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Edith O’Connor and the Book Lovers Emporium…17

“I just saw Merlin,” said Tilly, looking over her shoulder.  “He’s still wearing that blue robe.”

“I think it’s his favorite,” said Edith quickly.  “Have you noticed the change in the statue?”

“I did.  The angel’s wing is growing back,” said Tilly.

“It is.  It started the day before yesterday.  New, soft white feathers,” said Edith.  “They’ll turn to stone eventually.  She is a statue, after all.”

“I love this place,” said Tilly dreamily.  “Maybe her true love is coming back.”

“I think that would be the only reason for the new wing,” smiled Edith.

“Will he come here?”

“It’s too early to tell,” said Edith.

“The poets are kind of driving me crazy.  They answer every question in verse or some other kind of strange thing.”

“It can be fun, once you get used to it,” said Edith playfully.  “Young Gregory stood in front of me this morning and said, “What yonder wheat fields, harvest golden brown, whilst the dairy mother fair, provides the rest.”

“What was that supposed to mean?”

“It meant that he wanted toast and butter for breakfast,” sighed Edith.  “Everything was already in the dining room but he does like to have his fun.”

“Can I punch them if they say things like that to me?” asked Tilly hopefully.

“Absolutely not,” said Edith, pulling a new tablet of paper from a drawer. “But if you must, don’t leave any marks.”

“Gotcha,” laughed Tilly.  “There was a fight in the Gardening section earlier.  Three of the books disagreed on the proper way to fertilize a garden.  Some pages were torn but I pulled the books apart and gave them all time outs in different rooms. The Department of Repairs is going to look at them tomorrow.”

“Thank you,” said Edith.  “Between Gardening and the Mystery area, with all the stabbings and shootings, I sometimes think we need a referee.”

“Edith, can the animals talk when they aren’t in the shop?”

“No,” said Edith, “and once they have been used to communicating in every language that exists, they don’t want to leave.”

“I can understand that.”

“They are happy here, right Snowball?” asked Edith, sliding a treat toward the White Cat.

“Have you noticed the way the windows in this entrance room change all the time?”  Tilly continued.

“Well, there two bay windows, one on each side of the door, when we are in Europe and they become flat windows when we are in The United States.  That way we fit in better.”

“You’re kidding, right?” laughed Tilly.  “We never fit in anywhere.”

“We try,” said Edith, sharpening several pencils.

“Someone’s coming to the door,” said Snowball.

The door slammed into the wall with such force that the glass in the windows shook.

“Looks like it’s raining,” said Tilly, as she stared at the soaking wet man sliding across the floor.

“Can I help you?” asked Edith calmly.

“I don’t know?  Can you?” asked the man frantically.  “I was on my way to England and then suddenly I was being thrown through this door and,”  he said, looking around, “where’s the plane?”

“It’s probably somewhere in the sky?” said Edith politely

The man looked up.   “Where’s the ceiling?” he asked, turning in circles.  “Are those dragons flying….”

“My name is Edith O’Connor,” said Edith politely.  “And you are?”

“Uh, do I look familiar to you?”

“I’m sorry, but no,” said Edith kindly.

The man looked at Tilly pleadingly, but she simply shook her head and stared at her hands.

“He’s coming,” said Snowball, licking his paw.

“Lance,” shouted Merlin, walking toward him, his arms outstretched.   “You’re here at last.”

 

 

Edith O’Connor and The Book Lovers Emporium…16

“Lucy was wonderful tonight,” said Merlin.

“She won Prince Gavin’s heart,” said Edith. “Not an easy task.”

“He told her she could come and visit him,” laughed Merlin.

“I heard him,” snickered Edith.

“It was a wonderful party.  Thank you.”

“What’s going to happen now?”

“I don’t know,” he said, shaking his head.  “War, I imagine.”

“Is there no way to stop it?”

“We could send ten thousand rabbits to Faerie, I suppose,” said Merlin, but his smile slid off  of his lips as he looked down.

“Are you staying?”

“For a while,” he said.

“Will you take the dragons when you go?”

“If they want to come with me, then yes.”

“You know they’ll follow you.”

“I might need then,”  he said wearily.

Edith nodded.  “What can I do to help?”

Merlin stood and took her hands.  “I can’t imagine that you could do more than you are already doing.”

“I’ll send hot chocolate to your room.”

“Tiny marshmallow?”

“Of course,” said Edith, grabbing Merlin by the front of his robe, pulling him in for a long, passionate kiss.  When she finally released him, she smiled, touched her hair and said, “I’ve wanted to do that for some time.”

Merlin stared at her.  “Maybe you better send up some brandy as well.”

“If you like she said,” playfully.

“Edith,  I…”

“No need to say anything,” said Edith, holding up her hand.  “It was just a kiss.”

“Was it?”

“Yes, what did you think it was?” she asked, surprised.

“Uh, nothing.  Nothing at all, just a kiss, of course.”

Edith nodded and started to tidy up.  “Is there anything else?”

“I was just wondering,” said Merlin, shyly.  “Did you see stars?”

“No,” said Edith.  “Planets.”

“Ah, yes, planets,” he said, raking his fingers through his thick blond hair.  “Do you think you will be kissing me again?”

“It’s the blue robe,” said Edith distractedly.

Merlin looked down at himself.  “I’ll wear it all the time then,” he laughed and disappeared.

“i saw that” said Snowball.  “Nice move.”

“That was private,” said Edith, refiling her stapler.

“Not if I saw it, it wasn’t” purred Snowball.

“I saw it too,” said the gray cat.

“It’s no big deal,” huffed Edith.

“Maybe not to you,” said Snowball.  “He almost fell over when you let him go.”

“How long do you think it’s been since he’s been kissed like that?” asked the gray cat.

“Like what?”

“Like THAT!” the cats’ said, in unison.

Edith shrugged.  “I have no idea and it’s none of my business.”

“You saw planets?” asked the gray cat.

“I did,” smiled Edith.

“Which ones?” asked the gray cat.

“All of them,” said Edith.

“Lucy was wonderful,” purred Snowball.

“Indeed,” said Edith, nodding. “We are expecting a lot of people for the convention, so let’s get busy.”

“Right,” said Snowball.  “So no more talk about kissing.”

The gray cat rolled across the counter in a fit of laughter, his tail thrashing back and forth.  “I think he was into it Edith.”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake,” she said, her eyes sparkling.

Chicago walked into the room and said, “The Queen would like more B- and her party would like…    What’s going on?”

“Ask Edith,” said Snowball, leaping from the counter.

“INCOMING!” yelled Edith, as twenty books of love poems tried to land on the counter at the same time.

“Have the poets arrived?” asked Chicago.

“I expect them any minute,” said Edith, grabbing the small piece of paper that landed on her blotter.

The gray cat sighed, rubbed his face against Edith’s arm and followed Snowball into the other room.

“You look different,” said Chicago.  “Are you wearing more blush?”

“No, I’m flushed from all the work I have to do.”

