The Lost Book!
The Lost Book!
"How may I help you Sir?" the handsome owner of the Antique shop asked me with a smile.
"Well, I was looking for something unusual! Do you have anything special in your shop that could quench the thirst of curiosity in my mind?" I asked him back. That is the problem with writers like me, we are never happy with small and simple conversations. We like twist in everything. Well, you all must be familiar that a writer is a kind of species that is found on earth but lives in it's own dimension.....and Yes! they wear their unique set of glasses to have a different perspective towards everything.
The owner looked at me with a smile for a moment and then vanished inside a rack! He emerged back with a silver urn, a beautifully carved silver urn!.... there were flowers, leaves, and at the base of it were elephants with raised trunks. I liked it so much that I knew I was buying it even before he placed it on the counter.
"What's the price?" I asked him before he could open his mouth to describe about it.
He again gave me his handsome smile. "Yes Sir!" he said. While he was studying the documents of urn, I was studying him! He was around thirty years old, medium height and medium frame! After I studied him carefully, I shifted my attention towards the other things in the shop! I was surprised to see a wide range of antique items on the display rack, and something caught my attention.
"A book?" I asked in surprise! Well, it's not unusual to find a book in an antique shop, but it's rare.
The owner looked at me and then followed my gaze towards the book.
"Oh! But that's not for sale Sir!" he replied in his calm voice.
"Can I ask why?" I asked curiously.
"Sir! You won't believe!" he said.
"Oh! I'm a writer! Try me!" I replied. I'm all ears!
"Sir, we sold it for around fifty times, but it came back always!" he sad putting the urn into the box carefully.
"What? How is this possible?" The curiosity of the writer Inside me was at its peak now.
"Don't know Sir! That book belonged to my great grandfather. In the beginning we thought that the person who purchased the book from us must have lost it somewhere and luckily it came back to our shop. But then, it happened again and again, so we stopped selling that book" he said pushing the beautiful urn box towards me.
I arched my brow... understandingly.... he went to the rack and carefully took the book out.
"Here Sir!" he said giving me the book as if presenting an award.
"Wow!" I said scrutinizing the book. "In how many days you say the book returns?"
"A day, at the minimum and a week at the maximum Sir!" he said.
"If it is not for sale then why are you keeping it in this rack?"
"Sir, I told you! The book comes back here on its own! We can't keep it anywhere else." he said pointing with his thumb towards the rack.
"Oh! I want to buy it!" I said with a decision.
"You are wasting your money Sir!" he said still smiling.
"Well if the book didn't come back this time, in a week to be precise, then I want my money back.... " I sad jokingly.
"Deal Sir!" he said confidently.
"Well... then pack this also!" I said happily. I was on a visit to that city and I was returning the next day. If there is any foul play, then they will not be able to find me where I live. Tomorrow at this time, I would be thousands of miles away from this place. And I don't think that the book could book a return flight for itself.
The next day, I was at my home, surrounded by my beautiful wife and two lovely kids. My wife was very happy to see the antique silver urn. I told her about the book....
"So, what are you going to do with that book then?" she asked widening her beautiful sea green eyes.
"I'll hide it!" I whispered in her ear before planting a kiss on her forehead.
The next day, the book was still in the wardrobe. I went to my office, which was on the first floor of my home (Perk of being a writer... you can do your work from anywhere)! And I failed to concentrate on my writing because of the book. I wanted to keep the book hidden! I got an idea and I ran to the wardrobe. I picked the old book and locked it inside the confidential section of my wardrobe and also locked the wardrobe. My wife has left for work, and my kids were at the school. I went to my office and then only I could concentrate on my work.
After a couple of hours, I went back to my room, and stumbled in the door with shock........ The book was lying on the bed!
"What the hell?" I mumbled. Nobody was at home except me and the main door was locked. I decided not to tell the incidence to my wife. 'I didn't want to keep this ghostly book with me' I thought. I wanted to get rid of the book as early as possible. I made a decision and I went to the fireplace, I burned some wood in it and threw the book in! The book was consumed by the blazing flames in a minute. I sat there till the flames died.
"How nobody ever thought of this?" I thought. Now, I have to wait till the week is over and then I'll get my money back. Well, money was not a big deal but winning definitely was! I was happy that I just 'killed' the ghostly book. The dying ashes brought a sense of confidence in me. 'Now, the book will never return to its home' I thought. The book is lost..... forever!
In that happiness, I decided to call the handsome owner of the antique shop. 'It will be fun!' I thought. I dialled his number.... he picked the phone in the third ring.
"Hello!" he said from the other side.
"Hello! It's me!" I said proudly. 'You lost the bet dear' I thought.
"Hello Sir! How are you?" he asked.
'Why is he sounding so cheerful?' I thought.
"You still remember the bet?" I asked him.
"Yes Sir I do!" he replied. "Don't feel bad for losing the bet Sir. I already told you about the book!" he replied.
"What do you mean?" I was totally confused till now.
"Well! The Book has returned Sir! A little burnt at the corners but still intact! It will recover. It has returned in worst conditions than this! Sometimes wet, sometimes burnt, sometimes with torn pages.... but, it recovers itself."
I dropped the phone and sat on my knees in front of the fireplace. I looked carefully for any remnants and found a small piece of burnt paper. I took it in my hand and in an instant, it vanished!
I lost the book and the owner regained it!