the man turned Ben to face him, studying his face. He tightened his grip on Ben's arm, then asked, “Where do you live, boy. Tell me the truth, or I will be forced to smack you.” His tone was low and calm, but Ben could tell that the treat was real.
Ben shook his head. He recognized the man as the same one he had seen near the orphanage, escorting a homeless girl through the doors. So, in Ben's mind, this man must have seen him, and so chose to snoop him out and take him in. Ben did not want to go to the orphanage, and he was determined he would rather die first than be forced through those doors. So, without any thought about how the man might react, Ben bit down on his arm.
The effect was immediate, as the man howled in pain, releasing Ben's arm. Ben wasted no time dodging into the crowds on the sidewalk, meanwhile, the man shook off his pain and followed the boy. Ben's feet seemed to choose their path of their own volition, and soon Ben is approaching the front door of Mundus. He burst through the door, causing the bell to ring, and also startling George. Ben dived behind the counter where George stood, not saying a word as George, tending his register, gives him a questioning look.
As George began to frame a question to ask Ben, concerning his odd behavior, the orphanage man pushed through the door, scanning the book aisles for Ben. When the man had his back turned, George looked at Ben, and took special notice of how panicked he looked as he shook his head. George sighed, not knowing what trouble Ben could be in, then turns his attention to the man roving the book store.
“Excuse me, sir, but is there anything I can help you with?” asked George, his voice the perfect impression of innocence. Combined with his weathered skin, white hair, and old spectacles, no one would ever suspect George of being mendacious. “I do believe you would have better odds of finding the book you want if you ask me for it. But I suspect it is something other than a book you are seeking, yes?”
The man grunted. “Your a sharp old coot alright. Yeah, I'm looking for a kid.” He then proceeded to give a hasty, yet adequate description of Ben, as if he had only met him once. “Have you seen the lad? You see, he is my son, and I would very much like to return him home as soon as I can manage.”
Now, George knew Ben's figure by heart, and this man bared not even the slightest of resemblances. Ben's hair was a neat, sandy brown, smooth in the middle and wavy at the ends. His eyes were a calm green, one that George seldom tired of looking at. And his skin was a fair shade of white, if a little dirty. 'If this man, with his blond hair and his blue eyes, and that tan skin, is Ben's father, then I'm a six legged, purple toad,' thought George.
Convinced that this man needed to leave, George said, “I'm sorry sir, but if a child as entered this store, then I missed him. And I assure you, sir, that I am very vigilant as to whom enters my store. Now, if you are not interested in purchasing a book, then please remove yourself from here. You will scare off my patrons.” To prove his point, George pointed out the window to a trio of people passing the store, each one giving the shady man a suspicious glance. Realizing he couldn't do anything more, the man grunted again, then exited the shop.
Ben, thinking the man was gone, started to rise. He stopped when, without moving, George said, “Stay down, Ben. He is standing across the street.” Ben nodded, then settled in for a long wait, grabbing a book that happened to be sitting on the floor. George, on the other hand, gave annoyed looks to the man, until he left for good. “Okay, son. It's clear.”
Ben stood and sat on the counter. “Thanks George,” Ben said. “I thought for sure he was a'gonna get me.” George laughed a little a the funny way Ben liked to say things. “But ya know what, George? I wish he had bought a book. It would'a helped with the bills and stuff. I'm sure he ruined a good business day.”
“Nonsense,” said George, with a wave of his hand, “It was a slow day anyway. He couldn't have done anymore harm, even if he started a fight with me. Now, Ben, go find yourself a good book, and a better corner, and wait until the day is done. Then I will escort you home.”
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From this point on, The story would have taken on a more magical tone. As you can see, I didn't pick a specific year for the setting, but only because there are so many good years to choose from. I guess a few more things need to be worked on, and I might do so if someone will lend me a hand. Please feel free to comment, and if you think I should dig into my brain and find the inspiration I had so long ago to continue the story, then tell me so. If enough people think I should go on, then by all means, I will. Even if it takes me a month to put out a page, I will do it for my fans, if I have any. Toddles, friends, and may books still be a part of our society in the years to come.