The room was quiet. Perhaps too quiet. Crowley could have been breathing in the alcohol, that was how quietly he drank it.
Aziraphale could have closed his eyes and Crowley would be gone, that was how quiet he was. Which wasn’t a completely new experience, but it didn’t often follow Aziraphale also being as quiet. Usually one of them filled in the space. Currently neither of them did.
There was more space than Aziraphale remembered. He didn’t know where it had come from. To fix that, he got to his feet and moved over to the couch with Crowley. He already missed his chair, but he had to be here. Continue reading “You Go Too Fast For Me”
The thing was, it always smelled like Aziraphale.
Books and tea and dust. Most people didn’t care for the last part, but most people couldn’t catch it when the dust wasn’t actually there. Aziraphale had made a place that reflected himself. Crowley had watched it happen with interest, because he didn’t think Aziraphale thought about it like that.
It explained even more as to why he didn’t want anyone inside. As good of a person as he was, Aziraphale had a lot of barriers up.
That explained why Crowley didn’t really want anyone inside. This bookshop was Aziraphale and he didn’t think anyone else really had earned the right to see the inside. That Aziraphale would try to chase others out, but not him, told him how much he was right.
But different bookshops? That was different.* Continue reading “Bookshop”
The next time she walked by the shelf, two of the volumes had been pushed forward to stick out. She pulled them out to look them over later.
The dancer figurines had openings in the bottom, where small curls of yellowed paper were stashed. She carefully pried each of them out with her fingernails, slowly flattening them to see what they were. Autographs, she decided, seeing only a single signature on each. Studying the figurines once more, Salma was struck by the fact these were models of real dancers, not simply renditions of anything generic. Every single one had an autograph inside. Salma didn’t recognize any of the names, any of the faces.
But she did remember these figures, up on a shelf higher than her eyes when she was little. Reaching up in order to play with them, her mother would scold her and bat her hands away. Later in the day, her grandfather brought one down for her to look at. He didn’t let her hold it, though he let her put her tiny hands all over it. Her hands were clean, she remembered, someone had made her wash up before. Her small fingers reached into each crevasse, taking delight in the texture and the colours more than anything about what those two things had come together to create.
I did the same thing I always did: return the books I had checked out. I trundled over to the main desk, only really approaching when it was the Librarian. None of his assistants meant anything to me. I didn’t know them well enough. They had to know who I was, I came to the library almost every day. One of the women there smiled at me. Occasionally I smiled back, unable to help myself. Still, I never approached until the Librarian stepped behind the counter.
I pushed my books forward, as well as my library card. One by one, the Librarian swiftly entered each one into the system, filing them somewhere under the counter where I couldn’t see the rest of the process. He returned my card. I felt the thrum of the plastic as I only ever did when he returned it to me. Shifting the strap of my bag on my shoulder, I began to peruse the shelves again.
An hour later found me in the small section of foreign language books that still remained. There had been many more, once. Books in other languages, rather than books about them. I read these books anyway. I didn’t know another language, though I knew a lot about them. Now the section was encroached upon by history books and the culture of our state. The latter had become a much larger section than it needed to be. I wondered how many different ways one could read about a single subject without reiterating the same facts. I still occasionally checked one out. Just in case. It would look good on my record, alongside my variety.
While I stood there, pulling out random books, the Librarian eventually moved beside me.