Monday, March 16, 2009

Myles of Books, Part the Second

Back inside and flipping though his three ring shop notebook, he heard the door open again. A smiling woman entered with a box in her hands, wearing a long t-shirt decorated with artfully placed dog footprints, valentines and the words "Hounds Love Hornungs". She was also wearing huge, droopy dog ears on her head, but how they were attached Topher could not fathom.

"Welcome to the street," she said, thrusting her hand out in greeting. "I'm Priscilla Hornung from the shop next door".

Topher shook her hand, but kept his eyes on the shaking ears. "Ahh the pet shop. Lovely place. Your windows are always interesting to see." Which was true. He had never seen so many confusing things for dogs.

"You think? Well, I have a great deal of fun putting them together. We even sell a few things out of them. It is very nice of you to say. And here, these are for you and your staff." Priscilla held out the box, which smelled of donuts and had a card on top illustrated just like her shirt.

"Thank you. These will last me a while, It's just me here, no staff yet." he said, as he took the box from her, glad it wasn't a set of ears.

"No staff? Dear, I don't know what I would do without Walter and Jennie. I think they could run the shop without me. They actually do usually run the shop without me, to be honest, but it is fun to do the windows and visit with everyone."

Topher wasn't sure what to say next, and smiled a bit through an awkward silence. He grabbed for the obvious. "Lots of folks here have dogs, so you must get a lot of business".

Priscilla leaned in and looked as serious as someone wearing hound ears could look. "They do, they do. We even sell puppies, very select breeds to very select clients mind you. Nothing from puppy farms. We only carry one or two at a time, and we have a rigorous adoption process."

"Well, that is important," he said. "Dogs are a big responsibility."

Priscilla smiled. "Do you have dogs, Mr. Myles?"

"No ma'am. I've never owned a house, and I am not around much at home, so it didn't seem fair to get one."

"Very sensible, very sensible. All true of course. One must take time to properly take care of a dog," she said. "Well, I must get back. Congratulations on your shop, and I wish you the best."

Topher waved and hoped her fluttering ears would not catch as the door closed behind her. She passed unscathed, thankfully, and he went back to the notebook.

He found the number quickly and called. The phone rang, and finally the
machine picked up.

"You've reached Tom Noels at 567-9087. Please leave a message and a way to get back to ya, because that'll help."

"Hi Tom," he said. "This is Topher Myles. It, uh, seems we have a small problem with the window lettering here at the shop. I was wondering if you could come by before the weekend and fix it up. You should have my number, so gimme a call when you can. Thanks."

Topher hung up, closed the notebook, and looked at the window again. Nothing to do 'til Tom comes back, he thought, so back to psychology. He picked up the set of Freud he had laid down earlier and went back to work.

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More after the jump...