Eyes wide with intense sparkle between the different blues circling the iris. They soaked up the stacks and stacks of books that hit her eyes as soon as she walked through the mangled looking front door. The carpet had seen better days as the greens and navy blue stripes spoke lovingly of the feet which had strolled up and down the aisles, slowly, intimately as the hands attached to those feet explored the bindings and pages of the books on the shelves. She took a cautionary step further into the store, tilting her head back so she could see the top of the shelves. Her hands extended to the spines as if a magnet were between them. She followed the footsteps of the ones before her, moving at a waltzing pace through the maze–one she wanted to be lost in forever. Beloved reading chairs peppered throughout the journey, caked with tears of anger and joy and sadness from the eyes of readers, mixed with the bookstore house cats, who appear lounging on the shelves themselves.
The girl comes to a set of stairs, leading down deeper into the maze, lined with volumes of all sizes and topics. She makes her way down, breathing in the musty smell of old parchment and fading ink–the scent of bookworm paradise. She finds another way up another book littered stairwell, into a section of the stacks with texts she reads religiously. Her fingers and eyes scan the spines, pulling out ones that call to her. She settles criss-cross on the floor, reading the words as they float up off the pages. Something sparks around her as she recites the melodic words. Images start to appear as she dives into the world of pirates on a ship with a mutinous crew and then they shift as she opens a story into a haunted forest with ghosts and slumbering dragons.
Minutes turns to hours as she melts into the structure of the bookstore. The hours turn to evening and without knowing the bookkeeper locks her away. She does not notice, lying on the floor with many stories open around her. One of the cats nestles up near her as the magic starts to take effect on the girl. Somewhere in sleep she shifts a book on top of her body,opened with the pages facing down on her side between her stomach and back. The book although seems translucent with a misty fog settling around them.
The next morning the hunching bookkeeper opens the store to find the misty fog still clinging to the floor. He follows it slowly through the maze to the point of origin, where he finds a book open, but facing down on the floor in the middle of scattered closed books. He bends over slowly, picking up the book and examining the name on the spine. My Kind of Magic scribbled on the spine. The back cover details a grand adventure with pirates, dragons, and a warrior princess battling evil. The bookkeeper then turns the book over to the cover and there in faded color, half a face is visible on the cover, one with curly blonde hair and sparkling eyes of different blues.
He smiled and carried her up to the front of the store, opening a locked bookcase. Inside other volumes of many sizes littered the shelves. Titles and stories of souls lost within the maze and the bookkeeper locks them away to keep them safe until the magic brings them back. But after experiencing the magic, who would ever want to leave it?