IN DAYS OF THE BOOK PEDDLER

IN DAYS OF THE BOOK PEDDLER

A Story by An owl on the moon
"

He blew in with the leaves on gossamer wings

"

 

Scarlet winds breathed autumn through chilled night air, sipping on the lungs of children… A wafting scent of distant smoke and cedar filled the senses… And he blew in with the leaves on gossamer wings…

 

I remember the days of the book peddler… wandering… waltzing our streets… his books were paths to the China Sea or ancient Egypt… times of war… times of love… fears unspoken... places distant… dreamish… far off places I would never venture to see in my lifetime… I would never even venture to the ocean that I could hear if I stood still in the shadows at night.

 

Pennies a page to ride a magic carpet or fight in the Bolshevik Revolution… Oh… and she was there… threaded in the pages… like a sunrise, her hair glistened gold… Though her name changed in each book, I knew her voice… Jane Eyre, Anne Elliot, Tess Durbeyfield, or Cleopatra… I could recognize her anywhere from her shadowed grace… and my heart raced to be with her again…

 

I would be toiling… earth’s rich soil covering me like the finest robes… and I would hear his voice… the wind would echo it… “Come… Books for sale… Come explore the depths of the ocean in a submarine that flies under the waves! Or sail the sea with Captain Ahab! See a man become a monster before your eyes!  Flee to hell or fly to heaven!  Oh, come!  Books for sale!”

 

At his call, the village would wander… those who could not read would cling to those who knew the trick… what an enchantment to linger over letters and see worlds come to life… what bliss to leave behind the toil for a moment and escape into the sky… Those words were my feast, and I gorged myself on them…

 

It has been years now since they buried my bones. You’ll only find a cracked, isolated stone, overgrown with vines and dust… barely legible writing… nothing of significance… And though I never travelled more than 5 miles from my grave, I circled the globe through the magic of the book peddler… Listen… oh, listen, my friend… and hear his voice still calling in the autumn winds… “Come”…

 

© 2010 An owl on the moon


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AH! This was a very very powerful piece of writing...
I mean, how do you came with this one...The plot and the language was simply outstanding.
The way with which you've written this piece is simply beyond my comprehension.
The imagery in the opening section was very appealing.
Great great great work :)

Posted 10 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

WOW. Outstanding opening! It was just delicious to read through that first paragraph and its wonderful imagery--those slightly unconventional descriptions that make perfect sense. I've reread those initial three lines so many times because I just love them. The thoughtful, dreamlike tone is wonderful and it seems to accompany the picture perfectly. As a female, the paragraph about the female characters was a bit harder to relate to, but still a creative idea to blend those...it made me stop and think because I'd never considered weaving heroines together. And then the ending felt so magical. Fantastic piece.

Posted 8 Years Ago


I always love your work. It's always so beautiful and powerful.
You set the scene perfectly. Beautiful ^_^

Posted 10 Years Ago


This is lovely.

Posted 10 Years Ago


Though you've already heard it I simply must repeat that this was absolutely
mesmerizing! It was probably one of the most powerfully written short stories I've ever read. I've always loved to read, loved books, loved going places in them. This just brought it all back to me. The passion you've displayed here is just amazing and I truly love the part where you spoke of "her".......the woman in each book whose name changed, but she was the one. That was so elegantly and cleverly thought up! Very nice job...

Posted 10 Years Ago


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The value here is priceless, as are words

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fantastic! Lovely!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Oh how profound.. and how the magic of reading in the ole days.. was truly a gift and highly desired in books.. carried around with high esteem! How so many have forgotten that one true freedom that rings throughout our countries.. the freedom to attend school and learn!

This was full of wisdom.. like a timecapsule for literacy! With reading more and more being done online.. that technology for me kills literacy.. as I love the feel of a book in my hands.. to manually turn each page back and forth and not be chained to a screen when I read a novel! Literacy has come a LONG way.. has had much inspiration for those who take the time to explore and use it! This is going to my favorites.. as it has both literacy meaning in historical as well as a reminder of that profound freedom we have had the privilege of having for so many generations! Great job here.. you are a poet with a meaning in everything you write!

Posted 10 Years Ago


What an entertaining read. Funny how the magic that books posses has not dried up, but is still alive with passion today. I too love to ride the skies of text, dipping and flying on that magic carpet, following characters as they go about their lives through out the pages. Reading is as much a part of me as writing is. I am so glad that I was born in a time and in a country where this gift is a neccesity rather then a luxury. Kudos for this one!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Oh Craig this is a wonderful story. My grandma used to fill my ears with stories such as this. Well Done Craig.

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Wow, this was mesmerizing, you are definitely talented, not an amateur. Are you published yet? You should definitely try to submit this to the New Yorker or something. I'm not just saying that to say something nice, this is really so far one of the best stories I've read on this site.

Oh� and she was there� threaded in the pages� like a sunrise, her hair glistened gold�

This is my favorite line. I'll definitely be back to read more of your stuff.

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 29, 2009
Last Updated on March 6, 2010

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An owl on the moon
An owl on the moon

About
2018 was a journey through my poetic novel, An Owl on the Moon. 2019 found me goinging back to a deep inspiration for me... Wonderland...2020 will whisper itself over the seasons... Come walk the worl.. more..

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