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Kasolyna Kasolyna is offline
Default Bottled Up   #1  
I'll be posting scenes, hopefully chronologically for the most part, from a novel I've been working on. It originated from an in-class assignment that lasted about one page. Made it's way into a short story and now it's being reborn and pushing it's way through as a novel. I tried doing NaNoWriMo with it last November but classes (I'm a frosh in college atm) got in the way. So now I'm looking for feedback, enthusiasm, criticism, and spell/grammar checks if anyone is so kindly obliged.

This is a story about a boy who works in a store that sells emotions. You need a prescription to buy most of them, and Danny Boy is curious about them. With the help of Blue Eyes, the daughter of a user, he might just find out why people need to drink emotions and why some things might be better left alone.

I hope you all enjoy what I have and bug me if I'm not posting too much (except during finals, please forgive in that case.)
Old Posted 03-02-2012, 08:11 PM Reply With Quote  
Post Bottled Up 1   #2   Kasolyna Kasolyna is offline
I think the thing I like best about my job are all the colors. Now you probably wouldn’t expect many colors working in a store, at least not the kind of colors that really stand out but my store is sort different. Well, it’s not really my store. It belongs to Doc Black. Its name is Doc Black’s Emotional Emporium. I like it. It’s not a big store. There’s the little bar area on the left, which is where I sometimes work, then the shelf with snacks and the simple stuff you don’t need a prescription to buy. The register is at the end of the bar and that’s where I spend most of my time when I’m not stocking shelves or cleaning up.

But like I said, I like the colors the best. Behind the bar are all these bottles and they’re sparkly and clear and each one of them has this different thing in them. Well, I shouldn’t call it a thing. It’s more, well, Doc calls it “Essence.” I don’t much get what he means by that, but apparently each emotion has it’s own essence and that’s what Doc makes. All I know is that when he goes home he works on putting all the different pieces together and when I come in the morning we got a full stock. No one else knows how to brew emotions like Doc Black, not that people haven’t tried.

Of course, Doc Black doesn’t just let anyone get at the emotions. That’s why most of ‘em are all behind this case that only Doc has the key to. ‘Course, he gives it to me when he’s out in case a customer comes by that but other than that it’s always with him. To be able to get any of the emotions you need this private meeting with Doc Black. I don’t know what he asks or how he makes his decisions but once someone’s on the list they’re on it for life. The only exceptions are what Doc calls the “Three Basics.” Out with the munchies and such are three emotions: anger, happiness, and sadness. Anybody can buy any of those, but they also don’t normally last more than an hour. It’s like cough medicine. You can get the weak stuff from the shelf or you can get the strong stuff from a doctor. Both’ll work, but some just work better. I haven’t gotten the courage to buy one of them for myself but every once in a while I’ll bring some Happiness home to Mama and slip it into her cup, just to see what’ll happen. I don’t mean no harm, I’m just curious and I know Doc Black would never sell anything that would harm people.

Sometimes though, when I don’t think anyone’s around, I open up one of the bottles and give it a sniff. I don’t know why I do this, but I suppose it’s as close as I can get to drinking the stuff without actually letting it down my throat. If I ever did that without permission Doc Black would kick me out on my rump faster than anyone’s business. It isn’t like I don’t got a home, I live with Mama and Papa and Little. Without my job though my life would be pretty boring. Besides, I like chatting with the customers from time to time. They’re real nice. Well, some of them are. I can’t speak for all of them since some always come when I’m off duty and I know ‘cause there’s this list with pictures next to the bar of who’s allowed to by drinks so I don’t accidentally give it to someone who isn’t supposed to have it. There’s two customers I’m real fond of though. I don’t see them every day but they always make me smile.

Why, even right now I’m just sitting behind the register, waiting for the time to slip by and expecting one of my favorites to show up. He always shows up right on the dot of ten fifty-seven. Never a second sooner or later. I keep looking at those doors, waiting for him and counting the seconds. Then again, maybe it’s not him I’m waiting for but the person that always comes about an hour or so after he leaves. She’s not as exact as he is.

