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The Shop This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The man hurried along the cobbled street, hunched in his black cape, arms crossed for warmth. Snow fell heavily about him, clinging to his eyebrows and mustache and melting on his clothing. He shivered and adjusted the top hat perched on his head. It was a cold evening and he was eager to find shelter and warmth.

Slowing to a walk, the man came before a shop window and, peering through the glass at the objects inside, was met with an array of antiques. An old grandfather clock, tall, dark and scratched with age met his eye. It was a beautiful piece, although both the brass hands remained stationed at the twelve. The clock's face was a pale yellow with a sun, moon, and stars painted in the center. The plain, gold numbers glowed dully in the light of an ancient lamp that stood nearby. He shuddered and glanced at the door, a large OPEN sign was pinned inside.

He strode over to it and wiping the snow from the handle, pushed inward. A musty smell drifted toward him, along with the warmth radiating from a small fireplace in the far wall. A short-haired black and white cat lay stretched on the wooden floor before the dancing flames, its tail twitching in sleep, its purr resounding throughout the room. Like the shop window, the room was filled with antiques: old tables, mirrors, chairs, desks, blankets, jewelry, clothing, toys and baskets covered the floor and walls.

The man brushed the snow from his clothing and closed the door feeling amazed at the large number of antiques within. This action was met with a peal of bell chimes. Amused, the man smiled. Most bells rang as you opened the door. These were probably antiques.

He walked among the many objects, studying each as he passed it. He came to a table with jewelry and mirrors and picked up a small, sterling silver mirror with a flower design. The man looked into the mirror and jumped in surprise; the face that looked back at him was a beautiful woman with tortured, hazel eyes, a small nose, screaming lips and chestnut hair styled in a way that had gone out of style years before. The man threw the mirror from him and inhaled deeply, trying his best to regain composure. He wiped his forehead and face gingerly and trembled; it must be just the cold; it had affected his head.

He laughed softly. That's it, he was overreacting. He sighed, shook his head and pulled at his vest, turning around. He was beginning to wonder where the proprietor was.

Suddenly a small woman with long, stringy, gray hair and deeply wrinkled skin materialized from behind a door to the right. As she approached, the man saw that she had tiny, beady eyes, heavy, black eyebrows and a large bent nose. A sinister grin crossed her face. Her yellow teeth were crooked and worn and she gurgled as she came closer. Her purple dress was covered with dust and stains.

The man backed up a step, his heart beating wildly. There was something dangerous about this place. The woman raised her hand and pointed her red fingernail at him, mumbling and grunting foreign words. The man gasped, grabbed his neck and fell to the floor.



Several days later



The woman jogged along the cobbled street, her long cloak just barely keeping her warm on the winter night. She rubbed her hands together furiously and crossed her arms. A strong wind propelled her forward. Soon she was in front of a rundown shop. She shoved her hands in her pockets and glanced into the foggy shop window. A porcelain doll with brown hair, brown eyes and a tiny mustache caught her eye. He was sitting in a rocking chair situated next to a tall grandfather clock. He was dressed in a long, black cape and a small, blue vest and pair of pants. The woman giggled in delight. He even had a miniature top hat upon his head. The woman skidded to the door, and wiping the knob free of snow, opened it ... n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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