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