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This week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge gave us the “quaint” as our required word. Here’s my 333-word microfiction response.

“Quaint”

“I came here once, at least once, when I was a kid. Maybe more. My parents brought me here, but I don’t really remember the details of it. Regardless, I know that I love the atmosphere here more than pretty much any other bookstore we’ve ever gone to.”

“I like it,” Jason replied. “It’s quaint. In a good way, I mean,” he added, catching the frown that crossed my face. “Not weird, just, I guess, old fashioned.”

I waved my hand at the uneven shelves stacked with worn volumes and well-loved tomes. “That’s the best part! You don’t find classic indie bookstores anymore. I mean, the chains wiped out the little guys, and then Amazon came along and did the same thing to them. These guys have been around for almost forty years, and they’re still going strong.”

“And that’s impressive as hell, really. I love that they have the whole retro thing going for them, though I suspect that’s not entirely intentional. It’s a really cool store, but it just doesn’t have the same impact for me.”

“I guess not,” I sighed, pulling a copy of Swords Against Death from the shelf. “I liked this one. Too bad they don’t have the first of these in stock. Lieber’s characters are some of my favorite.”

“That’s the Gray Mouser guy, right? The one you based your old rogue on?”

“Yup. I used to get a lot of inspiration for D&D characters from this guy’s books. Guess my love for old sci-fi and fantasy is another one of those ‘quaint’ things about me.”

“And I love it,” Jason laughed. “Come on, then. This place is perfect for you. Why don’t you show me the rest of the store?”

I slipped the book back into place, carefully shifting those on either side of it. “Okay, but first you owe me a coffee.”

“Deal,” he said, pulling me away from the shelf. “And maybe I’ll even buy you a book after that.”

“Sounds like a deal.”

10 Comments

  1. I read Lieber after I had played a great deal of D&D. Reading Fafhrd and Grey Mouser was kind of a revelation of how great that sub-genre can be when it’s done right.

    • My gf actually got me hooked on Lieber. She found one of his books at my library, listened to the audio version of it, and told me all about it. Needless to say, I was hooked.

  2. This sounds like the perfect date to me. Love your writing style, as always.

  3. Sounds like a lovely bookstore!

  4. Bookstores are awesome, as is this piece.

  5. I love the easy feel to the dialogue and this is a date that I would have loved to go on myself once upon a time.

    • It’s a style that seems to fit the constraints of the Trifecta Challenges quite naturally. Thanks for reading!


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