…waving a gift card over her head. Her shirt was on backwards, her skirt was tucked into her underwear, and her hair looked like she’d stuck her finger in a light socket. It was also obvious that she didn’t care. She never broke stride as she scooped up the basket from beside the door. She didn’t even glance at the employees manning the registers as she made her way straight to the genre fiction.
It wasn’t twenty minutes later before she came waddling up to a register. Waddling because she was walking spraddle-legged, straining to keep the too-thin handles of the overburdened cheap basket in her grip. She pushed sweaty hair back from her brow after heaving the overloaded basket onto the counter, and gave an almost sexual sound of relief. At the odd look the cashier gave her, she grinned and proclaimed. “Gift card. Fully loaded. Needed to spend it before my adult side got a hold of it.”
Then, she began to lift the books lovingly from the basket, and stack them into an unwieldy pile beside the basket.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Illustrated Edition was the first book she laid on the counter. “Family favorite” she mumbled.
Then a moment later, King of Plagues – Joe Ledger #3 was laid on top of it. “Need it to complete my c’llection.”
On top of that, she gingerly placed Time Siege by Wesley Chu. “Pretty cover, looks interesting.” The clerk eyed her, wondering why she was telling him the reason behind each book. But, as they say, the customer is always right, even when they’re crazy, so he kept his mouth shut.
She said nothing when the Doctor Who Coloring book joined the pile, but she did give him a serious stink-eye. Enough so that he bared his teeth in a nervous smile, and gave a tiny nod of approval at her choice.
When Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell became the top book on the tower, she (too loudly) exclaimed “Sherlock. Demons. Fight! Fight! Fight!” As the words echoed through the space, she ducked her head, blushed, and added Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson quickly to the teetering pile.
“Maybe if I own it, I’ll actually read it.” was said more to herself than to anyone else. She almost tossed Death Note – The Black Edition onto the tower, which every nearly sent all the books scattering to the floor. The clerk managed to save the pile from utter disaster, and started to ring things up, figuring the sooner he got them into bags, the better. By now the other clerks working the front were staring in bemusement at the two of them.
While he was ringing the books up – because of course his register would choose just then to start screwing up – she placed Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana onto the counter. She looked vaguely discomfited. “I’m probably not going to like it, but it looks soooo interesting!” After that, the last three books were placed haphazardly on the counter. For The Archived she grumbled something under her breath about owning the second book, so of course she needed the first. For Reviver, she said excitedly “So good! SO. GOOD. You need to read this.”
The clerk gave her another nervous smile, noting that not only was her shirt on backwards, but that it was also one of those cheap nearly sheer ones. It sidetracked his brain, and instead of saying what he meant to say, he blurted out “Boobs!” The customer stopped with Mr. Penubra’s 24 Hour Bookstore halfway to the counter, and cocked an eyebrow at him.
The clerk went bright red, and the crazy lady didn’t even crack a smile as she said simply. “Butt.”
“B-b-ut what?” The freckle-face clerk stammered in response.
“Hm, nevermind” the female said absently, putting the final book on the counter. “Thought we were randomly naming body parts.” She fell silent as she waited for him to finish ringing her up. Neither of them said anything – albeit for different reasons – until he squeaked to “Have a nice day!” after the transaction was complete. She said an almost curt “Thanks” and gathered her bags, making a bee-line for the door.
This Top Ten Tuesday topic was what books you’d buy with a fully loaded gift card. Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of The Broke and the Bookish.
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