Bookshop of Chinatown


Kanda scowled as the rain thoroughly drenched him, his thin clothes leaving little to the imagination and his hair sticking to his face, back, and shoulders haphazardly. He ran for cover-inside a nearby store. It was rather stupid for him, a youth of Japanese descent, to be in the middle of Chinatown in Manhattan. If Linali didn't throw a fit-he was currently residing at her house due to certain circumstances-he wouldn't be stuck here, caught in the rain, miserable as some stray. He looked up, his eyes blinking the rain from his eyes as he looked for the street sign. Seventh Street, it read. He was puzzled, never having heard of such a street on the map. He looked behind him through the window, peering inside, seeing endless rows of books, one of the few cook stores that actually sold only books. A bookshop? The Chinese characters said "welcome", and he stepped in, the bell ringing with clarity inside. A small figure of a man stepped into his vision. There were dark bags, and wrinkles underneath those bags, and the skin was that of a deathly pallor that made the old man seem foreboding and all around unfriendly. "Is there a book you're looking for?" the old man rasped.

Kanda scanned round, and said, "Not… in particular." The old man opened his mouth in surprise.

"Curious," mumbled the old man, "curious. They all come for a certain book." Kanda didn't comprehend what the old man meant, but didn't care. The scent of ink, subtle from so many years, permeated the air and gave a warm, kind atmosphere to the shop despite the unwelcoming old man. He wandered among the tall columns of books, sometimes stopping to glance at all the old titles. There were classics, and some he had never heard before, and a section for children-but unlike the picture books that one would find ordinarily in other places, they contained many words, and the pictures were beautifully detailed, practically works of art. It was then he found those piercing pair of sharp, dark eyes boring through his back, and he turned, annoyed, and a little wary.

"What's so interesting about me?" he growled unintentionally. The old man shook his head, disappearing behind the much taller counter. Promptly, a book fell from the top shelf, hitting him on the back of his head. He gasped, hissing, and then rubbing the sore area as he reached for the leather bound book. It was rather beautiful: the leather was a deep red, though faded, may have once been blood red; and the gold was dabbled here and there, running up through the bind in leafy vines, soft and shimmer-y in the dim lighting. Kanda flipped through the yellowing pages, the inked words standing out in an elegant calligraphy. He turned to the first page, patting the dust away from the floor, and sitting as he was engrossed from reading the first page.

Rabi stared up into the sky, the moon was bright and full. He heard the gentle, quiet padding of his younger "brother". "Rabi," the newborn prompted. "You should be more careful What if you get caught?" The redhead shook his head, laughing.

"Silly Allen. You know I'll be fine," Rabi said, tucking his arms underneath his neck as he leaned back into the soft earth, closing his eyes. Allen sighed, scooting over to his long-time friend

Kanda blinked uncertainly. Did the words just gleam? He flipped to the next page, the black words shone bright as a startled gasp escaped him. The light, a blinding white, engulfed the room, and he found it impossible to escape.