“Well, send blood down to the Queen, when you can.  I’m going to read the cards for Sigmund and he’s weird,” she whispered. “All those cigars and the thing with his mother.  I can’t wait to see what HIS spread is like.”

“Well, have fun,” said Edith, glancing at the note, which read:

Dearest Edith:

Thank you for the wonderful nightcap.
The poems are marked.

Yours, M

P.S.  Thank you for the chocolate, brandy
and the tiny cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edith O’Connor and The Book Lovers Emporium…15

The dragons entered the Dining Room just as the clock struck nine.  They crept in, all five of them, low to the ground, their wings folded against their bodies, their eyes alert.

“Good Evening Teal,” said Edith politely.  “Would you do the honors,” she said, holding her hand toward the candelabras.

Teal, the largest of the dragons, nodded and a thin ribbon of fire shot from his nose toward the candles as he lit them, one by one.  “Thank you,” he whispered, rubbing against Edith’s hip.

“Well, I know how much you love to light them,” muttered Edith softly.

Merlin walked into the room and looked around the table.  “Oh, I hope you’re not all standing up because of me.  Sit down, sit down,” he said, waving them to their seats.  “If you do things like that I may start to think that I’m special and then I’ll make a fool out of myself.”

Everyone took their seat and tried not to stare at the great wizard.

“Edith,” said Merlin, looking around, “this is magnificent.  I don’t deserve to eat amid such beauty,” he continued, taking her hand and kissing it.  “You spoil me.”

“Well, I try,” she said.  “But, you don’t make it easy.”

“I wore my blue robe just for you,” he said, as stardust pooled around his feet.

Edith blushed. “Thank you,” she said.  “Now, on to business.  The heads of all the groups that have arrived for the Unusual Things Convention, so far, are seated here.  I think you know everyone.”

“I do,” said Merlin, smiling and nodding to everyone.

“Please be seated Merlin,” said Edith.

“You’ve outdone yourself this time,”  said Merlin, reaching for the salad.

A flock of birds flew into he room and landed on the long table.   They started pecking at the seeds that were spread over the white linen tablecloth, for their benefit.  When they were finished eating, they walked back and forth and sang.  Merlin stood up and applauded loudly when they were finished.  “Thank you my friends,” he said delightedly. “Thank you.”

The birds chirped happily and flew up to the chandelier, so they could watch the rest of the festivities in comfort.

Merlin was clean shaven and wore his usual blue jeans under his robe and heavy gym shoes on his feet.   His blue eyes didn’t miss a thing.  He watched those at the table and listened to what they were saying.  Finally, after three of the Albino Raccoons did a fantastic tumbling routine, Merlin cleared his throat and silence fell over the room.

“How goes the war, Merlin?” asked Billy, the tiger.

Merlin stood up, scattering stardust all around him.  “It goes slowly, my friend.  Too slowly.  The Faerie Courts are divided.  North and East against South and West.  Moon against Sun,” he said, looking down.  “The North is preparing to attack the humans.  East is behind them.  South and West think it’s too soon but they have waited a long time to take back what was originally theirs.”

“Surely they know they can’t win against the humans,” said Thomas, speaking for the raccoons.

“Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” said Merlin.  “If they place humans under a massive glamour, they won’t even have to fight.”

“But they don’t have a glamour that can cover everyone,” said Billy.

“I’m afraid they do, my friend,” sighed Merlin.  “They plan to take away human will. They want to live on the planet, they want to…”

“We want to take our rightful place on earth,” said the tall beautiful faerie, walking into the room.”

“Gavin,” said Merlin, nodding toward him.

“Merlin,” said the faerie.  “May I speak?”

“By all means,” said Merlin, sitting down, taking a sip of his tea.

“I am Gavin, Prince of the East….”

“We know,” said Bobby.

“HI GAVIN,” said everyone at the table, at the very same time.

Merlin covered his mouth with his hand, so no one would see him laughing.  Edith just turned around and hoped no one would notice her shoulders shaking.

“Excuse me. I’m Miss Lucy Fuzzy Paws and I don’t think we’ve met. I’m kind of new here.”

“Uh, what?” said Gavin, looking around.

“I said, I’m Miss Lucy Fuzzy Paws and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you before.”

“Well, no you haven’t,”  said Prince Gavin.  “You’re a rabbit.”

“I know that,” said Lucy, rather bemused.  “Pretty much everyone knows what they are, don’t you think?”

“I suppose you’re right.”

“What’s wrong with him?” whispered Lucy, looking at Merlin.

Merlin was laughing too hard to answer, so Edith stepped forward and said, “Prince Gavin I would like to introduce you to my rabbit, Miss Lucy Fuzzy Paws.  Lucy, this is Prince Gavin.”

“Pleased to meet you,” said Lucy.  “You’re very good looking.”

“Thank you,” said Prince Gavin graciously.  “You’re a lovely rabbit.”

“Thank you, that’s what Edith said.”

“What folly is this Merlin?”  asked the Prince.

“Would you like some Apple Crisp?  It’s delicious,” said Merlin, waving him to a seat.  “There’s plenty and there are brownies and ice cream as well.  I think the brownies have chocolate chips in them, if I’m not mistaken.”

“You are not mistaken,” said Edith.  “Would you care to join us Prince Gavin?”

“I’m here to discuss war,” said the Prince dramatically, his purple cloak flowing out behind him, even though there was no wind.

“That’s all well and good but we’re having dinner and a bit of a celebration, so you can join us or you can wait outside until we are finished.  The choice is yours,” said Edith, in no uncertain terms.

“Fine,” said the Prince, “throwing himself into chair. “I’ll have a brownie, please.”

“Would you like a carrot?” asked Lucy, pulling one toward him.

“No thank you,” said the Prince.  “I’m having a brownie.”

“Carrots are supposed to be good for your eyes but I don’t think that’s true.”

“Why not?”

“Teddy told me that he knew of a girl who put carrots on her eyes every night before she went to sleep and she still couldn’t see any better when she woke up.”

“I see,” said the Prince, looking at Merlin, who simply shrugged and smiled good- naturedly.  “Well then, I suppose you’re right Lucy.  Carrots do not improve one’s eyesight.”

“I never met a faerie before,” she said, moving closer.  “You seem very nice.”

“Thank you.  You seem very nice as well,” said the Prince, smiling.

“Rabbits have to be nice because everyone is trying to kill us all the time.  It doesn’t matter though.  No matter how nice we are, people still kill us.  I don’t think it would be a bad thing if you glamoured all the humans.  If you do glamour them can you make them be nice to rabbits?”

“I promise I’ll do my best to make that part of the spell.”

“You can pet me if you like.  I’m very soft.”

The Prince ran his hand over her back and grinned.  “You are a very smart rabbit, aren’t you Lucy.”

“Whatever do you mean,” she asked innocently.

“You made me fall in love with you and you didn’t even need a spell,” he smiled.

“No one can do spells in the Bookstore,” said Lucy knowingly.

