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  • Writer's pictureKelly Sanford

Oh the power of a creepy, used book store.

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

I don't know what it is about hoarder-style used book stores that make me want to read (and write) horror short stories. My daughter and I ended up in an old used book store located in a small town in Central Florida. The town itself has seen better days. The historic district is at least fifty-percent vacant, and with the Corona Virus pandemic still running with a full head of steam, it's likely to get worse before it gets better. But this septuagenarian entrepreneur had her store open for business - virus be damned. Her business partner, a sixteen-year-old cat, couldn't be bothered to get out if its chair, which was matted with the cat's fur and blocked a random aisle. The romance section, I think. The aisles were very narrow. The store is a text book fire hazard. The books are stacked from the floor to the ceiling. There are boxes (like old diaper boxes and banana boxes) piled up in a garden-maze style labyrinth. Sticky notes describe each box's contents. I love this store. Wandering through it, I felt elated and repulsed just a little at the same time. The shop was dark. Some of the books are cringe-worthy in their subject matter. The store remindes me a bit of the cinematic version of Olivander's Wand Shop in the first Harry Potter movie. "The wand chooses the wizard," said Olivander. Of the hundred thousand + books in that store, one book chose me. Full Dark, No Stars. How did I ever miss that book? Stephen King looks pretty young on the back cover. 2010 copyright. It's okay Stephen, the last ten years have aged us all. It's a special addition, large print, hard cover. Hello friend. Tell me about some poor, unfortunate soul.

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