I pass by the waitress on my way out, feeling positive and sunshine vibes radiating from her direction again like the yellowy light earlier. It’s weird how I don’t know how to switch it off or on yet and that I’m only feeling certain people’s auras no matter whether they aren’t or are Clepsydra. This will all hopefully get clearer with the training I’ll receive.
After slowly making my way towards the book store entrance, I step inside and smell the scent of aged paper and dust. I look around and see high wooden shelves dividing up the floor space as well as tables and couches framing the edges of the store, also filled to the brim with books. Some balance precariously on chairs or form leaning towers of Pisa where they sit on the floor.
There are only two or three people scurrying about and flicking though books like field mice gathering food among tall stalks of wheat. I walk over to the counter, behind which stands a bearded old man in a woolen sweater and I address him. “Excuse me, sir, but where is your history section?”
The man stands from his seat on the stool, picking up a walking cane before inching his way to the front of the counter. He leans heavily on the stick, clearing his throat before speaking slowly but purposefully, every syllable and letter pronounced properly.
“Now, let me think. I’m pretty certain we packed them in shelf B on level 1 when we re-organised a couple of weeks ago...” He shuffles off, stroking his grey beard as he walks towards the shelves. I follow behind him, letting him get where he wants to.
I let the old man lead as he mumbles something about dusting shelves and re-organising early fiction books, eventually coming to a stop in front of a shelf of books on the far side of the store. His creaky frame leans heavily on his walking stick as he reaches around the corner of the shelf and pulls out a folding ladder.
"Here you go my dear, most of the books you're looking for should be towards the top few shelves on these two side-by-side displays. I would go up and show you but my body is not as strong and supple as it used to be. Stop by at the front desk again if you run into any trouble"
I look up to the top shelf, then graciously take the ladder from the elderly man. I unfold it, looking up to thank the old man for the assistance but he's already shuffled back over to the front desk. He may have said that he's not strong and supple, but he sure can move fast if he wants to. I'll be sure to thank him later once I'm done.
I prop up the metallic ladder, the joints squeaking a bit through their faint layer of rust when I climb up to the second highest rung and begin to scan the various titles. A few catch my eye, such as "Major historical events throughout history" or "Times of trouble in the old world" but the most interesting one I find is buried deep within the shelf, so deep in fact that I almost didn't notice it at first.
I yank on the spine gently, sliding the heavy book out of its place and coughing at the cloud of dust which erupts as the book comes free. The title spread across the stained and damaged cover reads "The Significance of History". I carefully make my way back down the ladder, the book cradled gently in the crook of my arm while I try not fall off the rickety structure once again.