“Well then, you won my heart fair and square.”

“Is there going to be a war?”

“I believe there will be,” said the Prince gravely.  “But if you stay inside the shop you ‘ll be safe.”

“But what about all of the other rabbits?” asked Lucy fearfully.

“I’ll do what I can to make sure they are out of harms way,” said the Prince grimly, jabbing his fork into the brownie and snagging some ice cream along with it.   “I promise you, I’ll do what I can.”

 

The End

of

Part One

Thanks to all of you who are enjoying this story.
I’m very grateful for your comments and support.
I’m thinking about turning the story into a book,
so there may not be any more bits on my blog.  I’m
caught up in life at The Book Lovers Emporium and
I would like to see where it takes me.
Thank you again…<3

 

 

 

 

Edith Olive O’Connor…The Book Lovers Emporium…14

“Things seem to have settled down nicely,” said Tilly.

“I agree,” said Edith.  “Apparently, hot chocolate and a herd of dragons did the trick.”

“And the tiny marshmallows.”

“Yes,” smiled Edith, “and the tiny marshmallows.”

“Jerry’s finished with the room.”

“I took a peek last night.  It’s magnificent,” said Edith.  “He’s a wonderful artist.”

“He said he was inspired.  Are the dragons going to live here?”

“I think so,” said Edith. “Unless he takes them with him.”

“Does he have a real home?”

“He has a crystal cave but he’s always moving around.  He Hops from dimension to dimension and he spends a lot of time in the past with Arthur and the Knights.”

“Wow,” said Tilly.  “Some life.”

“And there’s the war,” said Edith, suddenly staring into the distance.

“What war?”

“The Faerie War, of course.”

“How long has it been going on?”

“No one knows for sure.”

“Why are they fighting?”

“Right now they’re fighting because more faeries want to live among us.  Some have always been here but those faeries go about their business and mind their manners.  There are others, however,  who simply want power…over us.   Truthfully, I can understand how they feel, after all, they were here first.”

“They were?”

“Yes, Faerie has always been here.  Then we came and well, you known how we are.”

Tilly nodded.  “And he’s trying to stop them from coming here?”

“In a way, I suppose.  He just wants peace and humans and faeries don’t always go well together.  Faeries are as violent as we are, they are masters at wordplay and they don’t like us.  They can do a lot of things we can’t and they can use magick.”

“In other words in would be bad for us.”

“Very,” said Edith.

“Will faeries be coming to the convention?”

“A few but they have been here for a very long time and respect our customs and know how to act responsibly.  They are not allowed to use glamours, bind or play tricks on anyone while they are here.”

“Good to know.”

“There’s something in the yard that looks like a space ship and a blimp had a love child that looks a lot like a radiator,” said the white dog.

“Oh that will be the Steampunk delegation.  They are always coming up with new and wonderful modes of transportation.  I admit that I’m more than a little interested to see what they are bringing to the convention this year,” said Edith excitedly.  “They always have the most fabulous things.”

“Remember that dog collar they made for me?” asked the white dog.

“I do,” said Edith.  “I’m sorry it didn’t work out.”

“Me too,” said the dog sadly.  “But with the goggles, nuts, bolts, mirrors and whirling parts I couldn’t get a moment’s rest.”

“Well it looks wonderful hanging over your bed.  But I don’t think you would be out of place by asking them to modify it for you, so that you could wear it.”

“Thank you,” said the dog, turning in a circle.  “I’ll do that tomorrow, after they’re settled.”

Their rooms are decorated in  late seventeen to eighteen hundred Victorian and I filled it with gadgets, so I’m assuming they will be up all night building things.”

“You’re a great host,”said Tilly.  “And Edith, I was wondering…”

“Yes, yes, spit it out girl,” said Edith, sorting through a pile of papers.

“Can I stay here forever,” said Tilly quickly, closing her eyes.

“Of course you can.  You can stay as long as you like.”

Tilly stood in front of the counter with her mouth open and just stared at Ethel.  “I can?”

“Yes, you can.  Now The Green people will be arriving tomorrow.  Can you please make sure there’s plenty of fresh fruit and water in their rooms?” asked Edith.”

“I will,”stammered Tilly, “and thank you.”

“Oh, it’s nothing, there’s plenty of room and you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t supposed to be here so, this is your home until you feel like moving on.”

Tilly rubbed at her eyes and picked up a pile of books that were stacked on the counter.

“Those go to Vincent’s room,” said Edith.  “And tell him that I’ve ordered more gauze for his ear.”

The front door slammed open and a tall thin woman walked in.  Her black hair fell down her back in waves and her emerald green eyes, glistened like the gems they were named after.   Her skin was pale and her lips were ruby red.  “I have arrived.”

“I can see that” said Edith warmly.  “Queen Emerald, how nice to see you.  You look well.”

“I am well Edith.  Are my rooms ready?”

“They are.  Just go into the cellar and make yourself at home.  There are snacks, from the blood bank, in the refrigerator and there’s a microwave there as well.  I’m assuming the rest of your entourage will be coming later this evening.”

“They well be here at midnight,” said the Queen.  “Thank you,” she said, giving Edith a little bow.

“My pleasure,” said Edith nodding in return.

Edith and Tilly were watching the Queen glide toward the back of the next room when Tilly said, “How can you know what the past conventions were like?  How do you know all of these people?  You haven’t been here that long Edith.  I don’t understand.”

“I don’t understand either,” said Edith honestly.  “But I know every single thing that has ever happened in this place, from it’s very beginning.  In a way, it’s as if I’ve actually been her from the start.  I suppose anyone who has this job just understands all of that..”

A paper fell onto Edith’s blotter…

My dearest Edith:

What time is dinner tomorrow?

Yours, M

P.S.  A fresh salad would be most appreciated.  Perhaps an apple crisp for dessert? With ice cream, if it’s not too much trouble.

“He’s coming down for dinner,” whispered Edith, her eyes wide with anticipation.  Then she snapped her fingers and yelled,  “DINING ROOM.”  The walls immediately started rearranging themselves.   Tables and chairs flew through the air and pushed and shoved their way into position.  China leapt from cabinets, which had flung open their doors, and landed on the table.  Silver, polished and gleaming, followed.  Candelabras and a gigantic flower arrangement appeared in the center of the table as glasses landed gently at each place setting.  “Thank you,” said Edith pleasantly.  “That will be all until morning.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edith Olive O’Connor and the Book Lovers Emporium…13

“I do wish he would walk a bit more softly when he paces,” said Edith.  “The shelves are quaking, books are falling to the floor and the tea set in the cabinet is in danger of shattering.”

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM.

“Chicago,” said Edith.  “I think I’d like to send some hot chocolate to him, right about now.  Hot chocolate with the tiny marshmallows he loves so much.  What do you think?”

“I think that’s a wonderful idea,” said Chicago.  “I’ll ask the kitchen to do it.”

“Thank you,” said Edith.  “I have a room full of albino raccoons to care for.”

