Sandi…a short story

Light Bulb Beside Books on Shelf

The used bookstore was dim and smelled unpleasantly of old books.  But she went there everyday and stayed from morning until closing.  The owners were so used to seeing her, they brought her a donut and juice each morning, since she was always leaning against the door, waiting for them.

It’s not that she didn’t have anything else to do, and it wasn’t because she loved bookstores.  It’s just that if she wanted to break the curse, she had to find the right book, and the scrap of paper that was hidden inside of it.  She hated curses.  Some of them took a long time to break.

If people only knew how much magic was being thrown around, right in front of them.  How spells and curses, sometimes missed their mark and landed on some guy who just stopped by to pick up a cheese danish.

Sandi was a null.  Magic didn’t stick to her, that’s why she was in high demand and never stopped working.  She liked her job.  But this last curse was complex and woven with many threads.  One thing always lead to another.

Then she found a clue, which led her to the bookstore.  Supposedly, the last thing she needed to know, was written on a scrap of paper and hidden in a book.  She’d already been searching the shelves for two weeks, without any luck.  The task was beginning to feel impossible.

She was in the mystery section when she saw a small book, wedged behind the neat row of books in front of it.  She pulled it out and looked at it.  The cover was stained, the pages yellowed.  She sat on the floor and gently flipped through it.  Then she went through it again.  She was ready to put it back, when she noticed that the paper on the inside of the front cover, wasn’t lined up properly.  She pulled out her pocket knife and carefully separated the paper, from the backing.  And there it was, a single slip of torn parchment, filled with ruins and look away spells.  Right in the center, was was the word she been looking for.  She quickly shoved the paper into her pocket and went to the front desk.

“Finally,” said Tom.  “You found something.  I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen.”

“How much?” she asked, laying the book on the counter.

He ran it over the scanner and frowned.  “Hmmmm,” he said, softly, typing on his computer. “This book is not in our inventory.”

“Well, make up a price,” she said.

“I can’t do that,” he said.

“Why not?  You own the shop, you can do whatever you like.”

“That’s true,” he said, grinning at her.  “Five bucks,”

She put a twenty on the counter, and thanked him for all the juice and donuts.

“Aren’t you coming back?” he asked, as she headed for the door.”

“I found what I was looking for,” she said, waving at him.

“Well, see you around,” he said, putting the twenty into the drawer.

“Who were you talking to?” asked Carlie, coming down the stairs.

“Sandi.  She finally found what she was looking for.”

“Really,” said Carlie, softly, looking toward the door.  “And what was that?”

“Some old book that wasn’t in our records.”

“And you sold it to her?”

“Sure, why not?”

Carlie turned and walked toward the door.  She didn’t want Tom to see that her eyes had turned blood red.



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