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High Crime Read 977 times

Ara

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High Crime
« on: November 03, 2014, 01:10:15 pm »
Wanted to play a little more with this character and world so if anyone wants to jump in they're welcome!

Win wasn't hung over, but she was tired. It had been a good weekend, the kind that didn't end in satisfaction but in bitter contempt that only got worse the deeper the cold burrowed into her jacket. Long legs clad in dark denim brought her up the narrow street and around the corner. She wasn't wearing a hat. It wasn't even snowing yet and some part of her refused to admit that she needed a hat before it did.

The store front of High Crimes was tall window cluttered with stacks of books, a sign, and a narrow green door pressed into the stone building, three steeps steps up from the sidewalk. It was the kind of bookstore that didn't want you any more than you wanted it. She pulled at the door and groaned when it was still locked. She didn't have to look at her watch to know that it should have been open an hour ago.

She fished her keys out of her pocket and unlocked the door, taking out the open sign and setting it on the nail that marred the green of the door. She was half out of her coat and across the shop when she noticed the man sitting in the plush chair beside one of the shelves. She sucked in air and her whole body jerked to a stop in surprise. The breath hissed out between her teeth when she recognized the old man. "You could have opened the damn store if you were here!" Her tension eased into a shout, arms tossing her jacket behind the counter angrily now before flicking on the lights.

They came to life all around, illuminating all of the nooks this stockade of books had to offer, little sitting areas here and there, tucked all around before the shelves. Everything came to life except Mr. Jacks, the owner, who stayed sitting in his favorite chair, head lulled to the side and chin pressed into his sweater.

He was pushing ninety and despite a few offers, continuously refused to sell his shop. She stomped over to his chair in her boots before noticing the book he had dropped on the floor. He wasn't moving and her chest tightened with new panic. "Jacks." Win called, sounding skeptical. He didn't move. She reached out to touch his shoulder and his whole body came to life at once, jumping in his seat and lifting his head, sputtering with sound. She whirled away from him with a string of curses. "Damn it! If you're going to work up a death can you do it someplace where I don't have to find you?" She shook out her arms as though to shake off the gross before setting herself to the morning tasks.

She started with taking down all of the Halloween decorations, tearing them down from the walls and shelves.

Jacks coughed and stood up from his chair with enough effort and time that she was done demolishing the holiday by the time he did. "Take care! We can use those next year!" He snapped, moving his lips around as though rediscovering his own teeth. Dark eyes and gray hair, he started the slow shuffle toward the coat wrack.

"You said we were closing this year!" Winifred retorted. He waved a hand back at her angrily. He said they were closing every year and she had yet to see it happen. She was behind the desk, checking the old monster of a register when he managed to pull on his coat, a shaking hand going after his hat. He wasn't the kind of man that wore a knit hat. No, he wore a real hat, hand-made he said. She pointed out that her hat was handmade as well, knitted it her damn self, but he had just scoffed at that last year.

She smirked when she watched the old man leave, deciding then what she would give him for christmas this year. Last year had been coal.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 01:11:55 pm by Ara »

Lightning

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Re: High Crime
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2014, 01:57:41 am »
Early November, the time of the year when suddenly everyone thinks it'd be adorable if little Susie could play the piano for Christmas carols by mid December. It was nice idea, in thought anyway, in reality, Susie was a terrible pianist without the slightest idea what patience was.

Man, he hated kids.

Chewing on his cigarette, Alec tried to settle his irritation. This year, it'd be different. This year, he'd get the damn brats to do some practice at home, learn at least some of the basics so he didn't have to deal with a complete and total pain the ass mess. Hell, he'd settle for some finger exercises at this point.

He killed the rest of his dying cigarette in a near by ash tray before stuffing his gloved hands in his pockets. The breath escaping his lips was much like the smoke of his cigarette, just hanging there, visible in the cold. Winter was too quickly approaching, taking fall with it like some imaginary dream. Soon, Willa would be even busier than he was, the bakery taking in an insane amount of demands. First, it would be pies for Thanksgiving, and then it'd be cakes and cookies and whatever else Christmas demanded.

The idea of seeing her less frequently didn't sit well with him.

