The Disinclined Purveyor of Sequential Art Chapters 2 and 3
Was only going to put up one chapter, but then after re-reading Chapter 2 I decided that nothing really happens, and in the future I might just eliminate the Chapter entirely and move the last two sentences into the first chapter. If you missed Chapter One go back to last Saturday’s posting and start at the beginning. Now with out further rambling on my part on with the story. Oh yea any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Sharon looked up from the log book for the orders and looked towards Gary who was looking at the sales receipts on his computer. Sharon had been working there about three weeks and this was the first big order they had worked on together, everything before this had been Sharon organizing the back issues, and the books had been stacking up with no one organizing them for several months.
“We got a problem.” Sharon said from her side of the massive table where the newest order was laid out. They had been at this for two hours and they were about to open the shop and they were no were near done.
“So what is the problem?”
“The problem is the order is short every month.”
“What do you mean, we get fifteen of each issue, I make sure of that when the delivery comes in, that is the standing order and that is what we get.”
“I know that is what we get, but it is too small, we need more X-Men titles, and with the next Avengers movie coming out this summer we are going to need more than fifteen issues, I would say at least 2 dozen more of the four big names, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and Thor, and what with the D.C. universe expanding again into alternate worlds and Superman and Wonder Woman having twins we need more than three issues of that run, again about a dozen just to fill in the gap.”
“What do you mean no, don’t you want to keep the customers happy?”
“What is wrong with you, I thought you wanted to get this place running better isn’t that why you hire me.” Sharon said exasperated.
“No not really.”
“So what do you want Gary?”
“Let’s just get the work done.” And he buried his head back into the laptop.
“I don’t get you; I thought you wanted to make money? If that is not it than what do you want?”
Gary glared at her from across the table, and then threw up his hands. “I am not mad at you, but do you know what I really want, I want to sell this stupid store, I want to go back to school and finish my degree in Design and Urban Development where I will design a town that will not have any comic book stores. I want to leave this town and forget I ever heard of it. I want to go my home and stop trying to make sense of the accounting in this store; I want to go back to my own dorm room and out of the apartment above this stupid store.” And he threw the tablet they had been taking notes on across the room and went outside to get some fresh air.
“Oh.” Sharon said quietly.
“Do you mind if I close up a little early tonight?” Gary asked as he started to pull the shades down to block the late afternoon sun which streamed right into the main window of the shop.
“No I don’t mind, do you have a hot date?” Sharon answered back from the large table where she was sorting books. They still had not finished the large order but Gary had apologized for getting upset yesterday.
“Don’t I wish, no I have a late meeting with the law firm, we are going over some final paperwork giving me control over the shop, transferring the phone to my name and stuff like that.”
“Wow sounds exciting, don’t stay out too late.”
Gary rolled his eyes and finished up lowering the shades.
Gary sat on the stool behind the counter and stared at the box. The bell above the door bonged and he thought about when he might get Sharon to fix the broken device. Sharon came in and locking the door behind herself. The store was not going to open for another hour and from the rain outside he doubted it would be a very busy day not that it ever was.
Sharon walked to the back and hung up her coat, then came back to the counter. “What’s in the box boss?”
“Don’t call me boss.”
“Sure thing boss.” Sharon said smiling as he looked at her now. “So what is in the box?”
“Don’t know, and don’t care.” Gary replied putting it down on the countertop.
“Okay, well then where did you get it?”
“The lawyer gave it to me last night, he said it was the last bit of business and my Dad gave it to him about two weeks before he and Gary disappeared.”
“A clue.” Sharon stated.
“No it is not a clue and this is not Scooby Doo, my Dad was always sending me these puzzle boxes. In fact he did sent one every year for my birthday since I was ten.”
“So why did he not send this one?” Sharon said reaching for it, but pausing and looking to Gary for permission. He nodded, and she picked it up, the seams were there, but the box was well crafted, she shook it and heard something rattling around deep inside of it.
“Because my birthday was yesterday. The guy had instructions to send it, but since I was in town anyways he just handed it to me.”
“Wow so what do you think is in the box?” Sharon said putting it down in front of Gary again.
“I know what is in the box, every year he sent me a silver coin, I have 10 silver coins back home that came in similar boxes, I kept the coins and got rid of the boxes.”
Gary could not understand how a woman could put so much disappointment into one word.
“Happy Birthday sorry I missed it.”
Gary muttered thanks and lifted a stack of books off the counter and went to put them away.
The puzzle box sat on the counter for several weeks. Occasionally Gary would find Sharon attempting to open it, and she met with some progress, coaxing some of the pieces to move. Gary knew he could probably figure it out in an afternoon, but he just looked at it with disgust another reminder that he was stuck here. His application to transfer colleges where Sharon went was accepted and he would be starting in January but that was still almost two months away and he was not sure what was going to keep him sane until then. It was the first snow of the season and the two of them were sitting in the store with nothing much to do. Gary picked up the box and began to manipulate it.
“Boy it took you long enough.” Sharon said looking over the top of a Walking Dead comic book.
“If I can open this by five o’clock, will you go out to dinner with me tonight?”
She looked over the top of the comic book again and gave a quizzical almost shocked look but then smiled. “Maybe, but I don’t think you can do it, it is almost three now, and I have been working at that thing for weeks.”
Gary knew what he was doing was stupid, but he went ahead anyways. “At five o’clock when I open this box, we close the store and you go out to dinner with me at Isaac’s uptown.”
She smirked. “Confident. Calling your shot and the place of your victory. Well first there is no way that you can do it, but even if you did, I am not dressed to go to Isaac’s.” She said motioning towards her Green Lantern sweat shirt. “But when you fail and you will, I want you to buy pizza for me and my roommates, you buy and fly, then you serve us at our apartment and do the dishes afterward.”
“Deal.” He reached over and shook her hand. “The secret of the box will be revealed by five pm.”