lady lantsov

United States

WtW's "cool cousin you see once a year, but the conversation you guys were having... picks up where it left off without missing a beat" (rosi)

Daughter of God

jr in HS
sporadically here

Message to Readers

Stone of Jade
for their outstanding peer reviews and effort and time!

The Things Which Can Happen in a Bookstore

November 10, 2020

    He was starving. Deprived. He needed books like a heroin junkie needed a hit.
    Never had he felt so desperate for black typeface on paper. For those written enchantments.
His legs changed from walking to jogging without consulting him first. White Converse thudded against leaf shadows on the sidewalk. Books for the Soul felt infinitely far. Would his paper-and-ink lifeline stretch—stretch—and—snap? 
    A quarter mile from his own house, and he seriously doubted he’d make it. It wasn’t his physical abilities that he questioned. He was a runner; his mental and emotional states, however, needed a swig of that life-giving water—books. And possibly an iced latte.
    Tag breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the bookstore's rough-cut wooden sign dangling in the distance. Rays of July morning sun shone across the hand painted letters. Brooks would know what he needed. Most days, he ventured into Books for the Soul with no specific title in mind, but Brooks Felmar—assistant manager, shelver, best friend—always found the right book.
    Tag peered through the window before stepping into his second home. Instead of bells on the door, like any other store, a cacophony of bagpipes and harmonica greeted him. As the recording ended, a potpourri of aromas enveloped him. Coffee. Cinnamon tea. Chocolate chip cookies. Musty pages. Lemon cleaner. Tag shook off his nostalgia and was about to search for Brooks when Brooks emerged from the cafe section, grinning.
    “Montag Croftrow. Where. Have. You. Been? School ended weeks ago!" exclaimed Brooks. "And I know that varsity soccer workouts don’t start until August," he added. 
    "Just busy.” Tag shrugged. "And the only person who calls me Montag is my grandmother."
    "Busy. Mhm. So, Tag, what's up?" Brooks wrapped an arm around Tag's shoulders, grinning down at him. His other hand snaked around and jabbed Tag in the ribs. Brooks’ nickname for Tag had emerged years ago—during a game of tag. From there on, Montag never existed. He was always Tag. 
    Brooks let Tag trail behind him without complaint, advising him on breaking curfew, trigonometry, homecoming dances and everything in between. When Tag turned fifteen, the six year gap became less insurmountable, and they evolved into something closer than brothers. 
    Tag cut to the point. “I need a book. Now.” 
    “C'mon, don’t you want to pour out your conflicted teenage heart to me? It’s been at least a month since our therapy session,” Brooks mocked. Tag ducked out of Brooks’ arm. Although they had pulled more than one all-nighter in conversation, Tag didn’t want to start a long heart-to-heart. 
    “I told you, I need a book. Preferably a thick one.” Tag cursed how his tone dissolved into pleading on his last sentence.
    "My, aren't we desperate?"
    “Brooks. Please. You know what it’s like when you need—”
    “The right book. Yeah, I understand.” Brooks sighed; his gaze—storms hovering between blue and gray—turned solemn and businesslike. 
    “What do you have?” Tag knew he sounded idiotic like this, but the hunger for a story gnawed at him. Insatiable.
    “There’s a new collection in the RUU. Arrived at the crack of dawn today.” RUU—a room filled with Rare, Unusual, and Unique books—was one of many acronyms for sections of the bookstore.
    “A crate of twenty-five?”
    “Ten this time.”
    “What were you doing here at the crack of dawn?” Tag wondered, inching toward the stairs.
    “Couldn’t sleep. Besides, I’m implementing a new organization system.” Brooks lowered his voice, glancing toward the cafe. “Also… Elly’s brothers are in hot water again, so I let her crash here.”
    “What happened this time?”
  “You know that’s her business,” Brooks reminded him. Tag nodded. Elly’s three younger brothers were all alike but as opposite from Elly as night and day. It wasn’t the first time they had been on the wrong side of the law. 
    “Well, give her my regards. Have you looked through the books yet?” Tag was already at the top of the curved landing, eyeing the second floor.
    “Nope, it’s all yours to discover. And the girl’s.”
    “A girl?” Brooks smirked as Tag’s foot hovered over the next step.
    “Maybe you’ll get your first girlfriend since, what, sophomore year? This girl was striking, I’ll give her that. You know I notice everything about everyone. Tall, around your age. Her hair… it was dark with unusual highlights, kind of russet and gold. Like streaks of fire and sunlight.” He paused, contemplating. “You know, that's straight up poetry. Anyway, I think you should find her.”
    “You're turning into a gen-yoo-wine poet,” Tag noted. Beneath the banter, the steady thrum of necessity bore into him.
    Books. Books. Books, whispered the shelves.
    “Wow, a gen-yoo-wine poet?” teased a warm voice. With sandy waves of hair and a smile that never appeared forced, Brooks' girlfriend was impossible not to like. Only subtle shadows under Elly's eyes hinted at the anxiety Brooks had described. She walked to Tag and handed him the usual latte. 
    "Thanks." Tag sipped his drink, which was typically a perfect balance of creamy and bitter.
    “Don’t thank me, thank Brooks. Three dollars on your tab, babe,” she teased Brooks. 
    But today, Tag’s latte seemed bland and empty. When Elly’s lattes tasted flavorless, it meant he was distracted and book-famished. By the time Brooks and Elly were consumed in discussion about an upcoming engagement party, he stood outside of the RUU with latte spillage on his hand.
    The RUU exerted a curious magnetism for Tag. Added to the fact that the dark-haired girl had piqued his interest, and nothing could have dragged him away. He wiped a latte-covered hand on his stained jeans and pushed open the warped door. Creeeaaak. 
    The bookcases wound around in a dizzying oval. Ten leather-bound volumes were spread on the carpet beside a wooden crate.
    Tag stared ravenously at two identical books; an intricate symbol shone in the center of a gold circle. Tag snatched one of the copies just as the second book disappeared.
    Into the hands of a girl with fire and sunlight in her hair. 
Update as of 11.10.20: I CUT DOWN THE WORDS!!! TO 998! GUYS! I'M IN HISTORY CLASS TRYING NOT TO FREAK OUT! EEEEE!!! (can you tell i'm a wee bit excited?)
Update as of 11.9.20: unfortunately, the expert review limit has been reached, but I've cut to 1065 words!!!
Update as of 11.7.20: I can't edit anymore right now. I've cut down at 1240 words, but it's still 240 too many. *bangs head against desk* I'm also going to look at some different sections of this story (because I have more on the google doc) and see if I might change which part I submit. 
Update as of 11.6.20: after 2 peer reviews, I've changed several things, but it still way exceeds the word limit at 1651 words. GRRRR. Much thanks to Stone of Jade and BizzleWrites!
Also, don't worry about indentations and grammar. I copy+pasted from my google doc, so it's bound to get messed up. 

