When I returned to the shop I wasn't surprised to see the front was empty. No one would wait for a bookstore to open in the cold when it wasn't tourist season.
I think I'm the only person in this little town that actually preferred the library and the bookstore. Everyone else was always clogging up the mall and the movie theater. Though you could still see few odd souls who would brave the cold and have some fun on the beach.
I closed the door behind me, but the shop was no warmer than when I had left. I took a sip of my coffee knowing it was going to be a long afternoon. I set my bag down on the floor and my coffee on the counter before turning to my box of books. My best course of action was to inventory and shelve the easy stuff before diving into research for the two unusual finds.
I grabbed the shipment manifest double checked the number of books to what was shipped. I checked it three times, but each time my total was two books more than what was shipped. Did they send us too many of one of the books? I sighed annoyed. I was going to have to check off every book then repackage the extra and send it back or have Mrs. Hartford cut a check, but I noticed something even more unusual.
According to the shipment manifest Mrs. Hartford had purchased the books from a liquidation wear house. They were trying to get rid of stuff from sites that close forever. Even with us having gotten extra they wouldn't want it back. I shook my head. I'd figure out later. I had work to do.
Inputting in the system, tagging, and shelving only took about two hours. I found every book except the two odd ones I had noticed earlier. So much for using the manifest to find out the books names. I returned to my front counter and pulled out the two unusual books.
I opened the virgin Mary book and in books letters on the first page it said Wicca. Was this one of those new books added to the bible? I knew there was a controversial book of Mary, but I hadn't heard of this book. Mrs. Hartford wasn't the type to go after anything even mildly controversial, but at least I had a name of something to look up.
I pulled out my phone to look it up because our internet could take ages on the giant 90s era computer. I sipped my coffee as I waited for the results to load, but immediately regretted my decision. I choked on the beverage when I saw the result.
Wicca: a form of modern paganism, especially a tradition founded in England in the mid 20th century and claiming its origins in pre-Christian religions. Its belief is in the Goddess, respect for nature, and they hold both polytheistic and pantheistic views. Some sects also believe in metaphysical items and/or locations, mental and physical abilities, as well as the ability to commune with gods/spirits/other entities. See also witch or witchcraft.
There was no way in Hell Mrs. Hartford would have ordered that book. The lady thought rock music was the devil. A book about witches or witchcraft would have given her a heart attack. On the same page I saw the moon symbols. It was called the triple goddess.
The Triple Goddess is a deity or deity archetype revered in many Neopagan religious and spiritual traditions. In common Neopagan usage, the Triple Goddess is viewed as a triunity of three distinct aspects or figures united in one being. These three figures are often described as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone, each of which symbolizes both a separate stage in the female life cycle and a phase of the moon, and often rules one of the realms of Heavens, Earth, and Underworld. In various forms of Wicca, her masculine consort is the Horned God.
I looked over at the black book that had the odd shaped cross with worry. What secrets did it hold? I tentatively put down my coffee and opened the cover of the black book. Inside it had one word Kemetism. I went back to my trusty phone and looked up the unknown word.
Kemetism (also Kemeticism, Neterism, or Egyptian Neopaganism) is a revival of the ancient Egyptian religion and related expressions of religion. A Kemetic is one who follows Kemetism. There are several main groups, each of which takes a different approach to their beliefs, ranging from eclectic to reconstructionist. However, all of these can be identified as belonging to three strains, including: reconstructed Kemetism (adopting a philological and scholarly approach), a syncretic approach, and a more novel synthesis tending toward monotheism, Kemetic Orthodoxy.
I was blown away. We had gotten two books on other religions that would have made Mrs. Hartford shit a brick if not die from shock. On the same result page I found the oddly shaped cross it was called an ankh.
The ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol which symbolizes the many aspects of life, including physical life, eternal life, immortality, death, and reincarnation. The symbol is a teardrop-shaped hoop with a cross connected directly below it, to represent the sun making its path upward and over the horizon.
I was stunned and intrigued. I felt the books almost calling out to me; begging me to learn their secrets. I knew we didn't order these books and I also knew Mrs. Hartford would have them tossed in the trash or possibly even destroyed. I hated to see a book of any kind ruined for no good reason. I debated on putting them in the system and ringing them up as a sale for myself, but Mrs. Hartford had shorted me on my last check and we didn't have any security cameras. I stuffed the two books into my bag as payment. She wouldn't miss something that was given to us for free and wasn't listed on the manifest. It wasn't her cup of tea anyways. I sipped my coffee only a few hours to go until my dinner with friends.