The Mountain book stall – 15 minutes

The best book shop on the mountain

Another 15 minute effort. I love this image. We found it in Tenerife at the foot of a hill where families of dwellers had set up primitive homes. The astute amongst you will of course have noticed the picture is on my home page – kind of appropropriate don’t you think that I should write something about it !!

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Most of all they missed their books.

It had been three months since they had moved to the mountain to live.Their decision to run had been an easy choice in the end. They weren’t the only ones trying to escape. The mountain, once deserted, was now home to an increasing number of escapees.The cities, towns and suburbs becoming increasingly deserted as power failed, the normal order of life gradually crumbling. Food shortages and water rationing spreading like a cancer. Work became meaningless,inflation rendering earnings useless. Survival instincts taking over from hope and aspiration.

He was surprised how they had adjusted on the mountain. Warmth came from the fires they built, food from the rivers and water from the rain. They had each other and they had their memories.They didn’t miss all of the electronic social media gadgets that had done so much to spread the anarchy and despair over the last ten years since Global warming had finally been accepted by the leaders of the Superpowers.

It was the books they missed most of all. It was the biggest mistake they had made when the decided to flee. Not to bring books.Just one book each, they realised, would have made such a difference.

The idea crept up on them slowly as more people appeared on the mountain. Hidden in the forest, valleys and caves.They didn’t see them very often, everyone choosing to keep their own company, suspicious of strangers intentions. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to try. So they had made a crude stall out of driftwood and made a small sign from windblown paper and chalk from the hills.They made the trek down the mountain one day and left the small stall and sign on the path leading back to the small deserted town.

Wanted – books to borrow

They checked every week or so and although the small stall and sign were still there and footprints in the dust showed people had passed by and some even stopped, still not one book had appeared.

Then, by chance they had been fishing down by the cove on the far side of the mountain across the bay and within sight of the stall when they saw a lone figure walk up the path. Dressed all in white carrying a rucksack, looking like any other traveller they had spotted on the mountain. The stranger approached the stall and stopped. They couldn’t see what he or she was doing. They didn’t dare show themselves. They hid until the figure moved off up the trail into the mountain and out of sight.

They approached carefully, suspicious that the figure may be lurking in the undergrowth and they were walking into a trap. They hid in a bush within sight of the stall where they could see something had been placed on the stall. Eventually they plucked up enough courage to make their approach.

To their astonishment a book had been placed on the stall. They picked it up and ran for the hills. He stuffed it into his back pack and didn’t look at it properly until they were safe in their home, in the tree house.

He took it out and they smiled at each other and kissed. A book, an actual book. He gave it to her ‘you open it’.

She opened the cover and smiled.

She read the first line. The first line of a book they would come to cherish and read every day.

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’.

They wept and held each other.

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