Thanks to Monica at at Comics and More for setting me straight on some more involved details about the internal operations of a comic book store, mostly about pull lists.
As always if you want to start reading the story at the beginning (and what can of freak are you that you would want to start a story at a random point) here is Chapter One.
“Hey Boss come over here.”
Gary had just come down the stairs from the apartment and was locking the door when Sharon called him over.
“Yeah.” As he slide behind the counter next to Sharon. He was in the place she had just vacated and he caught a brief hint of her perfume, or maybe it was her shampoo, he did not have the nerve to ask.
“Jimmy would you please tell Gary what you just told me.”
“Well like I said this movie is going to be incomplete because it is not going to address any of the issues left unresolved from the Last Stand. Like is Archangel going to be an X-Man or is he just some sort of freelance mutant.”
Sharon reached across the counter and punched Jimmy in the shoulder. “Not about the movie you silly, about Andrew Harlan.”
Jimmy was a short squat teenager with acne and tinted glasses. “Ouch.” He said and reached up and rubbed his arm. “Oh yeah Andrew came home last night, his parents had big party and all.”
Sharon turned towards Gary. “We can clear up your inventory issues, soon.”
Gary nodded. “Okay, good.”
Jimmy continued to talk. “His parents just live up the block from my parent’s house; Andrew was the first guy to bring me here when I was a kid. He is really cool. He is a couple of years older than me, but even though he was on the football team he was never mean to anyone, not like the kids on the football team now. Heck he even let me read all his old issues of X-Men, and I started my collection after reading his old ones.”
Gary held up his hand and Jimmy stopped. “Thanks Jimmy, tell you what if you promise to run up to Andrew’s house when you go home today and tell him we have all of his pull list waiting down here, I will give you five dollars store credit.” Gary said before the kid could continue.
“Sure, I was going to do that for nothing, Sharon already asked me.”
Gary looked over at her and she just smiled and nodded and smiled, or maybe smirked, whichever it was it made her look cute. “Oh course. Well just to show my appreciation, the five dollar credit still stands.”
“Okay, well I am going to get something else then.” Jimmy picked up his stack of new comics and wandered back towards the new releases.
“Five dollar store credit?” Sharon said turning towards him and smiling. “I think you are getting to be a softy.”
Gary turned towards her and smiled. “Nope just want to clean out the inventory, maybe get a little cash flow for your Christmas bonus.”
“Hmmm a bonus.”
“Minus five dollars now.” Gary said over his shoulder and started to run away from the counter.
Out came the foam shark, hitting Gary solidly between the shoulder blades.
Gary was again lowering the blinds, maybe he could get some sort of automatic device to do this every day, but of course throughout the year it changed a little bit every day, and not to mention daylight savings time.
Gary turned it was one of the regular customers. “Clark? Right?”
“Yeah, my friend Jimmy said you were looking for Andrew Harlan.”
Gary noted that the kid was about the same age as Jimmy, taller though, although he was pretty sure he had the same acne as his friend, in fact he was almost certain the two had an identical pimple on their left check about an inch above their jaw line. “Sort of, he has a bunch of comics we have been saving for him on his pull list, and I just wanted him to know they were waiting for him here.”
“Yeah I know about the pull list, Jimmy told me. Well I saw him today up at the college.”
Gary was curious. “What were you doing up at the college, aren’t you still in high school?”
“Ah yeah, but we had the day off, teacher in service day, and since my Dad works at the college I have free access to the library so I was up their watching the Adam West version of the Batman TV show, did you know that they showed the show two nights a week in some areas, two different shows in the same week, to resolve the cliff hanger aspects, I mean how neat is that not having to wait a whole week for a cliff hanger to be resolved, I wish they did that with the Walking Dead.”
Gary held up his hand, while the kid took a breath. “Don’t want to be rude, but I don’t care about Batman. Did you talk to Andrew?”
“Yeah I asked him if he was coming in to get his pull list, the reason I wanted to know is I missed an issue of Avengers and if he was not going to get it, then I was wondering if I could call ‘dibs’ on it.”
“And what did he say when you asked him about his pull list?” Gary asked rubbing his temples; this pull list was getting to be a headache.
“Well he said it was on his list of things to do. Then he took off, so I don’t know if he was going to come and get them all or just some, but like I said I want the Avengers number 36, that is the one with the Hawkeye and Cap on the cover standing in front of a brightly lit door with shadowy figure coming thru it.”
Gary held up his hand again. “I promise you if Andrew Harlan does not want that particular book, I will personally set it aside for you.”
Sharon put her phone away, and smiled at Gary when he came up to the counter.
“I just called my brother Sam.”
“Well that is nice although I thought company policy was no personal calls while on the retail floor.”
“Well the boss said it was alright if I kept it short.”
Gary responded quickly. “I won’t tell the boss anyways he can be a real jerk, what is up with your brother Sam.”
“He was supposed to pick me up on Friday.”
“Yeah I know you are going home for Christmas.” Gary said straightening up the display of Archie comics on the spinner rack.
“Well instead of Friday, I talked him to coming on Saturday, so you and I could go out on Friday night.”
Gary kept straightening the rack, and looked at her from around the comic books. “So no study groups?”
“Nope, finals will be done at 11 am on Friday and Sam does not come until 9 am on Saturday morning.”
Gary acted cool, and played a Michael Bubl’e song in his head so he would play it cool. “Well that is good, so I should I set up a reservation at Isaac’s?”
“Already done.” Sharon with a flourish of one hand seemingly dismissing any further questions while she leaning over the counter and leafing absently thru the last issue of the Comic Buyers Guide that was always somewhere on the countertop.