The Incense Salesman
The Keeper’s Finds (Part 1)
The Two Burners
After eating his lunch and tipping the Montane family an extra twenty-five cents, Cyrus takes a slow walk around the back of the building. All the businesses in the Monksville Plaza are ran out of a single sprawling multi-level structure owned by the Ronhauzer family. The guy who once rented what is now The Keeper’s Finds before it was The Keeper’s Finds wrote Cyrus a letter telling him all about how terrible and asinine of a landlord Jimmy Ronhauzer is, how he would always stop in and snoop around during business hours and talk shit, scaring off the customers; Cyrus never had any problems with the guy. In fact, Jimmy’s actually helped him close a couple deals. He’s never asked Jimmy about the previous tenant, but judging from the handwriting on the letter (which Cyrus has stored away at home in one drawer or another), he doesn’t need to – no matter how old one’s body ages, a child is still a child, and somebody who can’t write in a straight line on notebook paper is definitely no adult.
As he comes up to the last turn before his share of the parking lot, Cyrus hugs the hall with his sweaty back and creeps along to the corner like a spy in an old movie. Carefully, slowly, extremely inconspicuously, he leans his head around the side and checks to see if the nameless caller decided to park and wait for Cyrus to come back – he didn’t, and there’s nobody else in the parking lot, either. Twice in the same day, Cyrus finds real relief in a set of circumstances that would normally cause him massive anxiety; those visits with the Doctor across the dam are really paying off, who would have thought?
Cyrus walks halfway down the sidewalk along the side of his store and stops at the mailbox. Inside are the two burners – just like the guy said, they’re not too shitty, although they do look kind of dingy… and one’s missing the gold tone lining in one of the little stick holes… oh well. There’s going to be imperfections in handmade goods, and if these weren’t made by hand? They were now.
Once inside, Cyrus casually throws the burners on the table holding the register, then turns all the lights back on. When he sits back down in front of his laptop, he checks the time – only three hours and forty-five minutes left until closing. Maybe Cyrus will get a mad rush of buyers after lunch, maybe he’ll end today with less shit in his barn rather than more… or maybe he won’t, maybe today will just drag on and on and on some more, leaving Cyrus to sit bored and alone inside his packed secondhand shop until the sun starts to set and he can let himself go home.
Although… there is one way he could pass the time… and he can just close out the page if anybody comes in, it’ll be that easy. Yeah, why not? It’s not like he has anything better to do, he can inventory the two burners if and when they sell. Not a big deal at all.
Cyrus opens up a private window in his internet’s browser and types omingle.com into the address bar. On the site’s homepage is a space where chatters can put in tags so they’re matched up with strangers who share similar interests, if any are available. Cyrus types in North Jersey, hits the comma button, then types Treeburg and hits the comma button again.
Then, mouse in hand, Cyrus moves his cursor underneath the Start chatting… heading and clicks on the big blue button that says Text. Leaning back in his chair (this time without the self-pitiful exhale), Cyrus waits smugly as he’s paired up with a somewhat random stranger to chat with.
Hello Commons, this has been the last subchapter of the sixth story from Convenient Incidents, an anthology of fifteen interconnected short stories which revolve around a man by the name of Hilter Odolf Williamson.
Convenient Incidents is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Convenient Incidents is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Convenient Incidents and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here OR you can buy the ebook for even cheaper here.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~