I chose the image of the Image of the horse statue for my twenty-minute sprint this time.
The Pixie Horse:
Kylie ran from the front of the store all the way to the back every time they came to the book store. Valerie still didn’t know what was so important about the metal statue of the horse with wings and a little stick figure on its back with a book, but Kylie insisted on greeting it every single time they arrived.
“Hey, Valerie,” Mercedes said from behind the counter.
“Hey,” Valerie replied, smiling for her favorite store employee. She was in a lot, with and without Kylie, and Mercedes was by far the best bookstore employee she’d ever seen. Mercedes could ask anyone three questions and then recommend a book they’d love.
“She off talking to the pixie horse again?” Mercedes asked.
“Pixie horse?” Valerie asked, stepping over to the counter. She could see Kylie by the statue from here so she wasn’t worried.
“Yeah, that’s what the owner calls it,” Mercedes said. “Seems to think it has some kind of magic for attracting children and authors.”
Valerie laughed. “Well, I can see some evidence of that.”
“Your Kylie is certainly taken with it,” Mercedes agreed.
“How’re things?” Valerie asked, watching Kylie finish her animated greeting with a soft pat to the statue horse’s nose and then move off into the children’s section to pick out her next book.
“Sales are doing well,” Mercedes said. “And we’ve got three signings this month, so that’s nice. We always get a little extra business on those days.”
“Let me know if you need any temps to help with those,” Valerie said. She was currently living off her severance package, but didn’t want to rely on it forever. She had applications out with a few local companies, but hadn’t heard back yet.
“I’ll leave a note for George,” Mercedes said, referencing the old and eccentric store owner.
Valerie nodded. She knew for helping last month that George liked to be in complete control of the signing events. He picked who worked them, how many tickets there would be, whether there would be signing of books before or after, and whether you needed an extra ticket to get your book signed.
“It would be nice to work with you again,” Mercedes said. “Come to that, Ashley is leaving in another month. If nothing else works out, we could use your help here.”
“I’ll keep it in mind,” Valerie said. “I do like it here.” She’d come here after the severance with her old company because her brother was here and she adored her niece, Kylie. He and his wife had been amazing, letting her take over the guest room, and refusing to accept rent because Valerie was always watching Kylie for them.
Speaking of, Kylie came bounding up with two books in her hand.
“I thought your dad said you could only get one at a time with the way the account was set up,” Valerie said. “Do you need help deciding?”
“I’d really like to get both,” Kylie said softly. “I could definitely read them both in a week.”
Valerie didn’t doubt that. The girl read faster than most people she knew, and the kid was only eleven.
“What do you have then,” Valerie asked, crouching down so she could look at the books with Kylie.
“This one is the next in the series,” Kylie said, holding up a fiction book in the fantasy mystery series she was currently obsessed with. “And this one is non-fiction,” she said, holding up the other. “It’s real stuff about all the historical things in the fantasy books. I thought it would be neat to learn what’s real and what they’re making up.”
Valerie took the non-fiction book and glanced at the table of contents and the back cover. It actually looked pretty good. She flipped through it and found a diagram explaining how a water wheel worked. It wasn’t dumbing things down just because it was children’s non-fiction.
“That one’s really good,” Mercedes said. “They get their facts right and they do it in a way that’s accessible.”
“How about this,” Valerie suggested. “We can get both today, if this one, is part of your birthday gift from me for this year.”
“But my birthday isn’t for another month,” Kylie said, frowning.
“That’s why it’s a deal,” Valerie said. “You get part of it early and get two books today, but that means you also get slightly less on your birthday.”
“Okay,” Kylie said. “I bet the fairy horse will be okay with that idea.”
Valerie felt her eyebrows furrowing at that statement.
“I think she would,” Mercedes said, smiling down at Kylie. “She’s a very understanding horse,” she added, winking at Valerie.
“Alright then,” Valerie said, taking the other book from Kylie as well and setting them up on the counter. “This one on the account, and I’ll pay for this one,” she said to Mercedes.
“It’s nice to see someone who appreciates good books for kids,” Mercedes said as Kylie wandered back over to the statue.
“I love books, always have,” Valerie said, watching her niece lean in and whisper in the horse’s ear. For a second she could swear she saw the ears move.
“You’d be amazed how many people who love books don’t share them with the kids in their lives,” Mercedes replied.
“That’s just sad,” Valerie said.
“Yeah,” Mercedes replied. “Oh, and apparently the pixie horse does approve, the register gave you a discount.”
“What?” Valerie asked.
“It’s something George is always saying,” Mercedes said. “I think it’s just the register being old and occasionally running errors, but when it happens, he always tells us to give the customer the discount, because the pixie horse must approve of their choices.”