Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #111~ A Passionate Undoing

The image above is from Celine Ylmz at Unsplash.

Peter couldn’t resist books, especially old books. Their musty aroma stirred comforting emotions and cherished memories of his father’s library where he spent most of his time as a homebound child labeled as ‘retarded’.
So, he wasn’t able to attend any traditional school, like his little sister did, because of what was actually an undiagnosed case of autism, but that didn’t stop him from exploring the world between the covers of books. Those were especially happy and secure years!
But, Peter’s adult life was not as glorious. Although he never left the security of that familiar environment, he hadn’t learned a thing about being social or dealing with a most hectic bustling world. He ended up only inheriting a house and a large collection of books. His grown-up passions encompassed solitude and yard sales. Those two things, and an insatiable quest for ever more books, were his eventual undoing.
Six years ago, his sister surprised him with a visit. She’d married and moved away after their parents passed. He hadn’t seen her in ten years!
She found him literally surrounded by stacks of books. There wasn’t one room or hallway where two people could walk side by side. An expert was called in and his home was declared too hazardous to live in. He was taken, against his will, to a special hospital and his property was disposed of. He was crushed!
But now, Peter has been determined ‘cured’ after those six institutional years and recently has found acceptance in a group home. It’s far better than that hospital and Peter has even forgiven his sister for what he once considered unforgiveable.
Although he is considered a recovering hoarder, Peter has found a way to still collect all the books he desires giving his new life a similar purpose as before. He browses antique bookstores every chance he gets. He enjoys that comforting aroma and delights in new titles. He just carries his phone along and takes photos of the ones he wishes to hang on to.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #111 – This, That, and The Other (fivedotoh.com)

2 thoughts on “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #111~ A Passionate Undoing

  1. Dave Williams 03/23/2021 / 5:48 pm

    Poor Peter … as a lover of books, I am tempted to buy many when I’m in a bookstore. But I can see how books all over the house would make for hazards. I’m glad Peter found some joy and friends in the group home.

    • Susan St.Pierre 03/23/2021 / 5:59 pm

      Appreciate your comment and your sympathy for Peter. He seemed to enjoy the company of books as much as reading them.

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