Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Microstory 213: Store Front

Every day for a year, I would pass by a strip mall on my way to work as a lifeguard. It was all very nondescript, and I never really paid attention to it. But then one day, I noticed that the name of one of the stores had changed. I couldn’t remember what it was before, but it was now Happy Pets. I thought I might play with the puppies on my way back, but ended up not having time. The next day, the storefront had changed again; this time to a place called Brilliant Treasures. That was weird, but I figured the rental agreement fell through after the sign was put up, and so it was passed to the next one in line. I looked in the window, because it was only open while I was at work, and I could see a ton of knick knacks and other random crap that no sane person would want. Then the day after that, it had changed to Silly Toys. Same thing; stocked completely full with inventory. Each day following, it was an entirely new store. Winter Bundles; Gatlin Gunns; Just Underwear, Nothing Butt. I tried stopping people on the street to ask them if they had any clue what was going on, but they either ignored me, or hadn’t noticed a change. And no matter when I tried, I could never be there during business hours. They would always adjust the hours to be closed, as if someone was trying to keep me away. After months of this, something even more unusual happened; the day’s store was called Valdemar Bristow Gas and Lighting. This was ridiculous, because no one in the world other than me could possibly have that name, and I would never have anything to do with gas or lights. As luck would have it, however, I was able to enter this time. There were several desks on the floor, arranged like a military recruitment office. Only one of them was occupied, by a woman who greeted me like she knew who I was. Without saying a word, I walked into the back and sat down in my office that was already decorated with some of my things. This is my life now. I sell lighting fixtures and natural gas, and I am somehow very good at it.

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