by Asella Eirne
Book Store meets Incarceron meets David King Just beginning a fictional story...
| A story cause why not?
She walked up to the door, before turning about and walking away. Again, she faced the entryway, and approached it, attempting to psych herself up, to convince herself that she could do it. She could turn that doorknob, she could enter the shop, she could do it. But again she turned away. People passed by her on their way to work, or school, or the supermarket; cars zipped through the busy main-street. It was lunchtime in northern Connecticut and the sun shone on everything, making the early-Spring day seem blithe and welcoming. Warmth spread through her as she looked about herself at the cheerful atmosphere of the cozy little town. But then she remembered the door behind her and anxiety flooded through her. It wasn't fear persay, just a deep-rooted anxiousness that flooded her bones and yet she longed to have the courage to cross that threshold.
She steeled herself and strode up to door, turning the knob before she could change her mind and back away again. She stepped through in to the dusty little shop, the door swinging closed behind her. The light was warm, but muted, filtering in through dust-shrouded windows, giving them an almost supernatural glow. Clearly the shop needed quite a cleanup job. She gazed around herself, looking at the haloed windows and the towering bookshelves crowded with volume after volume. There were new books as well as old. Popular series and classics. Unwind sat beside Jane Eyre; Blood of Olympus nestled beside The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The room was one large open square, the shelves lining the walls, but in the middle of the floor, the tiles formed a large chessboard. She strode to the back of the room, anxious to get her interview over and done with. The game board echoed beneath her feet, disturbing the muffling silence that permeated the shop. In the back sat a small desk, behind which sat a pale man of slight build. "Your name." His voice was strong, a stark contract to his skeletal frame. She stopped in her tracks. Her voice a strangled whisper, she replied. "Ceili." He spelled it aloud as he wrote it down, "K-A-Y-L-E-E." Did she dare correct this curiously intimidating man before her or did she just accept his rendition of her name. After a moment's hesitation, she spoke up. "Um, excuse me, Sir. It's C-E-I-L-I." He glanced up at her, mild irritation flashing across his face, but he retrieved a second paper from his desk and wrote out the correct spelling. She couldn't make out what was on the paper, but she assumed it was some form of paperwork for the interview.
She stood before the desk as the man proceeded to fill out the form upon his desk. Should she ask his name? Should she remain silent? Should she introduce herself better? What was he writing down? Her thoughts tumbled around her skull as looked down at the flyer in her hand. She had found it tacked to telephone pole in the town square. Help Wanted, it read. Book Keeper needed. Should be well-read and good with organization. Those fearing unusual circumstances need not apply. She had no idea what that meant, but she loved books- had grown up in her father's bookstore even. He had to sell it four years ago however, when her mother fell ill, in order to pay the medical bills. She remembered the smell of new books and the feel of old pages. Stories were as important to her as air. She needed a job A.S.A.P., and what better job than working in a setting she knew well from childhood? Granted, she had never heard of this particular shop before but all bookstores had roughly the same layout, collection, and atmosphere. She looked about her again. This one felt different somehow. The address on the flyer said 11 Picardy Place. It had taken her ages to find it, but here it was; tucked between two popular shops on a main road, she had never before seen it squatting there in plain view. Clearly no one else seemed to pay it much attention either. She wondered what it was about this bookstore that seemed so out-of-place.
"Follow me." His voice jarred her out of her thoughts. Ceili tentatively followed him through a small doorway behind his desk that she had neglected to notice up to that point. It almost seemed to her as if it had appeared out of thin air. As she crossed the threshold of the back room, a sense of vertigo came over her, causing her to stumble. She glanced back behind her into the first room but everything looked exactly the same as before. She didn't know why, but this surprised her. Ceili looked back into the room she just entered but she couldn't see her mysterious interviewer anywhere.
Thanks to Incarceron, the David King series, the Librarians for inspiration.