Author Topic: The Book  (Read 985 times)

stormwell

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The Book
« on: April 05, 2018, 04:21:49 AM »
An attempt at a Lovecraftian tale, ironically written at least six years before I read any of H.P. Lovecraft' works.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Book

It was a balmy summer's day when I found myself with time on my hands and little to do. I heard about some real gems of a shop tucked away on the narrowed and much more quieter streets of the city away from the main shopping area. Small cafes, old record and clothes shops marked the semi-official boundary between the 'High Street' big brands and the smaller 'budget' shops that were the haunts of students and bargain hunters. Gradually these gave way to buildings that had weathered war and high water only to be seemingly forgotten by time, these were gunsmiths and old fashion tobacconists with grimy signs that read 'H.T. Wilkinsons, EST 1743' from their frontages as I walked past. Though there was a bookshop partially hidden down an alley with lead-frame dusty windows and a frontage in dire need of a lick of paint. It was hard to tell whether the place was still in business since the leather bound volumes (wouldn't be surprise if they were first editions) appeared to have a thick layer of dust resting on their cracked covers.
 
The door was ajar and so I gently pushed it open to be greeted by a gloomy, oil lantern lit scene of books everywhere on every possible surface. Like those on display in the window, all were leather bound printed decades, if not a century, ago and had a coating of dust. Picking a book at random to flick through with great care I saw that it was a hand written original most likely dating from the early seventeen hundreds, though the subject was something that didn't hold much interest. I found my eyes coming to rest on a large, dark leather journal sat one of the upper shelves. It had a strange glint that I soon realized was a brass lock and lock along with a fastener that held the book closed. Not sure how I I was stood there for, but a voice whispered in my eye. "It draws you in doesn't it?"
 
Quickly jumping back in shock and crying out in surprise I turned to see an old man, the shop owner I hazard, staring at me. "Sorry, wasn't sure whether anyone was here."
 
"Tis fine sir, you're the first customer I've had all day....most folk just pass on by without a second look."
 
"I see, now the book...."
 
"Five pounds sir." The man replied, sucking on his teeth a little.
 
"I didn't say that I would buy it."
 
"Ah but you had the look sir."
 
"....Look?" I mumbled back. "Can't say I follow."
 
"The book interests you, more than any other that surrounds us both does it not?"
 
"Yeah....I does, though I expected the asking price to be much higher."
 
"Five pounds is a small price...."
 
"Very well, five pounds it is." I replied pulling out my wallet and a half crumbled note as my mind calculated possibly how much it was actually worth and how I could get selling it on. The man smiled as he took my money and handed over a brown paper bag to slide the book into, though I swore I almost heard him mumble, "....for a deposit."
 
In hindsight I should have pressed him about the comment, but at the time I just dismissed it and departed with my latest purchase in hand.