“They are so darling,” smiled Chicago.  “I saw one in his pajamas this morning and I had to control myself, so that I wouldn’t pick him up and kiss him.”

“Oh, don’t do that!” said Edith, at once.  “They are fully grown and intelligent adult raccoons.  They are here because they are inventors, instructors and scientists.”

“But they are so beautiful with their white faces and lovely ears…”

“Snap out of it,” said Edith.  “Leave them alone unless they speak to you.”

“Fine,” said Chicago moodily.  “I know you’re right.  It’s just that I had a pet raccoon as a child and I just thought…”

“They are not those kinds of raccoons and you know it.”

“I do, but…”

“Please send the hot chocolate to our guest and let’s hope that it has the effect we are all hoping for.”

“Of course,” said Chicago, heading to the kitchen.  “I’ll send some biscuits as well.”

“Excellent idea.  Thank you.  And Chicago…”

“Yes?”

“I’m sorry you can’t pet the raccoons.”

Chicago smiled.  “I know you are.  I’ll make sure he gets the tiny marshmallows, so don’t worry.”

“Tilly and Jerry sent the dragons to another dimension for a few hours.  They can’t handle them while he’s here and that a guy Tim is no help at all.  Maybe you should let them go to him and get it over with,” said the gray cat, sprawling on the counter.

“I don’t think we have a choice,” sighed Edith.  “Just tell Tilly to release them and I’ll take any fallout that may come our way.”

“I think that’s a good idea,” said the gray cat, jumping to the floor.

Ten minutes later there was a terrible roar and the dragons were free.  They disappeared, after making a right turn through the foyer and nearly hooking Edith with their claws but it was over quickly.   After a few minutes, the pacing stopped and piece of paper dropped onto the blotter.  Edith picked it up and smiled.  It said:

Dearest Edith:

Chocolate and dragons.  Aren’t you the clever one.

Yours, M

“Miss Edith.”

Edith looked over the counter and saw a white raccoon.  “May I be of service, Thomas?”

“I just wanted to thank you for all the tree trunks in our quarters.  We do enjoy a soft bed, now and then, but a hollow tree is our favorite place to sleep.  We appreciate your kindness.”

“Thank you.  It’s a great pleasure to have you with us again, Thomas.   I do hope Molly and the children are well.”

“Very well, thank you and Edith, some boxes may be delivered later today.  If you would send them to the lab on the twelfth floor I would be in your debt.”

“It will be done.  Enjoy your time here and feel free to read as many books as you like.”

“Gracious as ever,” he said, taking his leave.

“He’s very nice,”  said Snowball.  “Polite and grateful.”

“Yes he is,” said Edith, writing the titles of books in her ledger.

“Do you think he will make an appearance?”

“I do,” said Edith.  “I think the chocolate and the dragons have calmed him a bit.”

“I met him once,” said Snowball.  “A great man.  Stardust fell from his midnight blue robe as he walked.”

“Oh, that’s my favorite robe,” said Edith, happily.  “I do hope he wears it, if he comes down.”

“Edith.”

“Yes Snowball?”

“I’m happy you’re here.”

Edith choked up and felt tears sting her eyes.  She went to the cat and put her arms around him.  “I’m happy that I’m here too, Snowball.”

“EXCUSE ME, THIS IS ALL VERY TOUCHING, BUT WHERE SHOULD WE PUT OUR LUGGAGE?”

“You need to lower your voice and make yourself visible at once,” said Edith sternly.

“Oh, sorry,” said the Tiger. “My bad.”

“Your rooms are on the ground floor and they open into the forest,” said Edith.  “You know the rules.  NO HUNTING.”

“But stalking is okay, right?” asked the tiger, his tail swishing back and forth.

“I’d rather you didn’t,” said Edith.  “You frightened quite a few of the others when you did that last time.”

“But Edith, we’re CATS and stalking is what we do,” moaned the tiger.  “You’ve seen us…we get all focused, wiggly and tense.”

“This is a Convention, Bobby.  Mind your manners and keep the rest of your party in line or you’ll answer to me.  Understood?”

“Understood,” said Bobby.   “But it won’t be as much fun.”

“There’s a new book in your room.  It’s called Tiger by the Tail and it’s about two tigers who fall in love…”

“Oh, don’t tell me, don’t tell me,” said Bobby quickly.  “Thank you Edith.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Did you see him yet?”

“No.  Not yet.”

“I hope he comes down,” said Bobby.  “Claws and fingers crossed.”

“”Claws and fingers crossed,” agreed Edith.

“These are for you,” said Bobby, pushing a brightly colored tin across the counter.

Edith removed the lid and snickered.  “Hard candy in the shape of tigers,” she laughed.  “How ever did you manage it?”

“Snowball knew a guy.”

“I’m sure he did,” she said, popping a red tiger into her mouth.  “Delicious,” she moaned.  “Just delicious.”

“I’m happy you like them Edith.”

“I do and I’m very, very grateful for your thoughtfulness but you still can’t hunt or stalk anyone.”

“It was worth a shot,” said Bobby softly.

“It certainly was,” said Edith, carefully placing the box of candy on a shelf under the counter.  “And Bobby…”

“Yes Edith?”

“Try not to blow anything up.”

“You’re no fun Edith,”  growled the big cat.  “No fun at all.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edith Olive O’Connor and the Book Lovers Emporium…12

The Book Lovers Emporium shook to it’s very foundation.  Well, it would have, if it had a real foundation.

“He’s here,” said Edith, straightening her jacket.

“Ten cases of cheese doodle crisps just arrived,” said Chicago, placing the shipping slip on the counter.  “I had them put the crates in the kitchen.  One of the conventioneers sent them ahead.  They’re for the Unusual Things gathering this weekend.”

“Thank you,” said Edith, as she listened to the racket around her.

Stars are falling into the backyard,” said Snowball, as he walked into the room.  “A lot of them.  So far, no major fires or craters.”

“Things will straighten out as soon as he settles in,” said Edith hopefully.

“The dragons are making a terrible racket and there’s so much smoke in their hallway I can’t even see,” sighed Chicago.  “I put a fan on the floor but all it’s really doing is moving the smoke around, it’s not getting rid of it.”

Edith shut her eyes and snapped her fingers.  “It should be better now.”

“Thank you,” said Chicago, coughing slightly.

“INCOMING,” yelled Edith, as books flew in from every direction and stacked themselves on the counter and on the floor.  A piece of paper fluttered down from above and landed on the blotter in front of Edith.  It read:  Edith dear.  I’ll send for these later.  Meanwhile please let them sort themselves out until I’m ready for them.  Yours, M.

“Look at these titles,” said Chicago, bending over to have a look at the books.  “There’s an awful lot of Grimoires’ here and some of them look positive ancient.  They’re so old they’re falling apart.  And there are books on ancient herbs and birds.  Three books on dragons and mythical creatures and one on submarines.”

“No poetry books?” asked Edith, in alarm.

“Yes, four,” said Chicago, turning sideways to read the spines.

