Emma loved bookstores. The intoxicating smell reminded her of the library in her late parents’ house: the sweet scent of all things lost. On the last Friday of every month there was a reading at the nearest store. Emma always made sure she got a seat at the front. No matter how boring the presented book was, she listened attentively. Determined, she fought down the nausea rising from her empty stomach. As the applause faded, she was the first at the buffet, hoping nobody would notice how her bony fingers trembled as she stuffed her moth-eaten purse with precious hors d’oeuvres.
Pattyann McCarthy says
Loving the melancholia in ‘the scent of all things lost.’ I didn’t expect the ending. Brilliant!
Tony Press says
Sweet story. Bookstores are treasures, perhaps for more reasons than the obvious ones.
They say that some owners resemble their pets; perhaps some book owners resemble their oldest books.
TISA GARRISON says
I was in Belfast in April ’15 listening to local authors talk about “the troubles.” Outside were street performers looking for a few euros — trying to fill their bellies. There is little money in art or the appreciation of it. Nice piece.
I, too, love the smells of books in bookstores and libraries. The sadness is palpable in this little gem. Although I felt the sadness, the ending was a surprise.
Christina Butcher says
Well said! I thought that the sadness at the end really added weight to the story. Great writing