small town chill by jmforceton

16 Jan

What did she just do? She’s stealing a book. What else could she be doing? She put the book under her jacket. OK, that explains the coat on an eighty-degree day. Doesn’t know the mirror behind her gives me a perfect reflection off the window at the end of the isle… I thought she was a dear friend… She is a dear friend. She was mom’s best friend. Been buying books here since I opened thirty years ago, 1968. Is this the first time? Why – must be a reason. It was from the top shelf of the medical section, left side. Well I don’t know what she’s thinking but I don’t want to embarrass her. It’s only a book… What is she thinking? Alzheimer’s? Can’t be, she’s still a better bridge player than I am… June said she thought Ruth was seeing an older guy. Aids, no it can’t be. She would never tell me, so caring and intelligent, but so private. Never reveals anything personal. Come to think of it she must have a hard time bidding and playing bridge, so against the grain to hint at what she’s holding let alone actually lay her cards on the table, on the other hand she hates to lose. Read, and I think memorized, every bridge book I’ve ever had in the store. She’s coming to the register.

“Hi Ruth, how are you today?”

“Yes, it is a beautiful day.”

“Find everything OK?” She’s buying another Evonovich, female bounty hunter, always gets her man. Maybe it is about a guy.

“Yes, that is the latest Evonovich. I haven’t read it yet either. The next one isn’t coming out till May. That will be $19.95.”

“Did you talk to June today?”

“No, well she can’t host the bridge game tomorrow night tonight so it will be here upstairs at my place.” A little vodka in the punch, maybe I’ll find out more tomorrow?

“Thanks, have a great day. See you tomorrow.”

There’s her daughter to pick her up. Must have been food shopping next door. Let’s see what’s on that shelf. A to C on the left. Huh, I can’t believe it. She took one of the books I brought in for Willy, that crazy old coot. Cryogenics. How our mad scientist got hooked on the idea of human cryogenic preservation is beyond me. I think the book she took was the one by a Dr. Frolick, a Dutch writer related to Van Gogh. Can’t talk to Willy lately without him saying, “lost generations” five times. I’m surprised Ruth found them. I know I told Jimmy to shelf them in the fantasy and science fiction section. Gives me a chill to the bone just to think about it. No wonder she was wearing a jacket.


One Response to “small town chill by jmforceton”


  1. prompt: peter on vacation « the character project - January 17, 2011

    […] out last week’s stories about Janet: Protocol by pyritefortune Civic Duty by phoenix.writing Small Town Chill by jmforceton Mrs. Johnson by pjrob Gorillas in the Sunlight by snedapants Joy by […]

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