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In the 21st Century
A cool breeze swerved its way through a small town in Missouri, giving life to the still air that had taken control of that particular summer. It was ten o’ clock at night, but the townspeople had made their ways home, and gone in for the night, it wasn’t even that dark!
Fremont Street was the main street in the town, and had little shops and diners lined against each side. It reached about three miles, before the street dipped off into tiny subdivisions and countryside. Tonight, only the streetlamps shed their light on various shops, the three lamps that weren’t broken. It was silent, excluding the occasional cricket. The silence was broken by a jingling of keys, then the loud bright ringing of the door. The person holding the keys was immediately greeted by clanging and the inhabitants of the upper apartment tumbling down the stairs. Bright lights flashed on, the girl flinched. Silence.
“You said I could come anytime I wanted, and my mom said it was okay!” said the girl, who had entered the shop. Her eyes were wide with surprise.
Mr. Johnson put down his rifle, and smiled.
“You startled me, Ena-
Mrs. Johnson came marching down the stairs ranting at the top of her lungs, “No damn burglar is stealing my antiques- If you think you can just walk in here! I’ve got news for you-“ she stopped abruptly on seeing Ena.
“Oh, sorry dear, I get flustered,” she said sheepishly.
“That’s okay, am I allowed to sort through things and clean up? I’ll close the shades so no one sees the lights, if you want,” said Ena tentatively.
Both of the Johnson’s smiled and nodded.
“That’d be just dandy-
“We invited you here!” they both said at the same time.
Ena breathed a sigh of relief and smiled, “Thank you so much, I’m sorry for bothering you this late-
“Don’t worry yourself, sweetie,” said Mrs. Johnson, kindly.
“We’re going to hit the hay, if you don’t mind,” said Mr. Johnson.
“Not at all,” said Ena, smiling and waving to them as the trotted up the stairs, talking animatedly with one another.
Once they had closed the door and went to bed, Ena surveyed her surroundings. It certainly was a cluttered little place, with beautiful items, that were shadowed by piles of boxes. It was hard to know where to start.
The shop was fairly large and spacey, but it was illusioned, so as to be small and dingy. The walls were an off white, with stains and pencil marks, along with the occasional crayon wiped across. There were shelves, but completely inaccessible due to the insurmountable amount of crap everywhere. The floors were hardwood, still in good shape. Ena figured she’d start with closing the curtains, to make sure any robbers wouldn’t get any ideas.
Ena put her headphones into her ears and once again looked around. She stepped over a few boxes and began the corner. Slowly she worked her way around the store, dusting, wiping…dusting, digging, wiping. By around midnight the store was sparkling. It looked very pretty in Ena’s estimation, for she had set up the shop in a decorative style, with the old décor the Johnson’s had lying around in the small storage room they had.
She admitted, the room looked pretty snazzy. So snazzy in fact, she walked around and began examining all of the items. She came across beautiful little old-fashioned music boxes, lamps, pictures, books, and- something caught her eye. On top of a shelf, was a striking little ship that was made from glass, and it was a lovely lamp. Carefully, she picked it up to examine it. It was a dragon, but it had oars and a Chinese styled temple in the middle. It was very delicate and it slipped out of Ena’s hands onto the floor, it crumbled into a million small pieces. She stared at the mess in disbelief. Then began to panic, she tried to scrape up the pieces with her hands, but the seared through her fingers.
“Damn! Please! Come on, stupid dragon, put yourself back together! I’m never going to get to come back here!” she whispered frantically to herself. Defeated, she swept the sad remains of the dragon over to the trash. Almost in tears, she began to make her way over to the door, just as she grabbed the handle, she heard a small tink! She paused, and then proceeded to leave, figuring she was tired, but then tink! And then a raining sound emitted from behind her, the sound of chimes. She looked back and sitting on the shelf was the dragon, aglow, and completely together. Okay, she thought to herself, I’m going to go home and get some sleep. Promptly, she marched out of the door, locking it behind her, and making her way to her house. She stopped and looked into the depths of the sky, the stars and a full moon was out. There were so many stars it was dazzling, she smiled to herself and continued walking.