Monday, 15 April 2019
This week we took a walk to a local bookshop - Dead Souls - which has one of the most interesting atmospheres. The ceilings are plastered with book covers, there's strange objects and artefacts throughout the shop which is floor to ceiling in book shelves - a perfect setting for a story. While there we chose a genre, a character or two and scraped together story ideas. Then we hurried back to Artsenta and started writing. Here are some of the stories.
It was the scent that struck her. The faint smell of antiquity, the smell of well-thumbed paper. She blinked and saw a kaleidoscope of colours, dull reds and greens with decorative gold writing down the spine, flaking off in some places.
Despite the myriad of best sellers and chick lit she was attracted to the older books. She got a tactile buzz leafing through the pages that were faintly sepia toned. She had broken up with her partner six months ago and she wanted to treat herself. Leaning over the books her eye's twinkled, that's when he saw her with a Mona Lisa smile flickering on her lips.
He walked over and smiled. "Phillip K Dick, that's one of my favourites," he said. He could see the flush rising from her neck to her hairline.
"Really," she stuttered. She took a second look. He was tall and thin with an olive complexion.
He said "There's a lot here in the same genre". She smiled back tying to cover up her nervous reaction.
She grabbed a few volumes and as she left he gave her his card and smiled. "Just come back any time you want a book."
She walked out the door with a sense she had changed her whole future.
The Prince was in the most secret area of all. He had a famous halo that no one in the shop knew about. It was his secret. Although the Prince had access to some famous and historical sometimes mythological characters he noticed the gorillas were no longer part of the jungle, their natural habitat. But instead were forced to endure the cruel fate of a concrete and twisted steel jungle. They could not learn jungle warfare from a higher and historical perspective.
The Prince learnt something secret about the Gorilla people in that short exchange of interaction at the bookshop. The Gorilla people had no bananas. So the great prince of divine tantrums was finally on track to mastermind shiploads of bananas for the great restoration of the Gorilla people.
The place where Captain L G Greenaway resided was small dark and exciting. There were rows and rows of old and new books.Yes, it was the "Dead Souls Bookshop." He sat there majestically on the wall. Daphne du Maurier was there teasing him about the old times, when they both roamed on the earth. The bookshop had secret passages and a tunnel which suddenly transported them to Cornwall. That's where Daphne and the Captain lived. How they got to Dunedin, who knows. Perhaps they came over on the sailing ship, as most people did in the 18th century, or they might have come through the smugglers tunnel.
Smuggling was rife in Cornwall. Men would wait until a ship flounders in the battering sea. Then they would plunder the goods on board and store it in a dry cave on the coast.
The houses were like castles with big rooms, nooks and crannies and cellars. There were secret passages which lead to other houses nearby, where smugglers could escape if the Captain got anywhere near them.
Occasionally the cornishmen head through the tunnel to Dunedin. There they could live as free men, until the authorities wanted to know how they got there.What could the men say 'a magic tunnel from Cornwall' ? Ha if that was true everybody would want to come over to Dunedin. They didn't need to smuggle in NZ as they had a job building roads and church's.
Going back to Cornwall for his annual holiday, Captain Greenaway decided to stay there, to help the revenue men catch the smugglers.
He went on a beach walk and happened to find a cave, stuffed full of contraband, alcohol, tobacco and food. A cave where he could live undisturbed, until the bad guys came back to get their goods. He didn't live there of course, because he had two comfortable houses to live in. In fact he he had two houses, one in Cornwall and one in Dunedin.
He kept an eye on the beach and eventually the smugglers came back for their haul. The revenue men trapped and arrested four men. The contraband was taken away.
The men got a slap on the wrist and were transported to Dunedin for hard labour building roads.
Captain Greenaway decided to go with them and they lived together in his house. After three years the Cornishmen were free men and they choose to stay with the Captain, in his house and worked building houses.
Their eyes met above the pile of books. The sun flickered through the dust motes, giving her a sparkling aura.
"Can I help you?" John asked, wishing with all his might that he could.
"Um, yes, no, oh I don't know", she stammered. "I was passing and felt I had to come in, something drew me in here."
"Well I hope you're after a book", he said, laughing as he looked at the piles of books surrounding them. Books in cases, books on shelves, books on the floor - even book covers on the ceiling!
"Um, yes, well.... it was actually you that drew me in here", she said shyly. "I saw you there, dusting and sorting, and just felt I had to meet you. It's never happened before but I just felt I had to act".
"Um, ok, I felt the same when I saw you standing there", said John. "Let me introduce myself. I'm John, owner of Many Books Inc". John reached his hand out to shake hers.
"And I'm Mary, reader of many books", she laughed, holding his hand for just that second longer than usual. There was definitely something happening between them.
What will happen? Will this work, they both wondered? Well, dear readers, you'll have to read the second installment to find out!
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