Eclectibles

 I am overjoyed to present to you today my short story Eclectibles” published in Luna Station Quarterly Issue 0049: There Is Always Hope.

I would like to thank Jen Gheller and the entire team at LSQ for showcasing my story. This issue’s stunning cover art was created by independent artist Caroline Jamhour.

Eclectibles” is a story about the continued power of words to heal. I shared this story with writer friends almost a year ago in Munich and they believed in the power of the narrative. It’s through their advice and our mutual love for literature that this story made its way to publication. I never gave up hope that it would find the perfect home, and so I would be most honored if you would start my story here and visit LSQ to finish reading it. By way of a bonus, I’ve attached some of my photographs of bookstores that I’ve visited in my travels. It’s usually one of my first stops whenever I go to a new city. Enjoy!

Eclectibles

Each customer creates a new melody. I’ve rigged an old copper chime behind the glass; it’s one of the few sounds that I never tire of. Also, it sets a calming spell upon the panicky people that search out my store.

I hear familiar chimes and take the last sips of chai with the final few sentences in Interventions: A Life in War and Peace. The line to savor: “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.” In this time, hope is a crumbling bridge on the verge of collapse.

They call me cleric, but I’ve never received any degrees. Studied in the back of my parents’ shop, sitting on a stockpile of knowledge my father called “essential reading.” A stack that shrank as I grew taller. While many of my peers enjoyed the pleasures of screens, online gaming, and virtual adventures, I poured myself into turning pages, reading the printed text , but also the volume of words hidden between the lines.

“Cleric, come quick!” A woman with luminescent hair extensions stands by her daughter who cradles a man with dazed eyes, grey shut-down screens for pupils. He’s sitting in a Bog Buggy, although he’s way too fresh-faced for such a contraption, and his legs dangle over the edge in an unforgiving heap.

His mind appears fully jet-lagged from whatever electronic binger he’s been on.

Continue Reading Here

19 Comments

    1. Thank you so much for reading my story, John. That means so much to me. I have the idea to either write more episodes with the cleric, or create more stories in an futuristic strip mall.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a gorgeous write, K. I love this story. There are so many parallels to life today. I’ve often reflected upon the possibility that anxiety and depression might well increase as future generations age, due to high volumes of gaming and overall tech engagement. Knowing all the while it is a fun paradox that I write this while being online and plugged in. Yet, I think part of my reflection of your story conjures the notions that it is the way we engage and internalize that engagement. Meaning, if we see these tech devices as only that, without a human component, I think that causes issues, whereas if we see these devices as extensions of a greater connection to people, to humanity, the activity is internalized differently. I also loved that books were the treatments and antidotes. It’s a special write, K. Congratulations! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jeff. 😄 What lovely musings. The screen sickness in my story, I sadly see signs of it already. The glazed eyes and the disconnected youth that have a hard time being present. However, I also value the connections that are possible due to technology. It leaves me wondering what will be the future of our imaginations and of our ability to enjoy stories without any animation or art. I was thinking to write more stories with the cleric and his taboo bookstore or possibly craft more stories to create a strip mall in the future with different sci-fi tales. Thank you for sparking this conversation and also for reading this story. A conversation started that has more to say, I think. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, K. Always. 😁 I see signs of it too, and completely agree with your reflections. Oh, I do hope you write more with the cleric and expand this story. I will love to read them. It’s intriguing, very topical and relevant, and a wonderful point of conversation. Congrats again on the pub. 💜

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  2. Such a poignant story on the perils of online addiction, K! ❤
    'While many of my peers enjoyed the pleasures of screens, online gaming, and virtual adventures, I poured myself into turning pages, reading the printed text , but also the volume of words hidden between the lines' – great insight into a bibliophile's world 🙂
    Beautifully written & congratulations on getting it published!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading “Eclectibles,” Tom. This one kept bouncing back but wouldn’t dare lie down for the count. I’ll admit, I’m still riding the high of this victory and now your lovely comments also. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good luck with your other submissions too – I know how anxious it can get not hearing from online journals for weeks/months, so hope your future stories get a good reception! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you. It is a process that seems stuck in the Middle Ages, doesn’t it? Here’s to a writers’ revolution whereby we can maximize the value of of our beautiful creations just like our fellow artisans. 💜

        Liked by 1 person

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