She was standing in the Science Fiction section. Her almost obsidian eyes scoured the bookshelves, and her scarlet nails slid across the spines, searching. Scratching a single spine, she teased out a colourful edition of a Kurt Vonnegut and absorbed the blurb. Nick and Lisa locked eyes and she smiled. The way her mouth curled at the sides kept Nick’s eyes glued to her. Her curves ignited his imagination. Nick looked down at the Fifty Shades of Grey he was holding and then returned her gaze with a grin that implied only one thing.
Nick shelved the questionable novel and strolled from Romance to Fantasy. Lisa put Vonnegut away and wandered into his fantasies. They stood shoulder to shoulder in silence. He could almost feel her warmth. He picked up a clothbound edition of The Lord of the Rings. Lisa exhaled deeply and moaned; she knew he’d be the one man to rule her heart.
Their fingers twisted together, and their lives became Poetry for a moment. Lisa knew she and Nick were diving head-first into the abyss of lyricism and imagery but, as the excitement of internal rhyme wore off, she wanted something less fictitious, more concrete.
Reluctantly Nick followed her to the Non-Fiction section, and he knew then that the honeymoon period was over. Lisa was tugging on Nick’s arm; she wanted them to go to the Children’s section together. Nick, who thought he didn’t know what he was looking for, knew that he wasn’t looking for that – the very idea of monogamy and all that followed was a Horror to him. Visons of pushchairs, bottles, and soiled nappies twirled around his head, and he was aware of a baby’s distant wailing. Panting, he wiped the sweat from his brow, undid his collar, and smiled at Lisa in an attempt to disguise his uneasiness.
Lisa was not impressed. They argued their way through the Drama bookcases. Lisa’s fists were clenched and her nails dug into her palms; another bibliophile may have mistaken her red nails for blood. Lisa could only see one solution: teach him a lesson he won’t forget. From the Classics section she lifted a hefty Penguin edition of Richardson’s 1500 page mammoth, Clarissa, and sized it up. It was a struggle to hold the book in one hand, but she thought this should be weighty enough to do the job. Whilst Nick’s back was turned, Lisa swiped the massive book across the back of his head, and he tumbled to the floor.
Nick lay motionless on the plush carpet with his mouth agape. His chest rose and fell with a calmness that gave the impression that he was sleeping. Lisa looked around her and was in luck – no one had seen her assault. Satisfied that he was knocked out, Lisa dropped Clarissa. She grabbed Nick by his feet and pulled him as hard as she could. He was heavier than he looked. Lisa heaved the limp body and slowly started to move Nick across the store. She could smell dust spiralling from the carpet’s fibres as his body left a trail marking where he’d been. She left his body out of sight in the Crime section and, making sure that she’d left no evidence of her own crime, left the store alone.
About the Author
Santino Prinzi is a flash fiction and prose poetry enthusiast, and has had his fictions published online and in print. Currently an undergraduate student of English and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, this ginger Italian enjoys cooking, reading, female-fronted metal music, and lie-ins.
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