Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Microstory 207: Miniature Library

Lucille walked by a certain tree nearly every day after moving to a new neighborhood. In her mind, she knew that attached to it was a miniature library where she could trade books as she pleased, but her thoughts were always elsewhere, and she always ignored it. Then one day, she got to thinking about how she had always intended to read Moby Dick, but just never got around to it. Knowing that it was a long shot, Lucille stopped at the mini library and began to browse. Most of the books were short romance novels and pulp fiction; none of the classics, and no Moby Dick. She sighed and was about to leave, deciding that if the universe wanted to read the book, it would have provided it for her. Just then, another woman came from the opposite direction holding a book, supposedly with the intention of swapping it out for something else. Upon closer inspection, Lucille realized that it was none other than the exact book she was looking for, and an old edition from the looks of it. Miranda had been reading books out of the mini library for years. In fact, she would read one at least once a week. No matter what, if a book had been left in there that she had not yet read, even if she didn’t like the genre, she would take it. This particular book, however, was hers, passed down from her late grandmother. They got to talking to each other and discovered that they had much in common. Despite being avid exercise walkers, they had somehow never seen each other around the neighborhood, or at least had not noticed. They both loved to read the classics, but did so less often than they would care to admit. They were also into surface water sports like surfing and water skiing, and had moved from the east coast. They parted ways after talking for almost half an hour, Miranda with a technical manual someone had probably left as a joke, and Lucille finally with Moby Dick. After that day, however, they continued to encounter each other often on their respective walks, sometimes miles from the neighborhood. A couple of months later, they went out together on their first date. It was at a library, of course.

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