Short and Sweet (Adult)

“Anything new for me today, Herr Schumann?”
The sprung bell over the old bookshop door tr-r-r-r-inged as a rush of warm air carried in sounds of honking geese and splashing oars – the breeze on her neck was strange after years of having Rapunzel hair.
The elderly Proprietor peered from behind towering piles of musty-smelling paperbacks that filled his antique desk.
“Ahh… Nicole!” A crinkly smile blossomed across his face as the young woman popped a tiny, frosty tub before him with a fluttering napkin.
“Strawberry?” he beamed. “Who needs grandchildren when I have you? Thank you, my dear! Um… there’s the box of Auction oddments you kindly bought me last week – I’ve not looked at it yet.” He patted his tweed jacket. “Now, where are my spectacles?”
“By the phone, usually!” Nicole called, weaving between the huddled, burgeoning bookcases toward a box of jumbled items on a library chair.
“It’s Graduation soon, isn’t it? Tübingen will lose some of its sparkle if you move away, you know. How about a PhD? Best Botany course in Germany! Mind you, degrees are expensive, and one must earn a living… I may have to move on too, if the rent keeps going up,” his shoulders slumped.
“Speaking of Botany, look what I found!” Nicole brought through a tatty, leather-bound volume, opened it gingerly and pointed at four delicate letters on the flyleaf. The old man squinted.
“No, ‘A.L. and M.E.’   Adam Lonicer! And his wife – the fifteenth century Botanist that the Honeysuckle family is named after! This may just be the oldest book in the shop! If it’s a first edition, it’ll provide a very comfortable retirement!” Her fingers danced over her smartphone before scribbling a phone number on the napkin.
This Collector is looking for it – you should call him!”
Herr Schumann stared up at her with widening eyes.
Remarkable! I … don’t know what to say! I – ohh, you had your lovely long hair cut! Still, I suppose it’ll make Summer easier… As will this book – thank you!”
Nicole smiled as she left. Mission accomplished. Thank you,
Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Fleur 2020-07 Honeysuckle
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