Page 20 - Scene Magazine 41-12 December 2016
P. 20

 hands over the embers, that had long ago been a smoking fire of damp green wood. The metallic ring of a bell in the back of
Second Place
joy. He did not mean to read this book himself - he was a thirteen year old boy, sage and mature for his age, whose mind had gone through his boyhood a long time before his body did - he meant to buy it for his sister that meant everything to him.
The boy removed the old storybook from its shelf, cautious not to tear out any of the yellowed thick pages and slowly went to the counter where the cashier, an old man with hunched shoulders and swol- len knuckles who has long since given up on scrubbing the ink stains off his apron and the lines of his paper like hands, was already waiting for him.
“Found everything okay?” he mumbled as he wrapped the book into a small brown plastic bag.
“Yes, thank you, Sir,” answered the boy politely as he their gazes met and his fingers, stiff from the freezing air outside, fumbled in his coat to pull out a hand full of small change, a little pile of pennies and dimes, that he had found on the street, in
the cashier - to the little pile on the desk – and back to the cashier again who now was certain about the change and handed over the plastic bag.
“Have a merry Christmas, boy!” said the old man without actually looking at him, as the young boy left the store, wrap- ping the wet scarf around his neck again, as he stepped out in the deep snow.
“Have a merry Christmas!” he mum- bled angrily and a heavy white cloud ascended into the air that was wet from the marble-sized snowflakes – as if his Christ- mases had ever been merry – as if Santa had even come once in the past thirteen years. But this year, this year there would be a present that could not wait to be un- wrapped.
The sand haired boy only had to cross two back streets until he reached the small ratty house that he called home, but it seemed to him like hours. His little sister already stood at the window, her small palms pressed against the foggy pane, her
A Fictional Story By Nicola Otto A Spark of Hope
  He clasped the flask between his hands the small dusty book-store announced the the hallway of his school, that people heed- even though the warmth of the tea had young arrival whose face, blushed by the lessly forgot in the pay machine’s change long since leached into the frozen air. piercing wind, was covered by a thin scarf return.
He was leaving behind an uneven trail of tightly wrapped around his blue lips and He had walked around in the biting footsteps in the knee high snow that al- nose. He knew what he was looking for cold for days, collecting the little silver ready had soaked through his sheer tennis – an old book, the cover stained and tatty, and copper coins one by one, to be able to shoes and made his toes feel numb. Yet that he had discovered some day last week. efford this book now.
he could not go home. Because at home It was filled with hundreds of little fairy The old man’s eyes were as gray as was his little sister with her golden hair tales, stories about dwarfs, and elfs, and the cloudy sky outside as he examined the and bright blue eyes, crouching in front pixies. Where the good always conquered coins closely. The blond boy turned his of the small fireplace holding her little the evil and where sorrow was turned into head to the door impatiently – then back to
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