I went to the Gwinnett area today to hit up the Mall of Georgia. I had a pretty good time, but my trip to Barnes and Noble inspired me to write a short story called "Stolen Moments" and I wanted to put it in my blog, so here it is:
There it was: a Barnes and Noble, the holy grail of book stores as far as she was concerned. Excitement filled her chest as she pulled the cold metal handle of the heavy wooden door. Walking through the foyer it hit her, the best smell in the world; the smell of brand new books. This was the difference between a bookstore and a library: all of the books in the bookstore, and their smell, had the potential to be yours, to be owned. This fact made the bookstore sacred to her. Stepping through the threshold of the store she paused and took a deep breath in through her nose. An involuntary happiness made the corners of her mouth turn upwards. She loved that smell. It was worth parking the car and getting out in the rain just to have smelled that smell. As she opened her eyes the smile on her face grew even larger; the store had two levels. "Perfect" she thought, "just perfect." Her vision first landed on the wall of art books to her right. She walked over and scanned the covers of the photography books. Breathtaking pictures of sunrises and human hands filled the shelves. She smiled, yet again. She picked up a rather large book with pictures from National Geographic magazine. Like a flip book, she quickly ran the pages over her thumb and inhaled. The scent of ink and paper filled her senses as she set the book back on the shelf. Turning slowly she took in the first level: art, news stand, maps, food, journals, and reference. Nothing much more she wanted to spend her short amount of time on here so she walked past the information counter to the escalator. Taking her first step onto the moving stairs, her eyes lusted over the display of Moleskin journals. She made a mental note that it would be nice to take a closer look at them on her way out. The second floor held a whole new world of discoveries. Religion, self-help, audio books, science fiction, non-fiction, biographies, auto-biographies...books on everything she could think of. To her left was a large green and white sign that read "Fiction/Literature" and she headed straight for the stacks that lay beyond. As she made her way through the stacks she observed titles and a few famous authors she knew: Austen, Dickens, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, O'Connor, Poe, Steinbeck, Walker...all with their spines smiling back at her. As she turned into the last stack in the section, her hand trailing along the tops of each novel, she stopped as her gaze fell upon her favorite section: Theatre. She stood in front of the small section and took her purse off her shoulder, dropping it to the floor. Her hand reached out for "Othello" first because Shakespeare filled the top two shelves. She scanned it's pages and read the first few pages of her favorite scene. Placing it back on the shelf, she squatted to look at the lower three shelves. Here were names she knew like old friends: Albee, Beckett, Brecht, Chekhov, Churchill, Durang, Ibsen, Ives, Mamet, Miller, Pinter, Sartre, Shaw, Simon, Wilde, Wilder, Williams...all had pages of stories she had read a million times, skimmed through, picked apart, or never touched. There were anthologies, books on acting and directing, single plays, monologue books, books of just one act plays; everything a theatre geek like herself could wish for. She laughed softly at how excited she was just looking at three piddly shelves of books. But her heartbeat quickened as she picked up an anthology of ten minute plays she already owned. She loved this book. Any story that can make you feel emotions that you cannot put into words in ten minutes was absolutely brilliant. She found one of her favorites and read it quickly. Smiling, she carefully placed it in the small upright space it came from on the middle shelf. Having sat down on the scratchy carpet of the cool second level, she shifted her weight as a loud beep emitted from her pocket. She dug her phone out from her pocket and saw that there was a new text message. It was from a woman who held a special place in her life and heart; a woman who claims her as a spiritual daughter. A giggle escaped her as she read the two worded message: "Good now". This meant her time here was up. Her spiritual momma had finally gotten a break in her work day and was ready for a visit. She gathered up her belongings and ran her fingers across the spines of the perfect books as she headed down the aisle. After stepping off the escalator and crossing to the door she sighed as she turned and pushed the giant door open with her back, taking it all in one last time. With a half smile and a raised eyebrow she pulled up the hood of her raincoat as the space of pavement grew between her and her few, lovely stolen moments in the bookstore.