The bookshelf

The pile of board games balanced precariously on the top level of the bookshelf. There seemed to be a glue holding them in place because gravity and a normal sense of perspective would suggest that they should fall to the ground. Yet they hung there, suspended like the sword of Damocles over the rest of the bookshelf’s contents.

He looked away from the board games and glanced over the other levels. It read like the time lines of an ancient tree. Photos, books, albums and shells from long ago and not so long ago. Why were there always seashells in bookshelves, he wondered.

He glanced at the books, and with the speed of light that only brains can attain, he remembered scenes from each: the pirate ship scene from Rushdie’s “The enchantress of Florence”; the dinosaur story from Perlman’s “The reasons I won’t be coming” and the various well scenes from Murakami’s unforgettable “ The wind up bird chronicles”.

In fact, as he sat there in the soft light, the bookshelf seemed to turn into drive-in theatre, full of flashing images and scenes born of the artefacts resting dustily on its shelves. Eventually he fell asleep, just as his mind wandered into the warm pacific water of one of the surfing photos.

When he awoke he felt as though he knew what he should do but his eyes were drawn immediately to the miraculous pile of board games. He switched out the light and headed down the hallway towards bed. But just as the light clicked out, he thought he saw a swept up pile of rubbish out of the corner of his eye. A pile of rooks and pawns; Miss Scarlets and Professor Plums; Mayfair’s and Kent Roads and cards and dice of myriad colours and design.

The bookshelf

Rex Inkpen

Joined January 2009

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