Edith let out the breath she hadn’t known she had been holding.

Tilly half fell through the archway and into the room.  She looked singed, charred, smudged and her hair looked as if some of it had actually been burned off  in places, but her blue eyes were alive with excitement.  “I think we’ve calmed them down a bit.  Large Wings is thrashing about but we’re letting him watch a movie about dragons so, he’s eating popcorn and acting less aggressive.”

“He’s watching a film?” asked Edith.  “And eating popcorn?”

“He is,” said Tilly.  “They’re all watching it and eating popcorn.”

Edith rubbered her eyes.  “They can hear his heartbeat and it drives them wild with the need to be with him, so there’s only so much you can do.”

“INCOMING,” screeched Chicago, as twenty or thirty books sailed into the foyer, some hitting the wall, others knocking down those books that had already stacked themselves.

“How long is he staying?” asked Tilly.  “He can’t possibly read all these books in a couple of days.”

“He doesn’t read them exactly,” said Edith. “They just…share their knowledge with him.  They basically tell him what he needs, or wants, to know.”

“Wow,” said Tilly.

“Indeed,” said Edith, looking at her hands.

“You’re wearing nail polish,” said Chicago, grinning.

“It’s not the first time,” said Edith, busying herself with the things on her blotter. “I’ve worn it before.  I’d wear it all the time but it chips from handling all the books and papers.”

“Is it for him or is it for the Unusual Things Convention Edith,” teased Tilly. “Tell us.”

“It’s for me,” said Edith, picking up a few of the books that had landed behind the counter.”

“Right, then,” said Chicago, trying not to laugh. “Is there anything I can do?”

Just then a baby Roc flew through the wall and crashed into the books, as he tumbled to the floor.

“Are you alright?” asked Edith, looking down at the pile of feathers.

“I think so,” said the Roc.  “He called me.”

“I gathered that,” she said flatly, pointing to her right.  “Go that way, then up.  You can’t miss his rooms,”

“Thank you,” said the Roc, straightening a few feathers with his beak.  “The war,” he said, shaking his head.  “He’s tired.”

“Well, we’ll try to keep things quiet,” said Edith.  “At least until this weekend.”

The Roc nodded and took off, barely missing the crystal chandelier glittering in the center of the room.  The wind from his wings knocked books and several people, one of them Leonardo, to the floor.

“Okay, then,” said Tilly.  “A Roc, right?”

“Yes, a Roc,” said Edith.

“What do you think he’s going to do with a Roc?”

Edith shook her head. “No idea but help me move some of these books away from the front of the counter, please.”

“Will we get to meet him?”

“It depends,” said Edith.

“On?”

“His mood.”

Tilly nodded.  “My brother’s like that.”

“I sincerely doubt that,” said Edith, putting a book that suddenly burst into flames, out with her bare hands.  “You better get back to the dragons.”

“If you need me, just yell or send Gray to get me.”

“Yes, yes, now go.”

“Those won’t fit in my basket,” said the white dog, looking at the enormous piles of books.

“You don’t have to deliver them, love,” said Edith.  “They’re for him.”

The dog nodded and walked away.

As the dog left, there was a true moment of silence.  Edith closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep that refreshed her completely.  When she opened her eyes, she could still see the white dog leaving through the doorway.  “I love my life,” mumbled Edith.  And at that very moment a bevy of albino raccoons walked through the front door.

“Are we too early?” asked the smart looking raccoon, wearing a black tuxedo.  “For the convention, I mean?”

 

 

 

 

Edith Olive O’Connor and The Book Lovers Emporium 10

“I heard you kept one of the rabbits,” said the gray cat.

“Yes, I did,” said Edith, taking a bite out of an enormous brownie. “If the Magician’s are going to teach classes on how to pull a rabbit out of a hat they should learn to be more careful.”

“What did you name her?”

Edith moved a few things around on the counter, “Miss Lucy Fuzzy Paws.”

“Nice,” said the cat.  “I’ll just call her Lucy, if that’s okay.”

“That’s fine.”

“There’s a lot of smoke in the hallway outside Jerry’s room.”

“It’s from the dragons, nothing to worry about.  They have plenty of fire extinguishers,” said Edith.

“The new guy…”

“His name is Tim,” said Edith.  “Tim Johnson.  He’s a writer, among other things.”

“Among what other things?”

“He said he’s a dragon trainer.”

“Do you believe him.”

Edith shrugged.  “I don’t have any reason not to believe him but it seems…”

“Unbelievable?” asked the cat.

“Yes.  I mean where would he find dragons?  It’s not like they’re flying around everywhere.”

“Maybe he Hopped,” said the cat, licking his paw.

“It’s possible, I suppose.  People do Hop dimensions, so he could have gone someplace where  dragons are plentiful.”

“Let’s go with that,” said the cat.  “He seems like an okay guy.”

Edith nodded distractedly and gave the cat a handful of treats.  “I could only get two Dodo birds for Saturday night and the Griffin said he can’t be here until nine.  He has another engagement before that.”

“That’s not bad,” said the cat, stretching on the counter.  “Griffins are popular guest speakers.”

“Well, it’s the best I can do,” said Edith.   “Unless I ask Snowball for help and I’d rather not do that.”

“I saw two First Editions of Alice in Wonderland, sneaking toward the backdoor early this morning.  When I asked them where they thought they were going they said they wanted to look for a Rabbit Hole and have an outdoor Tea Party.”

“What did you tell them?” asked Edith.

“I told them to get back on their shelves or I would have them put behind glass.”

“Harsh,” said Edith.  “You could have just told them that they’re First Editions and have to take better care of themselves..”

“I said that last time,” said the cat, starting to doze.

“HI EDITH,” yelled Tilly, leaping into the room.  “Can anyone go to the Unusual Things Party this weekend?”

“Uh….”

“I want to go,” said Tilly excitedly,  “I reallllllllly want to go Edith, pleeeeeease say that I can.  I’ll take a million pictures.”

“Hey, I’m trying to sleep here,” said the gray cat, unsheathing his claws.

“That’s all you do is sleep,” said Tilly, kissing his tummy.

The cat curled into a ball.  “I told you I’m ticklish and that you are not to kiss me on my tummy.”

“Yeah, I heard you,” said Tilly, trying to kiss him again.

“I’ll scratch you,” hissed the cat.

“No you won’t,” said Tilly.

“No you won’t,” said Edith.

“Okay I won’t, but I’m thinking about it,” said the cat dropping to the floor.  “I’m going to find a lap.”

“I saw Walt Whitman in the Poetry Room.  You might want to try him,” said Tilly.

“Thanks,” said the gray cat, swishing his tail.

“Edith,” said Tilly, taking a deep breath.  “We’ve been letting some of the dragons out at night.”

“You’ve been WHAT?”

“Just for a little while.  Jerry thought it would be good for them.  I mean they’re BIG animals and they need exercise,” whined Tilly.  “We felt sorry for them. All they were doing was flying around in the ceiling, if there is one.  Please don’t be angry with us.”

