Originality demands that you’re better off avoiding vampires, zombies, and other recognizable horror tropes unless you have put a very original spin on them. (Ghosts are currently somewhat more smiled upon, mainly because they haven’t settled into such predictably canonical treatment; you don’t know what a ghost can do until the author establishes it, so fear of the unknown is intact — which is the real lesson here.)
That statement inspired me to scribble out a quick piece of original work a couple of Saturdays ago between bits of my sandwich at Griffin's Bakery & Café, which is the closest thing we have to a Panera Bread around here. *sigh* Anyway, there's nothing scary about this vignette (except that I haven't given it a title) and it probably needs a little more work, but it might be a little entertaining. Any comments and criticism will be appreciated. Thanks!
The Books By Dead Authors bookshop was busy because bestselling author Jonathan Richard Richards was making a special appearance to sign copies of his latest masterpiece for his readers.
“I hate book-signings,” Becky grumbled as she descended the shelving-ladder. “Too many pushy customers that won’t make room for customers who aren’t looking for a book by the visiting author.”
“You should have been here when Franklin was signing his latest almanac,” Leo said, handing her another armful of books for her to stack on the top shelf. “The line stretched out the door and snaked around several blocks, nearly reaching City Hall.”
Becky made a face. “I can’t even begin to comprehend what that day was like.”
“Those books aren’t going to stack themselves,” Leo said, shooing Becky back up the ladder.
Becky rolled her eyes as she renewed her ascent. “How were you able to keep the customer traffic moving?”
“It took us a few hours, but we finally decided to move the register to the employee’s entrance at the back and guiding the customers out that way.”
“Hours? I thought you were a quicker thinker than that, Leo,” Becky teased.
“Franklin was here for two straight days, so a handful of hours was actually rather quick, relatively speaking.”
A pair of hard-covers slipped from Becky’s arms, nearly smashing Leo’s toes. He raised a bushy, grey eyebrow of disapproval. “Sorry,” she said in response.
The shop-girl was saved further admonishment when the antique bell above the shop’s front door rang, drawing Leo’s attention to a young White Cap trying to squeeze through the throng in search of the store’s owner. “Over here, boy,” he said after returning Becky’s wayward books to the small pile in her arms.
The fleet-footed youngster tipped his cap before handing Leo an envelope. “Message from Front Gate, sir.”
Leo tore open the envelope to retrieve the small card inside. “Ah, it looks like the publisher has signed a new author: Jane Rigley,” he announced. “She’ll be here tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” Becky whined. “Another signing so soon?”
Leo smiled, amused by the girl’s frustration. “It’s just an announcement. I don’t think she’ll have a new book ready. After all, she just died today.”