This is a very rough draft... but I've loved this idea for a long time. It's been sitting in my drive for a while, and I realized I could just pull it and use it here. I know it exceeds the word limit. I'm working on it.
The inspiration for this was originally from Pinterest, but that actually isn't even mentioned in this excerpt yet. It was the idea of a book where the main character falls in love with the reader. The book mentioned here is that book, written directly to the reader. If you'd like a transcript of that pin, message me in the comments and I'll copy and paste it in a reply. It's a fascinating idea. I decided to put a story within a story here, but unfortunately, I'm already exceeding the word limit...
I'll cut more eventually, but I just wanted to publish it for now. I'll also release another excerpt of a different section so you guys can help me decide which to submit. This piece starts from the beginning. It's chapter 1 of part 1.
Review for Review!

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  • sci-Fi

    Re: The last one that came out was the Poison Jungle and I read that one (amazing btw) and yeah I'm definitely a little too much like cricket. Also I totally forgot about Moon last night, but I LOVE her. Good morning!

    about 1 year ago
  • lochnessie ❀

    re: yes i am bilingual!! i also learn italian but i'm nowhere near fluent XD. and really, thank you!

    about 1 year ago
  • sci-Fi

    Re: Gods I need to reread those books XD. I think I'm mostly Starflight with a very little bit of Tsunami/Sundew that comes out when I'm super mad. Also, we stan Cricket in this household. And Turtle, I love him. Aaaaand just realized what time it is. Ya I need to go to bed too. ttyl gn!

    about 1 year ago
  • tas (yellowbrickrd)

