I took a break from revising my Phantom story this week to revise a short story instead. One of my stories from my 7 Stories in 7 Days project, I brought the initial draft in to my writing group, and made some edits based on feedback. A story of a woman in love with a dryad, they wanted to know a little more about her life apart from him. I added a short flashback, which also gave me the chance to explore the dreams she might have had, before she fell in love with a tree spirit. Here’s a bit of an excerpt from “Icebound.”
Without intending it, a memory surfaces of a recent trip into the village. I went to do my usual grocery shopping, and treated myself to a stop in the bookstore. It was supposed to be a treat. The grocery store, a big chain that replaced the local one that was there when I was a child, is an easy place to stay anonymous in. The bookstore, though, is the same one that’s been there forever, run by the same woman who seemed old—but probably wasn’t—when I was first learning to read.
I used to think I might like a job like that someday, surrounded by books and people who loved them. Not in my village, which seemed hopelessly dull, but somewhere else—in a big city, maybe, or perhaps I could be a traveling bookseller, like the mobile library buses, visiting a new place every day.
I always forget until I arrive that going into the bookstore will inevitably remind me of those dreams. The ones I don’t usually think about anymore, because I have him, and I don’t need old dreams. But it always puts me out of sorts, to be reminded.