KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Micro-Fiction: 313 words

London Book Fair

by Roberta Beary

Everyone at Red Riding Press knows about Mr. Booker Prize. Knows to steer clear of him. Even Lynn the Intern. So when Mr. Booker Prize stops at our sales table just before closing and gives me his fatherly smile, I know it’s an act. He picks up my book, strokes its neon cover, and hands me a fountain pen. The pen is the expensive kind and his tweed jacket smells of mothballs and old money. After I sign he asks my editor to take his picture with my book. Here we go, I think. She focuses her phone on his Irish Sea eyes and wild black brows. I make sure to stand two feet away. But he pulls me into the frame, my book over his heart, his other arm around my waist. His head tilts towards mine, so close his diamond stud scrapes my cheek. He gives my ass a hard squeeze but no one notices. My editor says, “I hope you don’t mind that I posted the photo. You both look so gorgeous.” Mr. Booker Prize beams, all yellow teeth and tobacco flakes. The overhead lights start to shut down, signaling closing time at the London Book Fair. Backpacks appear on top of boxes of unsold books. “I need to pee,” I whisper to my editor; “I’ll be two minutes. Don’t leave.” On my way back from the ladies’ room, Lynn the Intern blocks me. “I just checked our Facebook page,” she says. “The photo already has 317 likes! See you tomorrow!” She blends into the crowd moving towards the exit. Outside’s dusk has crept indoors. Soon the whole room will go dark. I turn and look for my editor. But the only person I see is Mr. Booker Prize, headed my way. He’s holding my book over his head, waving it back and forth, like a beacon.



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