Ahead of him was High Crimes, an old, privately owned bookstore that resided not too far from the Royal Astaire. Alec hadn't frequented it much, if at all, really. Books, while not disliked, weren't a thing he had time for. When Alec had spare time, he preferred to spend it sleeping or cleaning up the apartment, leaving the place a mess was usually enough to keep him from sleeping anyway.

An older man passed by as Alec made to enter the store, hand holding onto his hat. He said nothing to Alec despite almost bumping into him, and Alec made no move to do the same. If they were both going to be rude, then no harm done.

Inside, the book store smelled just as Alec expected it to, although there was the distinct lack of the scent of coffee, despite the espresso machine Alec saw near by. He wondered if the thing had ever been used, looking quite new in comparison to the rest of the place.

Alec removed his gloves and stuffed them in his coat pocket before moving to the desk where a register of a much needed upgrade rested and a girl with a familiar face.

Winifred Hart. She lived a room over from them at the Royal Astaire and was a face Alec had seen quite a few times. Thinking about it, Win might have mentioned she worked at a bookstore, although Alec didn't figure it was High Crimes. It seemed too old, too out of fashion, and he doubted the pay was that great.

And yet here she was.

"Hey." Alec started, eyes glancing over at the ancient register, "You know, you could probably sell that to an antique shop, and get something a bit more modern."

Ara

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Re: High Crime
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2014, 01:53:03 pm »
She smiled, an easy upturn of lips when met with a familiar face. “I'd sooner sell that thing,” Win tossing a thumb back in the direction of the espresso monster, the instruction manual still wedged beneath its glossy red side. “and get free coffee for life at the place next door.”

She finished checking the register to make sure they had change- it wouldn't be the first time the old man forgot to get nickles when he was at the bank or that they were robbed for those nickles and no one bothered to report it. It closed with more force than was reasonable, slamming into place and jostling on the counter, too heavy to ever tip over and just heavy enough to threaten breaking the whole counter in its violent struggle to open and close.

“Seriously, though, try not to mention antiques when the owner's around. He has a fetish for old things, which is reasonable considering that he is one, but I've had to steer him away from making this a Books and Old Shit store.” The old man had a habit of 'great ideas' that lead to less storage space and more useless stuff. She had a whole stockade of teapots and mismatched cups and saucers from when he thought they would become a cafe. Sure, there was the water boiler and the old coffee machine and sometimes one of the other cashiers made cookies or brownies to leave out for customers, but that was about the extent of their culinary reach.

Win smiled and leaned her hip into the curve of the counter, one hand on the surface to momentarily play her role of caring shop attendee rather than griping, laze about. To be honest, she spent most of her working day reading. “What are you doing out this early? Tell me you're after a book and not a latte because you might be able to charm me into trying to get the machine to work, but that doesn't mean it's going to turn out great.”

Lightning

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Re: High Crime
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2014, 11:46:33 pm »
Alec smirked, amused. Win was interesting, he'd give her that, with more of a mouth than most women he had associated with. Not that he was really one for bothering with conversation. In his line of work at the bar, women weren't usually interested in conversation.

But he never brought them home. Not when Willa was there. It was always elsewhere. Their home, a hotel, anywhere other than the Royal Astaire.

"Fortunately for you," blue-grey eyes glanced at the untouched machine, "I am here for books and not books and coffee." He didn't need the caffeine anyway. Sleep was difficult enough to get as is.

"I need books on piano basics. Ideally anything kid friendly. You got any?" He hoped she said yes hoped even more so that they'd be in his price range.

Ara

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Re: High Crime
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2014, 08:27:13 am »
She smiled and rounded the counter. "We have a slew of music booklets down here." Win said while walking down an isle of tall shelves before turning down one. "Are you finally getting sick of teaching the kids? Thinking of handing them some pamphlets and putting on headphones?" He had told her before that he gave piano classes, though it wouldn't have been a stretch to guess. There were an odd number of unknown children drifting down the hall and she knew he could play better than the repeat of chopsticks that drifted through her wall.

Her fingertips hovered down the line of books before stopping in front of a cluster of bright blue, thin books. "We have a couple of levels." She realized, noticing the cluster of orange books followed by red ones. She pulled out the blue one and held it out for him. It looked like it was from the nineties and she wondered if it had been sitting on the shelf since then. They had plenty of new books in High Crimes but they had just as many old ones.