The book hit the wood floor hard, echoing off the walls of the empty house like gunfire. Her back to the bookcases, Sharon jumped and twisted to eye the offending tome behind her.
It had landed next to her checklist of packing tasks. The first in a series about World War II by Winston Churchill, the other volumes were teetering on the bookcase shelf, preparing to follow their compatriot to the floor.
“You guys want to be packed next, huh?” Her voice was loud in the bare room.
When the six books were sitting side-by-side in the box with the others she’d already packed, she wadded newspaper on top and taped the box shut. Then she pushed it against the wall where it joined a neat row of nine other identical boxes.
She faced the half-filled bookcases dominating the room, brushing strands of hair away from her face.
While her grandparents and family called the room “the library,” it was a re-purposed front bedroom with a bay window facing the street that offered a light for reading most of the day.
Chocolate brown craftsman style window frames and matching crown molding, along with dark beams across the ceiling, created the “library” feel of the room, and the bookcases set the tone. They had always been the focal point and, no longer sharing the room with any other furniture, they were a monumental presence.
They were the last vestige of her grandparents’ lives in the house, and a reminder of what she had lost.
She frowned at the bookcases. She had not decided if she should keep or leave them. Her first choice was to keep them, but she wasn’t sure they would fit in her small apartment.
I bet Grandfather mounted them to the wall in case of earthquakes, too, she thought as she gave one a little shove.
The bookcase moved.
Even almost empty of books, the bookcase was a huge piece of furniture made of solid hardwood. It should not have moved.
She pushed it again. Again, it moved.
Holding her breath, with both hands she pulled.
Almost noiselessly the bookcase swung away from the wall like a door. It stopped when it reached a half-full box.
Gaping at the bookcase, she almost missed the small door in the wall. There was no handle, only seams giving away its existence.
After assuring that the bookcase would not swing back, she got on her knees, running her hands along the outlines of the small door, her imagination racing.
Like a door from “Alice in Wonderland.”
Don’t be silly, it is probably a crawlspace for the furnace system or something.
Without a handle, there was no obvious way to open it. She scanned the seams closely and then saw the answer.
There was a spot next to one side, more worn than the surrounding area. She pressed a finger on the spot, and the door popped open.
Backing up as far as she could while still being able to see in, she shined the light into the darkness and saw she was partially right.
It was a crawlspace. But it was not for the furnace system.
Biding Time – The Chestnut Covin Temporal Protection Corps Series Book 1 was released on June 18 and the second book in the series, Borrowed Time – The Force Majeure on July 26.
A Bite of… E. W. Barnes
Q1: Why do you write?
Because “it’s about time.” This is more than a reference to writing a time travel series, it’s a reflection on coming full circle after putting aside deeply embarrassing Star Wars fan fiction, tapped out in the depths of time on a Royal typewriter with a sticky backspace key.
Making money at it is a worthy reason, too.
Q2: Which is worse, ignorance or stupidity?
Hypocrisy, which is a combination of both.
Q3: What time of day do you write best?
I’m a morning person and tend to get a lot done in the early hours, which is why I’ve been stunned to learn that my best time of day to write is the afternoon and evening. I don’t know whether it’s because I am more relaxed once my other daily tasks are complete, or whether I can more easily access my creative side when my energy is lower.
E. W. Barnes is an adult human with a family and a hyper dog, nicknamed “Princess” for many of the reasons you can imagine. They live together in relative harmony in the Range of Light. You can sign up for a newsletter or stalk the author through Facebook, Goodreads or this website.