Hello dear readers. In an effort to keep my creative self motivated I’ve decided to post some small fiction stuff I’ve written over the past year or two. Some of them may be a little rough, some polished, most really short. If any of these are repeats I apologize. Anyway, please comment if you feel so inclined.
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I work to sell the broken and forgotten things. The store exists to sell, and to have seen, the broken and forgotten things. I’ve worked here for longer than my memory allows. I am the curator of the small: fog, sea glass, small slivers of tin, and an assortment of pebbles and pop tops, all collectible in this land of fractured concepts. The curator, the follower, and the engineer of shelves and registers, we all live as if by some purpose. We all create this place to be the variable which holds the value of the things which have shifted tense.
We exist on a street, unnavigable, the windows brown, the windows non existent through the pallor of stains. The collectors come in and say, “hello I have this round thing, in its center a small fracture, which produces a visual effect, especially pleasant when held to a green light”. They would very much like to put it next to my collection of red beach glass, and sanded tin. Sometimes they say things like, “oh look, I lost this twenty years ago when my husband was still alive”. And sometimes I smile and push upon the round buttons, rhythmically, mathematically, until the drawer of gleaming things opens. We exchange these variables representing themselves for insignias, for slugs, for bullets for pieces of eight… all place holders. Sometimes they say things from before, but yet now: “oh look there is the teddy I had when I was smaller and still myself”.
Next door is the house of newly formed isotopes. It is our sister. As the bringer of new things and the writer of lists, the house was welcomed as useful and talked about throughout the town below as something truly necessary. This is the forever growing nature of our work. The nascent and the forgotten, the trader and the merchant, balanced as by some forethought or planning.
Once, long ago there was a definition for the broken things. The lands surrounding us still held the idea of what was to come.
I am the purchaser, the onlooker, the librarian of forgotten and missing things. When I close the doors, and twist the key, I look upon the facade and it seems like it no longer draws breath, a layer of implied dust sits. I tip my cap forward and walk up the steps on the side of the building, which lead to my room. My room is a small affair, with little decoration, I save all decoration for the shop below. I have a stove, a refrigerator, a table, and a flickering television which seems a shade too green. I come up here after my job is through, which could be noon, which could be nine post meridian; I keep no set hours in the store below, or in my room above. I have no clock, no phone, no sense of the world beyond these small limits. Once, there was a cat here, but it has long since left me, it sits ceramic now, upon the small shelf of curios, above my remaining books. I get tired. I eat. I pace. I watch. I sleep when it is the time for sleep.
The morning as a rejoinder: morning as the time when I move from my small room to the shop below. After a fitful shower and some small toast I make my decent into the day. It was in morning that she arrived, a seeker of something which has yet to be forgotten. This happens every now and again; the future being what it is. She looks for something which will be searched for, to see what was lost. During these delicate times I become the creator of lost things, architect of new memories. She says things like: “can you help me?”, or “oh, these are nice, but they don’t feel right”. I smile and say things like: “no, no, you don’t want those. You need something new, something brought in from next door. Please, please look behind the counter with me”. And she would do something, and I would follow, and the world would move until she finds, a small thing, among the new unfiltered rubble. She would exchange with me some charm, or shiny bit of something, and I would tell her that it is time to close.
And then there is the place of undiscovered isotopes, the rooms of glowing vials and spider-like burners. This is where we trade for the things which have yet to be made, to be invented later. This is the store of proposition bets and sad eyes, of the people left behind without placeholder or variable. This place is avoided by most, and feared by the passersby awake enough to notice its existence. We have fair commerce with this place, as we do with most places of our ilk.
The camera of the town holds no picture of these places. The camera of the town has never thought to look to us.
She would live with me in the room above the store until such time that she no longer does. She would say something like, “your forgotten things mean more than the thing you possess”. And I would tell her that I do not possess, only curate, only transfer those things in need of remembrance. And she would leave her small trinket upon the chair. And I would hold it to my chest and breathe in the broken isotopes, and sometimes weep before returning to the store. I purchase her trinket and place it next to my cat, upon a shelf, in a room, above a store, full of broken and forgotten things.