This is week four; plus I've added a few paragraphs since last week. You can catch up here.
Forcing his attention back to his job, Mark parallel parked behind the captain’s police-issued Crown Vic. His eyes darted to the nineteenth-century structure you’d expect to see on a French countryside, not a Pennsylvania city founded on coal mining. He had an affinity for old buildings, but not as much as he used to after his last experience inside an old train station turned restaurant, something Ashlyn and he had promised never to speak of again.
He exited his cruiser and glanced up at the edifice with its high slanted roof and dormer gables straight out of the renaissance era. No gaudy colors, just soft gray limestone and medina stone. The old building emanated stateliness. The decorative trim over every door and window beckoned passersby to come in and discover its mysteries.
Pushing through the black-iron gate, Mark smiled as he remembered coming here when he was a young boy. Every Saturday morning, Mrs. Davis would gather the students around a massive marble fireplace for story time. But before she’d start reading, she’d pass the book around to the students. Each child had to inhale the pages, thereby infusing the scent and memory as one into their subconscious.
Mark recalled the scent as having the same rustic aroma of an oak tree after it had fallen in the woods, reminding him of the couple of times he’d sat next to his father while he’d hunted. When the breeze had blown just right, a sweet pungent smell of the rotting wood wafted into the tree stand.
As a boy, he’d thought the old books were slowly rotting away too, and now the two memories would forever share space in his heart and soul. He also distinctively remembered a delicate hint of jasmine. Then again, he’d sat so close to Mrs. Davis, anxious to receive every word, that it could have been her.
He’d recognized the scent since his mother had planted jasmine in the backyard. The rambling vine had spread across the patio and up the fence, filling his summer days with a memorable scent that would forever remind him of his mother and father sipping tea on the back porch before dinner.
Mark ran his hands down the smooth worn wood that framed the door as he entered the library, relishing in the intricate craftsmanship and design.
As soon as he stepped over the threshold, though, his phone buzzed. He glanced at the screen then shot a questioning look over his shoulder at Davis, holding his phone up as a request before answering her call. “Ashlyn’s traveling, and I’m a little worried. Do you mind?”
Davis waved him off. “Nah. Go ahead. The old man’s dead. He ain’t going anywhere.”
The Library will be available in a few weeks, but if you haven't read the prequel short story, it's available at all eBook retailers FREE! Enjoy!
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Scranton Memorial Library image courtesy of: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/