This is the first chapter of the story, I plan on publishing a chapter a week, every Saturday, right now have a total of four chapters completed. Thanks to Nick at Comics and More located in the King of Prussia mall, for setting me straight on the internal operations of a comic book store.
‘Bongle’, the warped sound came from the door chime announcing a customer. Stupid door, number one thousand and three of the things I have to fix in this place. He kept his head down not wanting to interact with whoever it was.
“Is this sign still good?”
Gary looked up from his book. Coming towards the counter was a girl, more specifically a pretty girl, blonde, blue eyes about twenty.
“Are you the manager?”
Gary found his voice. “Yes, to both.”
“So you are still hiring?”
“Yes, yes I am.” Gary answered.
The girl laid the sign down on the counter top. “I would like to apply.”
Gary put his bookmark into the book and closed it. He looked around the shop even though he knew what the results would be before hand, the store was totally empty. “Well we are kind of slow right now, I guess I could interview you now?”
“Good, I have a resume with me.” The girl reached into a messenger bag and pulled out a folder. While she did Gary was able to look her over a little more. She was wearing blue jeans and a green sweater with a loose turtle neck collar, she was also wearing Converse Chuck Taylors with multi-colored laces. She placed the folder on the counter and opened it up. She handed Gary two sheets of paper out and handed it over.
“Sharon Towner?” Gary read out loud. The girl just smiled and nodded.
“Gary Donnelly, manager of this place.” The shook hands and he noted that she had a nice firm grip.
Nice smile, Gary thought to himself. He looked at the resume, then up at her. “So you live right up the block.”
She nodded again. “One block up, third house on the right.”
Gary looked it over some more. A year and a couple of months at a place he assumed was a coffee house, Beans About Boston, whatever they sold it stated on the resume she was a cashier. He continued to look over the resume, she graduated high school two years ago and was currently attending the local college.
“You are a registered apprentice electrician?” He said glancing at the lowest portion of the page.
“Sort of a family business, my Dad was an electrician among other things.”
“Good, maybe you can fix the door chime.”
“So I am hired?” She asked smiling.
“One more question, do you read comic books?” He asked hoping she would say yes.
“Some, I am kind of evenly split between D.C. and Marvel, but I can get really passionate about some independents like WaRP Graphics.” She stated smiling again.
“Good, because I don’t, if I hire you can I let you do all the organizing and such?”
A puzzled look crossed her face. Gary knew the look well and he was not crazy about explaining himself once again but since she was probably going to be working here it might be a good idea to get it out of the way. “I know what you are thinking why is a guy who does not read comic books running a comic book store?”
She nodded and some of her blonde hair got in her face, she moved it out of the way with a flick of her head. Gary got a bit distracted but only for a slit second and continued. “I sort of inherited the place from my father and god father. My god father Gary, whom I am named after, bought the place, and when my parents split up my father came here to live.” Darn she was cute and did not appear to be the least bit bored. “Well about two months ago, they both vanished, poof, no forwarding address, no phone calls. My mother did not even notice until the alimony checks stopped coming in. Well I came here looking for them, because without the checks I could not continue with school and found the place,” he motioned around. “locked up tight, I contacted the cops, who put me in touch with my father’s attorney. The attorney’s gave me an envelope addressed to me.”
Sharon nodded and leaned forward very interested. “What was in the envelope?”
“Nothing really, just a note telling me that all the money was tied up in the shop in a trust and if I wanted any money I had to keep the shop just the way it was, running it the same way, no major changes. I discovered the utility bills were paid up for the next ten years, the mortgage is paid off, and somehow the old jerks were able to pay off the appraised taxes for the next fifteen.”
“That’s it, no explanation, no clues as to where they went?” Sharon said.
“Nope that is it.”
Sharon put her hands on the counter and looked around at the place differently as if with new eyes her blues eyes wider than before. Gary looked around too, but with loathing. This was not how he wanted to spend his college years working in a comic book store, living above a comic book store. trapped in a comic book store.