Join Date: April 22, 2006
The book shop
The early morning sunlight gently entered the small attic. Casting beams of light across the sleeping figure. The sun descended upwards its strong beam slowly moving up the stone pillar. After several moments the heated beam fell upon the clear crystal perched at the top of the pillar. The sunlight splintered outwards magnified shining a blinding light upon the sleeping town. The attic was thrown into brightness, the girls eyes behind the eyelids burned. Leaping up from her ragged bed she sprinted, to a small piece of shade in a dirt ridden corner. Reaching for a rope, she pulled powerfully downwards, with a mighty groan the feathered blinds folded over the immense sunlight.
Even with the thick blinds covering it, the sunlight shone though harshly, the girl however had already scrambled into her morning clothes. Spiriting down the rotting staircase, she reached the smoke filled kitchen. Her mother bustled about madly, stirring pots and clashing pans in a desperate attempt to prepare breakfast before first call. Her father, a warlock assistant, hurried into the room, paper piled high on his arms. Cramming a piece of toast down his throat, he gave his wife an uneven kiss, before running out the door, pausing to ruffle his daughterâ€™s hair irritatingly.
Her mother dropped the pans in despair. Sitting down heavily on her chair, she sighed deeply.
â€œHurry up girl, first call is less then ten minutes from now, for god sake, have some urgency for once.â€
Her daughter merely stared at her pityingly.
â€œMother, I am only a two minute run from Mr Potters shop!â€
Her mother pushed back an irately hair from her flushed forehead and simply growled:
â€œWell, just watch yourself, the last thing me and your father needs is a jobless daughter!â€
Sofia expression did not change her eyes balls simply rolled, much to her mother annoyance.
â€œDonâ€™t you roll your eyes at me young lady, it arenâ€™t my fault you failed your grade one exam!â€
Sofia finished her orange juice and picked up her work things with distaste.
â€œWho wants to be fourteen and going to school anywayâ€
â€œSomeone who wants to get a high paying job, you ungrateful littleâ€¦â€
But Sofia had already left the ting apartment, the door slamming behind her.
Smog covered the crowned streets. Various salesmen wormed around each other, the noise deafening. Up on the higher platforms smart businessmen in neat ties walked carelessly, unaware of the goings on below. But below them Sofia ducked and jumped across the stalls of the market. Just as she reached the aged door of Mr Potterâ€™s book shop, a high pitch wail erupted from an unknown source. Signalling the beginning of First Call, the ghasts slowly floated downwards from there dank home in the towers above, patrolling the streets for the unemployed or lazy. Sofia gazed curiously upwards, as the cloaked figures descended down to earth, she entered the dust ridden shop silently.
Mr Potter stood leaning over examining a book. His bulging eyes scanning the page intensely. Sofia walked causally behind him, absorbed in the ancient atmosphere of the book shop. He turned around, slightly startled by her appearance; he quickly regained his icy front.
â€œWell I suppose late, is better then never. Now Mrs Moore wants Lovers beach, aisle five under romance.â€
Sofia felt his eagle eyes burning into her back as she walked away. The books were stacked high, volume upon volume that spirals towards the ceiling, Mr Potter didnâ€™t believe in bookcases for such â€œcheap dribbleâ€. It would take her the best part of an hour, to operate Mr Potterâ€™s unstable ordering system and she set to work digging around the various volumes, slowly climbing the great towers of paper. After what seemed like centauries of painstaking work, Sofia blistering hands laid thankfully on the moth eaten cover of Lovers beach. Proud of her early up heaving of the book, she headed back to Mr Potters desk.
As she approached she heard Mr Potter acidic voice barking down the phone.
â€œI am sorry Sir, but this book is not for sale, it is part of my private collection and is priceless.â€
The mysterious buyer seemed unaffected by this passionate outburst and persisted. Mr Potters bit his lip in anger.
â€œI donâ€™t care if you work for the Black Witch, the book of glass roses is un sellable, if The queen of darkness wants it, she can very well come here and get it.â€
Slamming the phone down, he turned to face Sofia who had just emerged from behind the book shelf.
â€œThe book you wanted.â€ She stated slyly.
â€œYes very good...erm just leave it on the table thereâ€
The high pitch wail, signally the end of First Call, shrieked painfully outwards. Mr Potter head spun around at the small clock on the wall.
â€œI am going out, I will be back in time for Second Call, touch nothingâ€
Neatly putting on his hat, he exited the shop.
Sofia had never enjoyed the simple life of service that most commoners of hush seemingly enjoyed. She had never seen the point of working yourself to the bone, just to pass your Grade 3 exam, for the privilege of carrying warlockâ€™s books around after him, like her father did. See didnâ€™t see the attraction of running her own shop or stall and she neither wanted to harbour a family, she simply drifted in life unsure of her purpose or goals dreaming of something better. So as she heard Mr Potter slam the door firmly behind him, she made a certain decision.
Bolting the door shut behind her. She drew the blinds with haste, closing out the still violent sunlight. Hurrying to the area she roughly thought the desired book to reside, she began clawing at various volumes. After several moments of all most panicked searching, her fingers touched the smooth surface of the book of glass rose. Her heart stopped racing and her breath slowed, she carefully opened the book, its pages unworn by age and the writing clear as the day it was printed. She was in ore as she turned to the first page curiously. The book of glass roses was written superbly at the top in some ancient style of writing, below a carefully crafted sketch of a hand, with the words for those who seek adventure. Sofia eyes flicked back towards the front of the shop in unease, had she just heard the door creak open, no just her over active imagination, and she turned back to the book.
Her hand shaking she placed it in the sketch, her fingers slipping easily into the shape. She felt her hand being pulled sharply into the page, it sinking, in to what seemed like quick sand, the page folding inwards with her struggling wrist. The ink of the pages spiralled up her arm, burning her tender skin as they went. She could she them flashing past her eyes, being absorbed in her brain and being locked away just as easily. The ink still whipped around her, but her hand slowly emerge from the book, as the last drop of ink disappeared in to her struggling brain, her hand broke free and the book shut sharply, missing her shaking fingers by inches.