Mandy was a casual collector of old books, journals, and other written material. During one afternoon of book browsing, she happened across a large, burnished brown volume with buckled closures and a raised embossed labyrinth on the cover.
As Mandy creaked it open, so too did the floorboards behind her creak with the presence of the shop owner.
“Hi there. I see you’ve got an interest in Old Mrs. Willow’s journal. She passed on a couple of months ago. Her kin stayed long enough to hear the reading of the will, then they left to go back to wherever they came from. They hired Mrs. Vee to liquidate the estate, and all of the written materials came to me to sell. You’ve got a good eye there, Miss. Old Mrs. Willow led a long and interesting life. I’m sure there are many adventures to read in there.”
As Mandy flipped through the hundreds of pages, she saw that it was filled to from front to back with a very fine, very legible handwriting.
“How much do you want for it, Mr. ?”
“Prince is the name, Howard Prince. Tell you what, make me an offer of what you think it’s worth.”
“It’s yours.” Mr. Prince smiled and winked.
Lugging the hefty volume to her car, then from the car to her desk at home took some muscle. She brewed a cup of her favorite blend of chamomile, rooibos, and lemongrass, lit a stick of vervaine incense, then sat down in front of the journal. Saying a small prayer, she began with the dedication page, which said, “To HP, one way in, and one way out.”
Not one for big surprises, Mandy read the last entry in the journal, which said, “My darling, I found another way out. Until we meet again.”
Fandango is the host of Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.
Image is from alexlibris999 at DeviantArt.com