Norris and Power’s Bookstore

MBARKER EXERCISE: A BEGINNING IN NONSENSE: Your assignment- tell us a bit more about the fine party going on, the participants with their hooves, the other instruments playing…

Ghosts on a Tree Franz Sedlacek

Norris and Powers is an old bookstore, the only bookstore left in Duwamish Square.

The floors are wooden and they creak and snap when you walk across them, the stairs that go up to the loft where the periodicals and prints are kept- not in tubs or bins but on shelves and spinner racks- are wooden took and if you’re not careful you can get splinters from the railing.

I would advise using the railing if you take the stairs because they sag a little to the left and they feel kind of mushy underfoot.

Mr. Norris and Mr Powers died back in the 60’s in a traffic accident- their car was taking a turn and they ended up crashing down into a ravine.

Back then nobody really used seatbelts so it was assumed Mr. Norris and Mr. Powers were thrown clear of their car and it was assumed that the local wildlife may have made off with their remains.

The funny thing was it was twenty years later when a dog ( which I guess sort of falls under the category of wildlife ) brought home the skull of Mr Powers and the Powers family had at long last a chance to put up a grave marker in the family cemetery.

Two after Mr Power’s skull was found a hiker found Mr. Norris’ jawbone just a few miles away from where their car crashed and shortly after that the Norris family had a little funeral service for Mr. Norris and it was after that funeral that the Norris and Power Family decided it was time to go down to the basement at the bookstore- it was called the storage room but nobody would store books down there.

It wasn’t used for storage for the reasons you would assume- it wasn’t damp or moldy or poorly lit.

It was empty, quiet as a tomb, dusty as an old bone wedged under porch where it has slow baked for years and years in the summer heat and worried over by rats waiting for nightfall.

The problem with the basement in Powers and Norris what was under the hard packed dirt floor.

Against one wall was all that remained of Mr. Powers and near the steps was all that remained of Mr. Booth.

And on that day, when their family – there were five of them there that day- went down the steps to the storage room where they stood there in silence and each of them wondered how that skull and that jawbone found their way to the ravine where their empty car left the road all those years ago and caught fire in the bushes and trees below.

But in each of their hearts they were hoping the same thing- that Mr. Powers and Mr. Norris would just stay in their shop with their books and the rickety stair case – but they gave that hope up when they could hear, faintly ,the sound of something clicking and rattling from under their feet.

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