So, I was sitting at my table, staring across the aisle into the room where genre literature was placed in large stacks. A perfect place for me, truth be told, so have to hand it to the staff there for the great set-up. I was contemplating my last sale, a friendly man who had retired from federal duty and read westerns, but wanted to support small authors who were striving to meet their dream (If you're reading this sir, hope you like the book!) when I caught sight of a young girl walking across the length of hall past me.
Perhaps nine, she was maybe a head taller than my hip, and skinny. She had a braid that was short, with light blonde hair and gray eyes. Her mother and older sister or aunt were maybe eight steps behind her, and she was walking as all young children do in colorful stores: eyes wide, taking in everything, eyes slightly open read to catch flies.
She saw me and smiled, and I smiled back, and then her eyes landed on the cover of the Father of Flesh, which was propped up in a little stand on the table. As a reminder, this is what she saw:
A notably scary book, or at the very least not a child's book. She stopped to stare at it, and I braced myself for the curious questions and begging to buy it. I'd had at least two other younger kids wanting the book that, in good conscience, I'd had to tell their parents the book was a tad too mature. There is swearing and violence, so not the best bedtime story for young children. But this darling child did the most adorable thing ever. She scrunched up her face, slowly growing more and more crinkled and redder as if she'd just bitten into a fresh lemon. She slowly sucked in a breath, and began bawling!
"Mommy!" She cried out, before sprinting towards the front of the store, heedless of those in her way.
I couldn't help it, I busted out laughing as it was one of the few times I got along with children and found one amusing. Her mother took it in stride and apologized, before chasing after her. Someone close by saw that and asked me about the book, and when I told them about the heavy Lovecraft influences, they smiled.
That littlke girl helped me sell a copy with her great reaction!