“You have to return any jewels or gold they brought here and do it at once,” said Edith immediately.  “And you can’t let them out again.  Not unless you open another dimension where they will be safe.  DO YOU UNDERSTAND?”

“No, but I’m sure you’ll keep talking until I do.”

Edith came around the end of the counter and stood in front of Tilly.  “You must protect the dragons at all costs and if anything happens to even one of their scales you, my dear girl, will be held responsible.  Do….you….understand….me?”

“I do, but I don’t know how to open another dimension.”

Edith returned to her position behind the counter.  She pulled out a crystal bowl and poured some strange looking liquid into it.  She added a few herbs and then lit two cigarettes, threw them into the mix and stirred counter clockwise until the mixture caught on fire.  She waited until the flames died out then poured the remaining liquid onto the counter.  She blew on the mixture until numbers appeared.  She wrote the numbers down, snapped her fingers and watched the counter clean itself.  She then put on dark blue glasses and punched the numbers into  a small handheld device, which glowed so brightly that Tilly had to shield her eyes.  Once the light had gone out, Edith removed the glasses and handed the device to Tilly.  “Push this button once when you want to let them out,” she said, showing her a large red dot.  “Press it twice when you want them to come back into the room.”

“What are you Edith?” asked Tilly, in amazement.

Edith shrugged.  “To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what I am anymore, Tilly.  I belong to the shop now and I become whatever it wants me to be.”

“Wow!” said Tilly,  “I want to be just like you, when I grow up.”

Edith smiled.  “You can go to the Unusual Things Party on Saturday night but only if you promise to behave yourself.”

“Oh thank you Edith,” said Tilly lunging at her.  “You’re the best.”

Edith stood there and let herself be hugged.

“I have a feeling this is going to be a very long weekend,” she whispered to herself, as Tilly bounced out of the room.

“Miss Edith,” said a very small voice.

Edith looked down and saw a fat chipmunk.  “Yes?  May I help you?” she said kindly.

“Um, there’s a call for you.  In, um, uh, the back,” he said, pointing with his tiny arm.

Edith paled.  “Thank you kind sir,” she said, handing him several kernels of corn.  “I understand.”

The chipmunk nodded, shoved the corn into his cheeks and raced for the door.

“Who could be calling at this time of the day,” muttered Edith, as she ran her fingers through her hair and straightened her blouse.  “Might as well get it over with,” she sighed as she walked toward the backdoor.

 

 

 

 

Edith Olive O’Connor and The Book Lovers Emporium…9

“Have you seen the room?” asked Chicago excitedly.

“No, I haven’t been able to leave the counter since yesterday,” said Edith.  “The Convention of Unusual Things is this weekend and I’m swamped with requests for, well, unusual things.”

“I know Jerry didn’t want anyone to see it until he was finished but I just happened to be walking by when Tilly came out to get something.   Edith, it’s absolutely amazing.”

“What did you see?” asked Edith.

“It’s all blue and black night sky, from the floor to as high up as I could see, with stars,  billowing clouds and different size dragons coming out from the walls.  Some of them are huge.  It’s incredible and shockingly beautiful.  It’s a masterpiece.”

“It certainly sounds like it,” said Edith, running her finger down the page of a telephone book.  “Where do you suppose I could get three Dodo birds and a Griffin for Saturday night?”

“No idea,” said Chicago.  “But Edith, the room is more than we could have ever hoped for.”

“The shop always knows how to get what it wants.”

“Do you think Jerry will go home when he’s finished?”

“I have no…”

“WHAT THE…” shouted the man in the tan raincoat as he smashed through the front door and rolled across the floor.  “Oh great,” he said, slowly sitting up,  rubbing his hand over his shirt.  “I just bought this.”

“Your shirt seems to be covered in ink,” said Chicago helpfully.

“YES, IT DOES,” said the man, picking the empty India Ink bottle off the floor.  “My shirt is ruined and the ink is gone.”

“Not true,” said Edith pointedly.  “While your shirt may be beyond help, your INK is not gone, it’s busy staining my wooden floor.”

“Oh, right,” said the man.  “Sorry about that.”

“Edith will fix it,” said Chicago.  “Don’t worry about it.”

“Thank you so very much for that vote of confidence,” said Edith, glaring at Chicago.

“Well you can fix it,” said Chicago stubbornly.

“Okay sir, who are you and what do you do?” ask Edith.

“What a warm welcome,” said the man, looking around.

“Are you in need of a book?”

“A book?”

“Yes, a book.  A stack of papers, bound on one side, with printed words on each sheet.  A sheet is called a page.  You read what’s on one page then turn it and read what’s on the next one.”

“Is she always this mean?”  asked the man, staring at Chicago.

“Pretty much.”

Edith closed her eyes, counted to ten and said, “Forgive me.  I’m sincerely sorry.  Is there anything I can get for you?”

“Water?”

“Besides that?  This is a bookstore after all.”

“Do you have any books on dragons?” asked the man.

Tilly chose that moment to run into the room and knock the man to the floor once again.  “Oh, sorry,” she said, offering him her hand.  “Didn’t see you.”

“I’m over six feet tall and weigh two hundred and sixty five pounds, I’m covered in ink and  you didn’t see me?”

“How about if I say that I wasn’t paying attention, so I didn’t see you?”

“Okay,” said the man, straightening his trench coat.

“Who’s he?” asked Tilly, reaching for a donut from a plate that wasn’t there a second before.

“I don’t know yet,” said Edith, offering the man a donut.

“Where did that plate of donuts come from?  It wasn’t there a minute ago,” said the man, edging toward the door.”

“Sure it was,” said Tilly.  “I saw it when I walked in here and just grabbed one. Hey, do you know anything about dragons?”

The man looked at her, his eyes suddenly sparkling with tears.  “I do,” he said softly.  “Quite a lot, actually.”

“Great,” said Tilly brightly.  “Come with me.”

“Your neckless is beautiful,” he whispered.  “It reminds me of a Green Dragoness, I used to know.  May I touch it?”

“Not a chance but hurry up, we have a lot to discuss,” said Tilly, pulling him by the sleeve.

Chicago and Edith watched them walk down an aisle, Tilly chattering and walking backward, the man following silently with his head down and his arms at his side.

“Did he tell you his name?”

“No, he didn’t,”  said Edith, watching books pile up in a nice neat stack on the counter to her left.

“He knows about dragons,” whispered Chicago.

“That’s what he said,” agreed Edith. “I wonder when he’s from?”

“I’d say the future but his clothes look more like the 1940s.”

“You know how some of those future people are,” said Edith.  “They pick a look and go with it.”

“That’s true,” muttered Chicago.  “They make the silliest mistakes.  Remember the girl who was supposed to be from the eighteen hundreds but wore a T-shirt with John Lennon’s face on it?”

“It’s all in good fun,” smiled Edith.  “They’re like big kids at a costume party.”

“But dragons?”