Finally though I hear the door chime and Scarecrow walks in. I don’t know his name, well maybe I do but I never took the time to remember it very well. No matter what I just always think of a scarecrow when I see him. There’s a lot of reasons for that. I think the big one though is his height. He’s real tall, but don’t got a lot of meat on his bones so it looks like he’s been stretched out like taffy. I swear he almost bumps his head on the little bell every time he walks in and out. He never quite does it, but I always think it’s gonna happen. On top of his height though he’s also got this crop of thin blonde hair that goes down to his ears. It ain’t real thick but it sure looks shiny in the right light. Lastly, I call him Scarecrow ‘cause of how he moves. When he walks into the store it’s like he’s a puppet who’s got a lazy person controlling him. His movements are slow and limp and it just seems like at any moment he could collapse into a ball of straw. He’s always like that until he gets his drink. The only reason he comes here is for his drink, but what other reason would he have?

Sitting down he looks at me with these dead eyes and says, “Fill ‘er up Danny Boy.”

That’s my name, Danny Boy. Least, that’s what everyone calls me so it must be my name. If it wasn’t, it’d be mighty strange for everyone to call me by it. So, because he asks me like he always does I go and take out the key. Doc Black is almost never around when Scarecrow is, and he almost always shows up afterwards. I don’t know why, and I always forget to ask. Still, I take out the key and unlock the case. Next comes grabbing a rag. It has to be clean though, I’d never use a dirty rag on one of those pretty bottles. Once my hands are covered I reach up a little bit and grab a big ole’ bottle filled with this shiny yellow liquid. It isn’t just shiny though, it practically glows. Placing it out the counter I keep my hand covered and take out a glass. Placing it on one of those coasters I move on to my main job for the moment. Unplugging the bottle I carefully pour the liquid into the glass and watch it light up even more. Once I’ve done it enough the bottle gets re-plugged and put back on the shelf. No one gets refills, they just get a certain size of cup.

He looks at it for a moment, almost like he doesn’t want to drink it. Slowly though, his long fingers reach out and wrap around the glass. He always lifts it up like it’s the heaviest thing in the world until it reaches his lips and he starts to drink. The less glow there is in the glass the more he lights up. Soon he’s smiling with his sips and his grip is firm. I love watching him drink because it’s like I see two different people at the same time. That’s another reason why I call him Scarecrow. After his drink it always seems like he wants to sing and dance like the one in that movie.

Finally he’s done with his drink and he almost slams the glass down while he laughs.

“Danny Boy,” he says to me, “You know it’s gonna be a good day.”

“Yes sir,” I nod as I pick up the glass and start to clean it with a different rag.

As he stands up his arms stretch up into the air. He ain’t a puppet no more, he’s had his strings cut and he’s as free as Pinocchio. He doesn’t give me much chance to say anything else, he just gives me a nod and walks out the door. There’s no money left on the table but I’m not particularly worried because he pays his tab every five drinks he has. I know it’s a little weird but every customer has their own schedule for payment.

Usually, when they’re starting out they pay every time unless they got special circumstances. Once they’ve been poking their nose around for a couple of months then Doc’ll give them a plan where they don’t have to pay all the time. It doesn’t much matter though since I get paid by the house and nobody tips me. I think it’d be nice if I got tipped. I mentioned it to Doc once but he never got back to me on it so I guess it was a dumb idea.

So now I just have to clean the glass and wait a bit more, but I don’t wait too long. Five minutes go by and then Doc comes in and hangs his coat up by the register.

“Anyone come by while I was out?” he always asks this.

I nod a little, Doc prefers the simplest answer and that’s usually ones that don’t require words.

“They pay?”

I shook my head.

“So next time then,” he shrugs as he gets behind the counter, “Go sweep the floors. There shouldn’t be anyone else for a little bit and the shop should shine when they do.”

