I discovered mystery stories don't just lie on the book shelves of Barnes and Noble. Sometimes it's the patrons lingering between the shelves that present the mystery.
Many books are displayed on the shelves having their cover titles facing outward with the intention to draw the eye in and seduce the curious reader. I stood completely absorbed in front of one of these book displays when I felt the presence of someone standing next to me.
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His presence close enough to smell his musk cologne, but not too close that it felt invading. The man roughly in his fifties with dark curly hair, tinted glasses, wearing a trendy camouflage shirt and modish jeans.
I gradually inched away to move from his personal space, when he suddenly let out a deep chuckle and grabbed a book from the shelf. It was titled "God Is Not Mad At You."
With a smirk look on his face, he waved the book in my direction to show me the book title. He exclaimed, "well, I think God would be mad at some of things I've done!"
I felt dumbfounded, a little intrigued, but creeped out all at the same time.
I discretely moved over a couple of steps.
With that lasting statement, he then drifted away. I stared at that book title wondering what sort of heinous things had he done to make God mad.
It was a mystery.
It almost seemed eerily planned to leave me hanging on the unknown; leaving me to come up with my own imagined story.
I thought...isn't this how horror movies start out? Trying not to let my imagination run wild, I gazed my eyes upward only to see his tinted glasses peering suspiciously on the other side of the display.
My sideways glance looked away like a nervous cat that had just caught a rat. I conjured up notions wondering if he looked like a serial killer. Might he have a collection of hunting knives in his trunk? Was he looking for his next prey to throw down a pit and make a flesh coat from their helpless body?
Oh my...where had this guy's cryptic statement lured me? Feeling a bit ridiculous that I had made this guy out to be a murderer, I decided to take my mind off the situation and head over to the cafe side of the store.
Relaxing in one of those cushy chairs, drinking an iced coffee and reading my new book seemed to be a good diversion.
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Coddled by a whirling espresso machine and swallowed up in the coffee aroma, I sunk into my cozy chair.
With my nerves settling, I took a swig of my coffee, looked up and nearly choked when out of nowhere, I spotted the same curly-haired camouflaged guy swiftly appear between the book shelves looking straight across from me.
Holy Hannibal Lecter!
His movements lingered up and down the aisle from one side to the other like a hunter seeking his victim.
Breathing at a slower and shrinking pace, I hoped to appear invisible. I remained motionless and kept my eyes peeled to my book acting without concern or suspicion.
His thick muscular hand reached to pull a book from the shelf. I watched him flip each page with slow calculating intention. I didn't want my uneasy glimpses to make eye contact with his secretive tinted glasses.
By now, a little mist of heat collected around my brow, when I noticed him standing in the book section labeled ‘Christian Life.’
I didn't know what to make of this guy. Was it a coincidence that I encountered him again? Could he be stalking me to size me up for that flesh coat?
I really had to stop thinking of scenes from "The Silence of the Lambs!”
As he sauntered from one side to another, I thought maybe he was simply looking for a religious book to help with his spiritual journey. I'm sure he was completely harmless and a reformed law abiding citizen.
Certainly, he wouldn't think of harming one hair on the head of a delusional middle aged woman as she gingerly took a bite of a warm blueberry scone.
No sooner had I wiped the scone crumbs from my mouth, when I noticed he couldn't be seen anywhere. Just like that he had disappeared; right into thin air.
A little on edge and feeling a chill on my neck, I questioned this man's motives.
Looking for his whereabouts, I shifted to look right - to the left and then behind...in horror movies, you must always look behind!
He was nowhere to be seen.
As mysteriously as he had appeared, he then disappeared.
The only thing I could conclude from this strange encounter is that he had either found the book to save his soul or he decided I just wasn't the right coat size!
Honestly, with my imagination on full throttle, it might not be too far-fetched to see if the answer is waiting over in the Mystery/Thriller Section.
It could happen!
|Image Credit: Pixabay.com - Mysticartdesign|
Have you had a strange encounter or mystery? Did your mind run wild with suspicious thoughts?