“He smelled like dragons,” said the gray cat.

“Have you ever actually smelled a dragon?” asked Edith expectantly.

“A couple of them,” he said, scratching at his neck with his back foot.

“Well, then,”  said Chicago, eyes sparkling.  “He must be in the right place.”

“HAH!” shouted Edith.  “Dodo birds for rent,” she said, happily.  “Oh wait, they need a three month advance notice so they have time to catch them.”

“I know a guy,” hissed the white cat.

“I’m sure you do,” said Edith, her back suddenly straight.  “But I’ll only use him if it’s necessary, thank you.”

“Have it your way,” said the cat, jumping off the counter.  “I’m going to find a lap to sleep on, you coming Gray?”

“Not now,” said Gray.

“I’ll be in the Writer’s Room, if you want to chase string later,” said the white cat.

“I’ll find you.”

“White has a rather seedy bunch of friends,”  said Edith.

“Snowball’s okay,” said the gray cat.  “He had a rough kittenhood. He was raised in an alley, the only white cat around.  It was tough.  His mother was a little thing.  Pretty, but small.  A family finally took them in and gave them a home, but Snowball still carries the scars.”

“I didn’t know,” said Edith sadly.

“Neither did I,” said Chicago.

“Yeah, well, Snowball doesn’t like to talk about the old days.”

“How about you Gray?”

“My mom left after we were weaned.  My dad, a big gray Tom, expected us to grow up fast.  I had two sisters and a brother but I don’t know where they are now.  He taught us how to steal fish and food from behind restaurants. But people put poison out, so we had to be careful.”

Chicago bent down, lifted the gray cat into her arms and started kissing his face.

“Normally I  would scratch you and say something like, ‘yeah, yeah,’ but you smell good and you’re really soft, so….”

“Lovely moment,” said Edith. “Now, if we could all get back to work.”

The white dog came into the room, wearing a harness attached to a lovely wicker basket.  He stopped in front of Edith and waited while she put the books from the counter into basket.  “Take these to Jerry and Tilly please.   Here’s a lovely bone for your trouble,” she added, tucking the bone in with the books.

“Hey Gray,” said the dog, looking up.  “I keep asking for cash but Edith keeps giving me bones.  I should get bones for doing nothing.  I bet she pays you in catnip.  How are we supposed to invest bones and nip?”

“I feel your pain,” said Gray.

“My client is just about here,” said Chicago, putting the cat on the counter.  “Just send her in Edith.  Thank you.”

“Has she read your cards?” asked the dog, watching Chicago walk away.

“Yeah,” said Gray.  “She said I would never have kittens.”

“Did you tell her you were a guy?”

“She knows that,” said Gray,  “I’m just not sure she knows where kittens come from.”

“Got it,” said the dog, snorting with laughter.

“Ah, what can I do for you Mr. Dali?” asked Edith warily.

“Edith, the wall in my room is melting again.”

“I’ve told you a thousand times, you can just think it back into place.   Remember last time?”

“I do, I do.  Thank you,” said Dali.  “Did the clocks I ordered arrive?”

“They’ll be here tomorrow,” said Edith.  “Now why don’t you take this lovely bottle of wine and go and fix your wall before it’s too late.”

“Until tomorrow, then.”

“Yes, yes, until then,” said Edith sweetly.

“I never go into his rooms,” said the small mouse gnawing on a donut.  He scares me.  I always feel as if I’m melting whenever I’m around him.”

“You’re looking well Loretta,” said Edith merrily.  “How are the mouselettes?”

“They’re fine, thank you.  And thank you for the lovely cheese.  We all enjoyed it very much.”

Edith held out her hand and the mouse jumped into her palm.  “You are a dear friend,” said Edith lovingly.  “If you ever need anything just let me know.”

“Thank you,” said the mouse.  “You are most generous.  I must get back to the babies, I just wanted you to know that we named one of the girls Edith in your honor.”

Edith was speechless, a knot formed in her throat and she nodded gratefully.  The tiny mouse wrapped her tail as far around Edith’s finger as she could, and squeezed.  “I know how hard you work,” she squeaked.  “You make it look so easy but I know how tired you are and how heavy the load is.  I want to thank you Edith, for making all of our lives so much better.”

Edit lifted her hand to her face and kissed the mouse on her side.

“Get some rest Edith,” said the mouse. “And I love you too,” she said, scampering away.

Edith stood behind the counter and took a deep breath. “I’m the luckiest person who ever lived,” she said to herself.

“RABBITS ARE IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM,” someone yelled.  “THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!  RABBITS ARE IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM!”

Edith started to giggle.  “I’m the luckiest person ever.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edith Olive O’Connor and the Book Lovers Emporium…8

“Where can I get really good pizza?” asked Tilly.  “Thin crust, crispy, cheese, mushrooms, spinach and scalding hot?”

“In the kitchen,” said Edith, not looking up from her work.  “You can get whatever you like.”

“Can’t I just order out?”

“Just think about what you want and the kitchen will have it ready for you.”

“Did I die?” asked Tilly suddenly, staring at her hands.

“No.  I would have noticed, believe me.”

“But this has to be heaven.”

“I suppose it might seem that way to you,” said Edith, checking things off one of her many lists,  “if getting pizza is your idea of heaven.”

“Jerry’s drawing up plans for the room Chicago asked him to paint.  I’m taking pictures from start to finish, so it will be documented.  I took quite a few photographs of Hemingway and Fitzgerald together, before they started fighting.  Hemingway can be mean.  I don’t know why Scott hangs around with him.”

“They’re friends,” said Edith flatly.

“You’re not really interested in much are you Edith?”

Edith put down her pencil and looked at Tilly.  “I am responsible for the running of this shop.  Caring for The Book Lovers Emporium is a task bigger than you can imagine.  It’s a job that crosses time and space and then some.  I can’t afford to spend hours bouncing around.”

“I’m sorry,” said Tilly, patting Edith’s hand.  “No wonder you’re no fun.”

“Excuse me?”  barked Edith.  “I certainly AM fun.  I can be a lot of fun.”

“If you say so,” said Tilly, looking skeptical.

“I can be,” said Edith, once again, but the energy she had previously put into her words had faded.

“Can we have a dance?”

“This is a bookstore, not a dancehall.”

Please, can we have a dance?”

Edith actually laid her head on the counter.  “Fine.  You can have a dance when Jerry finishes painting the room.  We can celebrate then.”

“You’re the best Edith,” said Tilly, leaning across the counter, her arms outstretched.

“I don’t do hugs,” said Edith, pushing Tilly away.

“Why not?”

Edith shrugged.  “Go get your pizza.”

“Are you happy here?”

“I am,” said Edith, smiling a little.  “It’s just that there’s always so much to do.”

“I can help,” said Tilly. ” Tell me what you want me to do.”

“I’ll think about it,” said Edith softly.  “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“What’s that?” asked Edith, pointing at Tilly’s arm.

