The Store of Lost Dreams
Alastair Keppler loved music for as long as he could remember. For the past forty years he had playing the Jack Lemon band every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night at the Hightower Club. He couldn’t imagine doing anything else with his life. He didn’t want to do anything else with his life. The Hightower Club closed three months ago, and he had been unable to find work with another band. His money was gone–his life was gone–and now he had to sell his tuba to Mr. Franklin down at the Past Memories shop.
Louise Grayson dreamed of travel. When she was a child, she collected her father’s National Geographic magazine and read them cover to cover every month. She planned to travel to Paris, London, and Venice. She dreamed of seeing far off places like Russia, South Africa, and the Amazon. Oh, she had plans. Plans she hoped to share with John once he finished his studies at the University. She planned waited, and waited and planned as she worked as a seamstress to help support them. John went to New York to visit family. The telegram arrived shortly after he left in the carriage. Thanks was all it read. John never returned. He stole her dreams and left his nightmares in its place. There was nothing of value left in her tiny, one room apartment above the laundry. Nothing of value to anyone except her suitcase that held nothing but forgotten dreams. Maybe Mr. Franklin can find someone who needs a suitcase to hold their dreams.
The Past Memories thrift shop sat on the corner of Elm and Maple and has been owned and operated by Mr. J. Franklin and his wife for more than fifty years. People come in and out all day buying and selling their hopes and dreams. It is a cozy little shop filled with trinkets and knickknacks of every shape and size. Mr J. (As everyone called him) chuckled to himself, as he straighten the back shelf of super hero figurines. One Autumn day, oh about three years ago, a young boy came in with a brown paper bag.
“Hello!” The young boy bellowed.
“Well, good afternoon!” Mr J. returned. “What may I do for you today?” he continued.
“I love The Hulk! He’s so cool, and he’s strong. I’m not sure why he’s green; but, that’s ok. I still love him. I have these dentures that I’d like to exchange for a hulk figurine!”
Mr. J nearly spit his sip of tea across the room. Many a story has walked through his shop’s door, but, never such as this!
“Son, why did you bring dentures to use in the exchange?” Mr J. manage to comment in a serious tone.
“Well,” the boy added, ” You see. These belonged to my grandpa. Every year, about this time, my grandma gets sad and quiet. That’s not good. I don’t like when she’s sad. My mom told me she gets that way because my papa died. In his Will, he instructed his teeth to sit upon a shelf.. so his children would recommend to mind their Ps and Qs.”
“Oh!” Mr J laughed lightly. He’s thoroughly enjoy this visitor, but he had a question that he was dying to ask. “Say,” he quickly added, “Why did you bring dentures though. I’m sure your grandma has many items that remind her of your grandpa!”
“Well, my mimaw always used to call papa a antique, when he would say old. When my mom and I came past here, she said this is where antiques are sold. Since they’re his teeth, I thought I’d bring them.” the boy explained.
“I wanted to stop grandma from feeling sad,” the boy explained further.
“That’s very thoughtful of you!” Mr J. assured him. “I’m certain your grandma would appreciate the kindness.” He concluded.
With that, the two men walked back to the superheros, and Mr J. instructed the boy to simply pick one to take home. The boy couldn’t contain himself. He jumped toward the store keeper with the biggest excited grin and tightest sweet hug. Within another fifteen minutes, the boy was hurrying home with his treasure.
The memories of the store customers further occupied Mr J.’s attention, when the front door bell rang again.
Story died here
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