Pocket book

Steele of the Royal Mounted by James Oliver Curwood - book cover

Steele of the Royal Mounted by James Oliver Curwood - book cover

WRITING PROMPT NO. 214

Thomas reached into his pocket and felt around for his favourite book.

He ran his fingers along the spine and flipped the edges of the pages. A corner sliced the skin on his finger with painful precision. The sting flooded through his hand as he pulled it out and stuck it in his mouth, sucking hard to anaesthetise the area. He inspected the cut, pushing at the side of his thumb, examining the flesh the paper had cut into.

His favourite book smacked against his hip as he ran for the train. He hopped in just as the beep announced the door was closing. He searched for an empty seat but the carriage was full. He would need to stand. He hooked his arm around a pole and pulled out his book just as the train began to pull away from the station.

He remembered this. The painting on the cover showing the Mountie, an impassive expression on his face as he balanced in the saddle of his rearing horse who looked wild and untamed. Thomas had loved this book. He’d read it over and over, sometimes by torchlight under his bed covers, sometimes in the lunch hall surrounded by the din of three hundred boys all eating, chatting and scraping chairs. It reminded him of being alone, of solitude. There was comfort in the dusty smell of the pages. But he was grown up now the adventures of a young boy far removed.

He went to slide the book back in his pocket but something caught his eye. Something in the painting moved. The Mountie had turned his head and was looking at him.

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