I watched this reader come into the bookshop and sigh over the books, while at the same time maintain contact with friends outside the window.
There was something on the window table that was enthralling. She bent to read. She held her phone to her ear, whispering the plot to a friend perhaps. What was the book? I couldn’t see.
Her friends were clustered outside the window. They leaned into the window and made significant expressions. She stared into their faces and spoke into her phone. She stretched her face around the agony of the news.
The book, a paperback. She held it open with one elbow and signaled something diabolical though the window. I drifted close by. It was Dangerous Creatures.
There was a desperate exchange of information by phone and face.
The reader raised herself on her toes for emphasis. The watchers drew back in respect. Maybe someone in the book died. Should I offer support?
The reader knelt down to read further, calm and out of view. The watchers fogged the window in alarm. It seemed to me that the entire day paused.
Finally she rose. Replaced the book and fled the shop, one hand clasped over her mouth, keeping the the angst organised. She allowed me a brief glance. Outside the door she raised both arms and was received by fellow readers. I saw their young and tortured hands reach for her as she closed the door.
Artwork, Even the Tiger Stopped to Listen to her Tale, by Mary Alayne Thomas