    Hello I'm here to deliver my review :)

    about 1 year ago
  • mirkat

    hey erin! (is it okay if i call you by your name or do you want to go by something else?) we haven't talked in a while so i wanted to see how you are doing. thank you for your comments on my pieces, i totally forgot to respond and so here i am! let me just say wonderful piece and i wish you the best of luck in the competition! also that is so funny b/c i am reading anne of windy poplars right now and next up in the reading queue is anne of the island! (i know, i know out of order but i had nothing to read so i picked up an old copy of the 4th one and am getting the 3rd one from the library). anyway! what is your fav anne book? i've only read the first one and the 4th for some reason... i love highlighting all my fav sentences in the books b/c so poetic and just anne-y. sigh. i love anne... wow, this is a long comment! well i'm here if you need me! sending love! <3<3<3

    about 1 year ago
  • ava09 (sorta back)

    that intro though: "He needed books like a heroin junkie needed a hit." THAT *CLAPS* SIMILE!!! "His legs changed from walking to jogging without consulting him first." girl i rarely reference parts of the piece in comments but you've had two incredible sentence already!! OH MY GOSH I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!! can you please make this into a series because i needddd to know what happens next!! literally this is one of my favorite things i'm gonna bookmark it. ahh i love thissss. <3
    replying: first of all NEVER apologize for long comments/rants lolll i leave super long comments and rants too (exhibit a: this comment haha) so it's totally okay! and i love long comments because they make me happy. :) you said "this is golden" and first of all thank you!! but i've also got daylight stuck in my head now hehe. yes to Taylor Swift, HP and LOTR ALWAYS and 10000% i'm an old soul! i ran track too, and i was middle long distance! my favorite event was probably the 400 but the 800 and mile are fun too. i switched over to soccer this past year though (conflicting seasons are the worstttt) but i'll always be a runner. :) what do you run/what are your favorite events? i also wish i could know you and everyone else in real life. we should all make a WTW covid bubble on the moon and live in happy writer bliss! (i have no idea where that came from but just kidding...but also that sounds pretty great right now haha.) ashuasib i haven't watched house hunters in a while but THEY WENT TO ENGLAND?!?!! i need to watch thattt. and you basically described how i react to everything english lolll. "cottages and ivy and leaves and bridges and crumbling brick and accents" *cue the romantic sighhh* i also cannot tell you enough how much it means that you think my piece reminded you of a taylor swift song because that is literally such high praise ahhh. i've been listening to wonderland/1989 today a ton for some reason (i'm just in a mood idk i've playing wonderland on repeat - is that healthy? loll) so it's funny that you thought of "you are in love." i can definitely see the "you are in love" and "lover" parallels though. they weren't on purpose haha but maybe it was subconscious. now that i'm rereading it maybe seven for the dash of folklore? idk haha. sending hugs and thank you SO much for your comment. <3

    about 1 year ago
  • Paisley Blue

    re: or day or evening or whatever time it is for you haha

    about 1 year ago
  • Paisley Blue

    re: yay! I'm glad at least SOME of it fit :D you are very nice. And thank you, dear :) Description is one of my favorite things to do when writing XD hope you're having a nice night!! :)

    about 1 year ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Oh my gosh. Thank you!! It means a lot to me that you liked it and connected to it so much. I'm glad that you're confident with or without makeup. And don't worry about talking too much. I love long comments.

    about 1 year ago
  • Paisley Blue

    re: haha well im glad that my description captured your personality a bit, if the physical descriptions aren't quite right. You should tell me what you look like--seriously!! lol

    about 1 year ago
  • Paisley Blue

    hi! just wanted to let you know that i wrote a piece doing the descriptions of people and you were one of them... you should check it out and tell me how wrong i was XD hope you're having a good day!

    about 1 year ago
  • wil

    I think the girl sounds really mysterious. This caught my attention though, it is so good it could probably be publishes as a real book.
    It's William the Conquerer because my name is actually William and I think he was kind of a cool guy in history. I could have done William Wilberforce too but William the Conquerer sounded cooler.

    about 1 year ago
  • Minvra

    Dang. This has to be one of the best things I've read.

    about 1 year ago
  • Stone of Jade

    YES!! YOU DID IT!!! I knew you could ;) This is so so amazing still and even tho so many words were cut I still love it!!!

    about 1 year ago
  • dead account

    re: oh damn. yeah, her name is ana. i guess i was thinking of other names when typing this out and it somehow made its way into this chapter

    about 1 year ago