“You’re a bit of a freak, aren’t you?” Sandra exclaimed as she picked up a thin leather book and parted the stiff, creaking covers to reveal typewritten words on yellowed pages.  “I mean, seriously; ‘Forgotten Songs of Sumer’… ‘The Breath of the Serpent’ and… what’s this?” she asked, putting down the booklet, picking up a scroll and pulling at the dark silk ribbon around its waist.

Charles said nothing, but grinned and carried on looking through a drawer in one of the book cabinets.  “Ah!” Sandra breathed, unrolling the browned parchment slowly.  “’Hidden Paths and Byways of Astarte’…Charles, is this the kind of literature you’ve been spending your time and money on?”

Charles looked up briefly from the drawer file he was searching within and smiled at her, a little sadness in his eyes.  “Initially, yes.  I didn’t know where to start, so I started with the easiest stuff and worked my way in.  What you’re looking at is what I found after two years of poking round libraries, asking awkward questions, and going to some very tedious soirees.”  He turned back to the drawer.  “Ah yes; thought so.” Charles announced, standing up straight.  “It’s not here, so it’ll be in the garden.”

Sandra looked at him, one eyebrow raised quizzically.

“It’s what I call the place where I really study, unlike my actual study which is just a prop as you know.”

She pursed her lips and nodded.  Too right that study was a prop.  She laid the ribbon on a table and placed the parchment which she had rolled up onto the centre of the fabric.  Charles watched as she neatly tied up the ribbon and put the scroll back into the drawer it had come from.  “Right; done.  Shall we?” asked Sandra.

Charles nodded once, then turned on one heel and led her to the little staircase that led to the third floor where the lift would be.


About TheImaginator

35 year old sciolist living in Tokyo. I like swing dancing, Twitter word games, writing, using, reading, and watching movies. I write stuff on my blog occasionally.
This entry was posted in Creative writing, Shrouded City and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Byways

  1. Your talent always shines in your writing. This has a great pace and interesting set up. I can’t quite figure out the staircase and then a lift…but I think that’s probably the point :)) Always well done. :))

    • Thanks 🙂 To be honest, I didn’t explain the staircase or the lift very well. I wanted to write more (and I will) but I just wanted to get this out there in the meantime to get things moving along. 😉

  2. Draug419 says:

    What a great little scene.

  3. I’d love to read more about these two and the story then inhabit. The exchange and actions read so naturally.

    Thank you for linking up!

  4. jannatwrites says:

    I think the prop study sounds kind of nice 🙂 Now I’m curious about the garden!

  5. Joe Owens says:

    Ah, another familiar face. i know you from the Friday Fictioneers roundtable.

  6. Tracie says:

    Very interesting scene you have built here.

  7. Christine says:

    I am incredibly intrigued. Why the hint of sadness? Why a prop study and a true study? I would definitely read more – is this part of a larger piece?

  8. I agree that the characters were quite at ease and it was an easy narrative to read, as well as feeling like part of a much larger whole. I enjoyed it.

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