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The bell rang as the door to my book shop was pushed inward and a warm spring breeze drifted in behind the customer. I looked up from my book and smiled at the preoccupied looking woman.
“Can I help you?” I asked. She nodded and came up to the counter, very fluid in her movements. She looked around the store for a minute, almost as if she was checking to make sure that no one was in ear shot. That wasn’t a problem since hardly anyone came into my shop anymore. People love those new electronic books and the bound book is sadly becoming a thing of the past. The woman was satisfied with her search and asked me in a low voice.
“Do you have any books on witch craft? I mean the real thing, not just magic tricks.”
I stared at her for a second, slightly nonplussed. “Well, I hardly ever hear requests for that sort of thing and I not sure. I might have some in the back, let me go check.” I said, walking toward the door behind my counter. I grabbed the set of old brass keys from the hook under the table and inserted the largest one into the lock. With a slight click, the door creaked open and I slipped inside, shutting the heavy slab of oak behind me. I sighed as I looked around the back room, filled to the ceiling with dusty books.
“I really need to clean this out one of these days.” I muttered to myself as I walked along the rows. I knew that it wouldn’t happen but still, it was nice to make plans. I had lost count of how many books I had in the back room. I bought most of them from old estate sales and antiques stores. Yard sales were good for the more modern books, the ones I keep out front. I began to shift through stacks of book that I had semi-organized. As I was moving the books, dust flew up into my nose and I started to sneeze violently. While I was sneezing, I managed to trip over a stack of books from the 1700’s and landed flat on my ass. Dust motes flew up into the air and were made briefly visible in the shaft of sunlight streaming in from the window.
After my violent sneezing fit was over, I looked around and groaned. Some of the books that I had tripped over had been damaged. I began to pick them up and restack them when one caught my eye. I grabbed it and walked over to the light with it. Abigail’s Guide to Ancient Witchcraft was embossed on the cover in faded gold leaf.
“Here we go! I actually do have a book on witch craft back here. I had better get this out there before she leaves.” I said, grabbing the book and walking towards the door. I came out to see her standing in exactly the same spot and position that she was in when I had left. I smiled and handed her the book.
“Is this what you were looking for?” I asked.
“I am not sure; can I look through it to check?” I nodded my consent and she moved off to the side of my worn counter top. As she carefully turned the brittle pages, I wondered that she wanted the book for. She didn’t look like someone who would be involved in that sort of thing. She was slender, had blond hair, blue eyes, and wore jeans and a white button up shirt. Her sleeves flared out at the end and the only jewelry that she wore was a silver necklace. She tucked a strand of her blond hair behind her ear as she turned to me.
“This will do fine, thank you very much! How much do you want for it?” She asked, smiling at me.
“Well, the text is early 1700’s, the book is in good condition, but there really isn’t much call for this type of text. How about three hundred dollars for a price?” I said. That was really too low of a price for the book but there was no way I was going to be selling that book anytime soon. She looked at me for a second with clear blue eyes, checking to see if I was kidding or not. I took the book back from her and grabbed a sheet of brown paper and some twine from under the counter. I wrapped the book in the plain brown paper and tied it shut, handing it to her. She then reached inside her purse and handed me an envelope filled with cash.
“Here you go, thank you very much Adam.” She said, turning to walk out the door.
“Wait, how do you know my name? And you need your change back!” I yelled after her, trying to remember if I had told her what my name was.
“We witches just know these things, and there is exactly three hundred dollars inside that envelope. Good bye Adam.” She walked out of the store, seeming to dance rather than walk.
“I don’t even know your name!” She looked back over her shoulder and grinned at me.
“Selena. And don’t worry, you will be seeing me again.” I started in surprise because I had just been wondering if I would ever find out more about her. She stepped out of the shop and into the bright sunlight, holding the parcel to her chest. The bell chimed softly as the door swung shut, a warm breeze flowing through the store yet again.