The Open Book

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A man strode down the street, winding in and out of the bustle of human bodies, a confident elegance in his manner as his leather shoes tapped against the resurfaced pavement. Astute fingers reached up, flicking his jacket collar up against his neck, shielding the taut skin of his throat from the morning chill. He took a sharp left at the corner, walking into the small coffee shop, The Open Book, the usual buzz of noise greeting his ears. 

Men and woman sat cluttered around various tables, some on their own, and others in small groups, gossiping over steaming cups of coffee or enjoying the morning’s newspaper. The strong smell of caffeine assaulted his senses, the glint of the television screen in the far corner catching his eye as he joined the back of the queue. 

His attention zoned in and out, the figures on the screen nothing but dancing pixels in the blur of his vision, the subtitles hazy smudges. The man shuffled forward in the queue, rubbing absent-mindedly over the strip of white skin that was a few shades paler than the rest of his delicate fingers. He took note of the number of riff raff that began to hang out on the street corner, only a few ever daring to step indoors – it seemed routine. His foot began to tap impatiently against the tiled floor, his eyes slowly drawn back to the screen in the corner, his breath catching in his lungs. The image of a small child flashed before his eyes, the thick blonde curls that hung in tendrils around the sweet heart-shaped face, her blue eyes sparkling on the room. The man swayed on the spot slightly, his mind working overtime, tears rushing to the corners of his eyes, daring to fall. It couldn't be true - they’d have rung him. He had rights, if there was one thing he damn sure knew he had in this country, it was rights. 

He distantly heard someone shouting ‘next’ and the impatient sighs from those behind as he slowly took his time. He stumbled forward, not quite seeing where he was going as he collided with something solid, burning hot liquid spilling down the front of his suit. 

‘Oi, you watch where you’re goin’, mate,’ shouted the stranger, the vein on his large forehead bulging slightly. ‘I just gone an’ bought that, you prick.’

This book saved her life.

Her slender fingers glided over the front cover of the battered novel, memorising every detail. The slight ridge of the title, the small rip that had formed at the top of the page, and the colours that had faded over the years from the days it spent sitting on the window sill of her bedroom. It was one book from a series of seven but it felt like a part of her being. She rarely let on about how much these books meant to her, to others it was simply a series of books that she enjoyed to read but to Olivia it was so much more than that. The ruffled, battered pages proved that. The spine hanging to its last threads proved that. This book saved her life.

aspiring author attempting world domination with a bit o' magic and some kickass moves.