Something Borrowed

The bookstore was tucked into an alley. An inconspicuous place and a challenge for a tourist, he thought. Yet, the location did provide a certain ambiance of discovery.

The door — dwarven-scaled, battered, a wood panel cracked, its frame worn and gouged — opened easily. A small bell tinkled as he entered. The distinctive musk of old books welcomed him into the cluttered collection of stacks and cases.

A wizened woman peered over her reading glasses. “May I assist you?”

“Oh. I’m just browsing,” he said. “Do you have any history books?”

“Yes. Of course. Around behind the staircase there.” She pointed.

“Ah. Good. Thank you.”

He passed around the bookcases and tables, looking at the various books. At the indicated section, he became methodical, enthusiastic. And, there it was. The Storming of the Bastille.

He brought it back to purchase with his card.

“Sign here, please.”

“May I borrow your pen?”

Written per Amelia’s challenge from Putting Words Together (150 words)

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