Three Line Tales: End of story

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash


Every market day for the last twenty-seven years he has set up his stand, laid out his merchandise, books stuffed with magic between their shining covers, and waited for customers.

In the beginning, he had sold books; people had stroked the bright coloured covers and dipped inside, tasting the contents first, and he had watched their faces grow absorbed, the worries of their hum-drum lives put on hold.

Things change, laws and attitudes, and today, as the police make him pack away the shining friends that no one has glanced at in weeks, he knows he has to leave and find a place where people still need magic in their lives.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

17 thoughts on “Three Line Tales: End of story”

    1. Thank you! I wonder how long the second-hand booksellers on the markets will last. Will people always read, or will it become a marginal slightly subversive activity?

      1. Ow well, let’s hope it isn’t the case. I believe it’s more so a case of saturation with how the market has become. With how commercialised it has gotten and selective of certain types of stories. 🙂 I suspect that people tend to read less if books surprise less.

  1. Sad, but well-told. I’m hoping people will always want to read.
    A lot of people now don’t want as many physical books, but they still read. Or as someone was telling me recently, it’s easier on her aging eyes to read her Kindle, where she can make the font larger.
    I agree with your comment above about regimes that censor.

  2. We still have street booksellers in New York, but not so many bookstores any more. But I think books will be around for awhile still. (K)

    1. I’m sure they will. The fact that so many dystopias have book burning or banning gives the impression that we consider books to be important still. The only hesitation I have is that dystopian novels are written by writers ergo they have a certain vested interest in how we regard books…

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