Relics of the Past

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The old man folded the pages, careful to crease them at just the right angle.

He held his thumb to the flame, letting the heat lick at his fingertips, then pressed them to the paper, sealing the fold into a pocket. A faded photograph of a woman lay to the side; he dusted it off and dropped it into the pocket so that she seemed to be blanketed by the pages.

Ignoring the stab of melancholy in his chest, he prepared a sale sign, and – with finality – propped the book by the frosty window that overlooked the streets.

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