Evil Onions

Mama always said it was a sin to throw away bread, a sacrilege to destroy a book. But one afternoon when the tornado sirens were howling on Devon Avenue, Alexei Kuznetsov found three boxes of orphaned books under the awning in front of the Cherry Orchard Deli & Productery, where he worked, and he was unable to save any of them.

He did not know why anyone would leave literature outside a business that dealt in Baltika beer and loops of sausage and jars of slick, pickled mushrooms. Perhaps they had mistaken the deli for the Russian Oasis bookstore a block away and thought the books could be resold. One had to admit the name Cherry Orchard lent itself to confusion.

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