“Everything up to 80% off.” The wrinkled old lady sadly called at the tinkling of bell over her shop door. She looked up from applying red stickers over yellow ones on books with shiny new covers to see my familiar face. “Ah, Callie, I was hoping you’d come today.”

I gave a polite smile as I passed before ducking into the last aisles. Vivian had been moving her wares forward over the past three months, staying open as long as she could get the bank to hold off collecting on her loans to sell as much as possible. I think she was sleeping here. I suspected they had already foreclosed on her home.

The last aisle held the oldest books, some still covered in dust. The classics were all gone as collectors from the city had driven a hundred miles to grab them the first day they’d heard about her store closing. The books left were a decrepit bunch with old binding and yellow pages, spines all sun-bleached gray but covers bright.

I ran my fingertip across them until one called out to me.

View this story's 2 comments.