The Curio Shop
(Written by VL Cabagua)
The boy looked through the window of the dingy dilapidated store front. Old leather bound books caked in dust lined the shelves. Tiny trinkets and knick-knacks are strewn about on various tables in the middle of the shop. The faded chipped lettering on the glass door front read “Mystic Management”. Whatever that meant.
Entranced by the mysterious artifacts he now gazed upon through the smudge smeared window, he twisted the brass doorknob and slowly made his way inside the shop.
The smell of dust, aging paper, and incense made him sneeze a couple of times.
“I don’t normally let kids into my shop, you’ll have to leave your backpack at the counter please”, said a man’s voice from the back.
The boy didn’t even see anyone when he was looking into the store a second ago. A dark skinned, tall and lanky man appeared behind a doorway at the rear of the shop. He had a poofy white beard that hung down his chest and long gray and white dreadlocks that hung past his elbows.
He placed his backpack on the counter which was surprisingly spotless. A dark polished mahogany with little cages etched into it. Why cages?
“What does mystic management mean?” he looked up at the shop keeper.
The old man chuckled amusingly at the question. He walked over to one of the shelves and pulled out an old weathered book.
“This book here is an encyclopedia of different herbs, their functions and uses. I dry them and ground them into powder. Some of them can alter your memory. They actually make a good cup of tea…” the old man murmured off as if recalling a fond memory. Then he slammed the book shut and dust hovered above the little boy. He shook it off.
“So all this stuff is for gardening?” The boy asked, pointing at gadgets scattered all over the shop.
“No, some are used for measuring stuff like inches or the distance between stars…this one here” the old man picked up a tiny pouch, “can open doors and lock them.”
The boy’s eyes widened as he looked at the pouch in the old mans hands. He wanted to reach out and touch it but all of a sudden confused as to why he was there. He stood frozen in place as he hear the shop door lock shut.