“Smoke,” she laughed.  “My dragon tattoo started breathing a little fire last night.”

“Yeah,” hissed Gray.  “Almost singed my tail.”

“She did not,” said Tilly. “Not even close.

“INCOMING,” yelled Edith, as two large books flew through the air and landed on the counter with thuds.  Their covers sprang open and the pages started fluttering and flipping back and forth until suddenly, they just stopped.

Tilly pulled one of the books toward her. “Look at these dragons, Edith.  Jerry was stuck on a main magical creature for the largest wall in the room and this just might be it.”

“It’s beautiful,” whispered Edith, running her hand over the page.  Smoke came out of the dragons nose and Edith pulled her hand away.

At that moment, Tilly’s tattoo started wiggling on her arm.  “Whoa, where do you think you’re going?” she asked, in amazement.

“Hold on,” spit the dragon.”

“Amanda?” gasped Tilly, staring at her arm.

“Do you have another dragon who answers to that name?”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m becoming real, Tilly,” sighed the dragon.  “Get with the program will you!”

“Real?”

“Yes, real, as opposed to NOT real,” said Amanda, in a voice that made it quite clear that she was talking to a two-year old.  “Now hold still.”

Tilly did as she was told and looked at Edith.  Edith looked back and watched as Amanda, using her front arms for leverage, pushed off of Tilly, dragging the rest of her body with her.  Once she was free she shook, flapped her wings and then stretched.  “I’ve wanted to do that for a long time.  You have no idea what it’s like to live on someone’s skin.”  With that, Amanda flew to Tilly’s shoulder, walked around her neck three times, curled around her throat, said, “If you need me just yell,” and went to sleep.

“Edith?”

“Yes, Tilly.”

“What just happened?”

“I think your dragon tattoo isn’t on your arm any longer.”

Tilly looked down and saw that the spot Amanda had once occupied was now empty.  “There’s a real dragon on my neck,” said Tilly, her eyes wide.

“I can see her.”

“OMG HOW COOL IS THAT????” she yelled, waving her hands in the air.  “I’m going to go show Jerry,”  she said, taking off at a run.  The she stopped, turned, and ran back to the counter.  She grabbed the books, kissed the cat and was gone.

“I love it here,” said the gray cat.”

“I do too,” said Edith, scratching his chin.

“What do you think is going to happen next?”

“Next  I’ll send pizza to the Artist’s Room.  I’ll send some fries, a couple of drinks  and maybe some ice cream as well.”

“You’re starting to like her Edith.  Admit it,” purred the gray cat.

“What’s not to like?” asked the White cat, leaping rom the railing behind the counter to the blotter in front of Edith.  “Right Edith?”

“I guess she’s not that bad,” smiled Edith, and the two cats  chuckled softly and began to wash up for dinner.  “Truthfully,” she sighed, “I don’t know why Scott hangs around with Earnest either,”

 

 

 

 

Edith Olive O’Connor…The Book Lovers Emporium 7

“What was that?” asked Tilly, walking up to the counter.

“Thunder,” sighed Edith.

Tilly went to the front door and opened it.  “It’s sunny outside.  Blue sky and white fluffy clouds.”

“I didn’t say the thunder was outside.” said Edith.

“No, you didn’t,” laughed Tilly.  “Where’s it coming from?”

“The weather room.”

“There’s a weather room?”

“Sometimes.”

“I LOVE this place,” shouted Tilly, dancing around.

“The things you asked for have arrived.  I had them put into your workroom.”

“I have a workroom?”

Edith signed again and said, “Yes, you have a workroom.  Where else would you work?  It’s to your left.  Go past the statue of the angel with one wing, then turn right.  After that, go through the red door on your left.  Go down three flights of stairs, go through the blue door, then up seven flights and your room is at the top.”

“Why does she only have one wing?”

That’s what your asking me?”

“What do you want me to ask you?”

“Something about the directions,” said Edith, eyeing her suspiciously.

“Oh, got it,” she said, repeating the directions perfectly.  “So, why does she only have one wing?”

“She gave one of her wings to her lover, to save him and let him know she would wait for him forever.”

“Wow, that’s dedication.  So she can only fly in a circle, right?”

“What is wrong with you Tilly? That story brings tears to the eyes of most people who hear it and all you can think about is that she’ll be flying in circles.”

“Well, I’m a problem solver.  She’s severely handicap without her other wing. How long will she be waiting?  Where did he go?”

“You are…” stammered Edith.

“Yeah, I get that a lot,” smiled Tilly, leaping onto the counter.

“OFF!” yelled Edith.  “NO ONE SITS ON THIS COUNTER.  EVER!” she said, hitting at her with a handful of papers.

“Kay,” laughed Tilly,  jumping down.  “You shouldn’t get so upset about things Edith, it’s not good for you.  You’re all red and lumpy looking.  And the cats sit on the counter all the time.”

“Don’t you have somewhere else to be?”

“I do.  I’m just waiting for Jerry.”

“You met him?”

“Well, that’s kind of obvious, isn’t it?  How could I be waiting for him if I didn’t know who he was?”

“Go stand over there,” said Edith wearily, shooing her toward the door.

“Now that was a loud thunder clap,” said Tilly, brushing plaster off her shoulders.

Edith picked up a broom with a long handle and started pounding on the wall. The thunder stopped immediately.

“I think you scared the thunder.”

Edith glared at her.  Now if I could only do that with you,” she snapped.

“Really? You want to hit me with a broom?” asked Tilly.  “I thought we were getting along pretty well.”

“Well, you thought wrong.”

“Um…”

“You are out of control and you don’t follow any rules.  You just do whatever you want, whenever you want to do things and you don’t…”

“And I don’t what?”

“Behave.”

“Sure I do, Edith.  I just don’t behave the way you want me to behave.”

“Hello Jerry,” said Edith weakly.

“Hi.”

The gray walked into the room and rubbed against Tilly’s legs.  “I slept great last night,” he said.  “You were so warm and toasty.  Keep using that Lilly of the Valley shampoo, it reminds me of a garden I once hunted in when I was a kitten.”

“I promise,” said Tilly sweetly,  petting his back.

“So, will you take pictures of the walls before I start painting?” asked Jerry.

“That’s what I’m here for,” said Tilly.  “Let’s do it,” she snickered, grabbing his arm and pulling him away, skipping as she went.

“I still like her,” said the White cat.  “They make a cute couple.  Now feed me, please,” he meowed, licking his front paw.

“She’s like a wild thing,” grumbled Edith.  “Untamed.”

“Lighten up Edith.  You were wild once yourself,” said the cat.  “Don’t you remember?”

“Not like that, I wasn’t.”

“I think she’s exactly what we need around here.  This place has been stuffy far too long,” purred the cat.  “Uh oh, here comes Michelangelo and I don’t want to hear about how his back still hurts from painting the ceiling in that chapel again.   I guess I’ll get my own food.  And, by the way, Puss and Boots is not on it’s shelf again.  If you find it please let me know.   See ya Edith.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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