The Owner and the Book
The man knew treasures when he saw one. And that book was unparalleled treasure – a compendium of divination skills rumoured to grant its users power over the future. To think he would encounter such a valuable item in this dingy shop.
“No, how many times must I tell you? It’s not for sale,” the owner rejected his offer yet again.
Hongyi refused to give up. “Why display the book if you have no intentions of selling it then?”
The owner did not reply; he merely gazed at Hongyi steadily. “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
Hongyi shook his head and left, but a plan began to form in his mind.
The next day, the owner came down from his living quarters above the shop and noticed the compendium in the display glass case was missing. After all, the display glass case was not sealed, neither was it wired to any alarm system. “So that man came to steal the book after all,” he muttered to himself. He shook his head and went about his day of business, hardly worried about the empty display glass case.
It was only mid-morning, when the owner was sipping his Longjing tea that the compendium reappeared in the display glass case, as if it had never gone missing. The owner sighed, set down his tea and walked over to the display glass case with his hands behind his back respectfully. The book was in perfect condition, except the geometric design on the cover had grown larger.
“Looks like that man can’t handle your power,” the owner observed. He returned to the coffee table and continued to sip his tea. Idly, he wondered when the book was going to choose its next Guardian so he could pass on the responsibilities.
Ooh, what happened? Did Hongyi die? Was the Book magical? Who was the owner? I have no idea as well. I originally created the character, the owner, as part of the series for the Witch I developed a long time ago – the Witch of Wishes, the Lady of Dual Sides, the Collector of Souls and the Merchant of Time.
Sadly, I have only written two stories about the Witch and one about the Lady of Dual Sides (all for The Weekly Knob on Medium). I have conceptualised the Collector of Souls and the Merchant of Time and even planned out the stories for them both, but sadly, I don’t seem to have the same writing stamina and level of interest in finishing the stories.
My promises of writing these stories seem to drag on forever.
If you are interested, the prompt is linked below.
Welcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a relatively short flash fiction piece inspired by the photo. While there are no definitive style or word limits, I suggest trying to keep your posts to under 300 words.
If this picture inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post.
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Please take a few minutes to read some of the other responses to this photo challenge.