Book Excerpts 2: Bromington Heights
Anna glanced over to where her friend was staring and a chill run over her. “It’s that man again,” she whispered.
Whoever he was and wherever he came from, he gave both of them the willies. Rosie leaned in, “look, he’s gone straight over to the book stall again, barging into everyone, he is so rude.”
“Looks like some sort of a tramp to me,” Anna said, behind her hand. “I think I shall go over there and ruffle his feathers. Someone has to stop him terrifying the old dears.”
“Anna, don’t you dare. Besides, he might have fleas or something,” Rosie hissed. Too late, her friend couldn’t help herself.
Anna didn’t like the villagers feeling under threat by this stranger. Just lately he barged into the Village Hall like a person possessed. Enough already, he totally unnerved Rosie too. Someone needed to put him in his place she thought. Poor Doris, she was quaking behind her pile of Barbara Cartland romances and racy Jackie Collins dog-chewed paperbacks. This man was wrecking her book stall.
“Thank you for standing in, Doris. Why don’t you get a cuppa – I will serve for a while,” Anna winked.
“That’s very kind of you dear; I do need a toilet break,” the ashen-faced spinster smiled. She would quite happily come back to her stall when this rude man disappeared. For three weeks he had tossed the books all over the place. Not buying a thing, she had no clue what he was looking for.
Anna frowned. The man was possessed. He was clearly looking for something in particular.
“Can I help you at all?” Anna asked, to no avail; he ignored her.
“Excuse me,” she said aloud. “You are making far too much mess. What exactly is it you’re looking for?”
“I’m not deaf. Do you good to mind your own business. Sticking your nose in where it ain’t wanted. If I need your help, I’ll ask for it,” he snorted.
“Well, in which case, kindly leave the stall. You have upended everything and made a right mess.” Anna stood her ground, hands on hips firing both barrels; her wild eyes and black hair all stood on end, like a dog waiting to bite. By this time, a hush had fallen over the hall and poor Doris Golightly steadied her shaking hand. The sweet tea spilling into her green saucer.
Rosie got her heckles up and marched over to give Anna support. “My friend is quite right. You barge in here every week, pushing and shoving people out of your way and make a right mess. If you want something in particular, just say so!”
“I can tell you what he’s looking for,” came a voice from the back of the hall. “Books I accidentally gave away for the jumble.”
“That’s enough!” the rude man hollered before the poor lady in the mobility scooter could utter another word. “Think on what I told you, woman!” he stomped off towards the door and was gone.