I don’t even nod, I just do what he says because he’s right. I want the place to look it’s best for the next person to enter. Grabbing the broom and dustpan from the wall I head out and start sweeping, my mind occupied with who’ll soon be visiting the store. Every once in a while I look over and see him mixing some of the drinks together into new bottles. He also goes to the back for a bit. Once I’m done sweeping I go back behind the counter and start looking at the clock, just waiting for the minutes to pass. Finally though I hear the chime and know who it is.

“Hello,” I say, “Good day today isn’t it?”

I see Blue Eyes and I hear, “Why yes it is.”

I love it when Blue Eyes shows up. She’s got these, well, she’s got these big blue eyes that just seem to take up all of my sight every time I see her. I like those eyes of hers better than all the bottles in the shop on the brightest day in the year. I know it don’t make much sense ‘cause the store is indoors but sometimes it just gets so bright that the bottles light up and it’s like I’m in a rainbow. I’d trade all of that just to keep looking into her blue eyes forever.

Another thing I like about Blue Eyes is that she’s like me. She’s young, ain’t even twenty I think, but she doesn’t have much happening in her life. I don’t mean that in a bad way. All I know is she takes care of her mother and little sister. That’s another thing we got in common; little sisters. They go to the same elementary school but I don’t think they’re friends otherwise I think I’d see Blue Eyes a lot more. I wish they were friends but whenever I bring it up with Little she just shrugs it off and goes back to her coloring or whatever it is she does. Either way, she has her duties but she’s not going away. People like her better than me I think though, at least it seems like it. They’re always talking about her when she walks by, saying how pretty she is and how she could do more with her life. I don’t think people say that about me. Well, except my parents.

There is one thing that’s strange about her though. She doesn’t take the medicine she buys. She gets it for her mom. Now I don’t really get this since Doc makes everyone come in for their medicine but he let’s Blue Eyes do pick ups for her mom. I’ve seen her mom and she looks alright to me. Doc never answers my questions when I ask about her mom. It’s a bit annoying because he doesn’t answer a lot of my questions.

Either way, she’s the only customer that gets special treatment. I know this because she’s also the only person that Doc serves personally. Her mom’s drink has got this special drawer all to its lonesome and only Doc has the key to it. I don’t like this because it always interrupts my time with Blue Eyes.

“Doc, she’s here,” I call, because he’s never there when she first shows up.

“You shouldn’t holler like that,” she scolds me with a smile on her face.

I shrug, “Doc’s deaf back there. If I don’t yell he’d never know you were here and you’d be stuck with no mix for your ma.”

“I’m coming,” he yells back before coming out of the door to the back room.

The key is twirling around his finger, sort of clinging to it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that key anywhere but his hand. I don’t see it when he’s serving customers, and I don’t see it when he’s closing up. I just see it when he goes to open that one drawer. And that’s what he does. He bends down and opens up the special drawer behind the counter and pulls out a black bottle. I can’t see what’s in it. All I know is he hands it to her and then she gives a little polite nod.

“How’re you doing Doc?” she asks.

“I’m doing as well as the business.”

“My Ma sends her thanks,” she always tries to talk about her mother.

“And you tell her she has my welcome. But off you go before she starts worrying about you,” he even flaps a rag at her to get her gone.

“I will. Danny Boy, you have a fine day and try to make this man smile,” she waves with her free hand as she walks out without giving me a chance to respond.

“Danny Boy,” Doc says, “Just tell her.”

I almost freeze up. I can’t believe he just said that. She could’ve heard it and got the wrong idea about what he said or something like that. I don’t know why he teases me about her. I like her eyes, and I want to talk to her but that don’t mean that I want to tell her nothing. I just… I like her eyes.

“Doc, can I go home?”

“Sure kid, you can even take a pop with you if you want.”


I take off my apron and hang it up. Doc always keeps some soda for me. I don’t know why. I don’t actually like soda much but Mama always told me to accept small gifts to be polite so I always take a soda when he offers. He keeps them in a small fridge under the counter so I go and take one. I open it up and give it a polite sip before heading out. I don’t say goodbye, more because I’m drinking than because I’m annoyed at him teasing me.
Old Posted 03-02-2012, 08:15 PM Reply With Quote  

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