“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time,
“Tennyson…” The name, and its undercurrent of longing, drifted on the soft sighing of the night’s wind.
Kristopher Gentian stepped slowly from the shadows, and stood gazing down the long, narrow alley towards the tiny shop at the far end. One of his most prized possessions had strayed there. How, or why, he did not know.
He usually managed to take better care of his earthly possessions. He kept most of them stacked in a dusty old warehouse, secure under chain and key.
He shifted from foot to foot in agitation. He needed to retrieve the first edition of Tennyson’s works, and soon. Soon he would have need of the book, for a new and intriguing purpose.
BOOKS the sign above the shop door proclaimed, in bold script. Topped by a tower of crumbling apartments, most now abandoned, the tired and forlorn bookshop huddled in the shadows. It had seen much better days. And those days were now numbered.
Soon its front door would close for good, because the whole block was destined to be demolished to make way for another garish, up-market development by the Burch Property Group.
Progress…Kristopher grimaced and sighed. His city, the older parts of New York he loved to wander through, were being swallowed up by the new and brash. Soon there would be no place for him. No place above ground, that is…
He smiled as he drifted back into the shadows. He needed to contact his good friend, Jonathan Smythe, the owner of the uptown bookshop Kristopher liked to inhabit. Time was running short, and the book, gathering dust in the old bookshop, needed to be retrieved.
Very soon, its new owner would be entering Smythe’s 777 bookshop, looking for a very specific gift for a very good friend. Kristopher intended to be there to greet her, and share his passion for beautiful things. Tennyson had such a way with words.
Kristopher looked back down the alley, as he blended with the surrounding darkness. “I’ve always loved Idylls of the King…”
“Life begins at night…”
Illustrations supplied by the author