I pushed the bookshop door open, slowly. Not by choice, it was one of those heavy doors that require effort to open. It creaked, as old doors tend to do, and a bell rang deep within the shop.
This was one of those old shops, wood shelves, creaky floors, narrow aisles with books piled everywhere. Knickknacks filled the few empty spaces, an old-style globe of the world here, two candlesticks with melted candles there. At the end of the aisle, a small alcove held a table and two armchairs, the table covered in still more books. A black cat slept on one of the chairs, oblivious to my presence.
I’ve always loved bookshops with character and this one had character in spades. I almost expected to find a working crystal ball, or a real spell book filed under , that tired plot-point from so many recent stories and movies. But there were no actual spell books, no swirling visions of the past or future, just the best collection of old books and first editions I’d ever seen. By the time I’d finished browsing I had probably half a month’s income worth of books in my pile, and the sun was low in the sky.
It was then I realised I hadn’t seen the owner once since I’d walked in.
I walked towards the back of the shop. “Hello? Is anyone there?” No answer. The counter which held the till, and several precarious piles of books, had no one near it. There was a small door behind it, a door that stood open with a cool blue light coming from it.
I probably should have stayed out, probably should have waited patiently, however it was late and the pile of books was making my arms ache, so I pushed the door open and stepped inside. What I saw there, well, I can’t actually tell you. It would violate the oath I swore, the oath I was forced to swear. Not that I mind to be honest, my new job is a lot more fun than being a legal assistant, and who knows, maybe one day I’ll get to travel on business and…
Let’s just say that the sky is not the limit. Not for me. Not any longer.