TDS III – The knife
Saturday 19th Oct, 2018
Okay, so I’ve been working here for over two years and today was the first time I’ve had to deal with the police. Not, the normal police mind you, these ones were from a special division. If you’ve ever seen a parody of the X-files you probably know what I’m talking about. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I entered the shop as normal and discovered a note from the owner which read:
I’m heading off to Egypt with some friends to negotiate with a new supplier who I hope will be able to supply the store with new tools and enchantments.
I’ll be back in about a month, you need to do an order to the Russian, find a way to sell the scarab paste, finish training the new hires (hire 2 more staff please, minimum wage if you can), also you need to talk to the accountant about our taxes, arrange the checks to be sent to the building for rent, finish painting the washroom, and renew our business license.
See you later,
P.S. Don’t mess up my store or I’ll fire you and send people after your family!’
I wish I was making that last bit up but that’s literally what it says. From day one the owner has been a narcissistic and delusional piece of feline excrement. On the up side she’s rarely there and despite how much she brags about her store, takes a very hands-off approach to running it. This is a very beneficial environment for me as it means I’m usually left to my own devices with the staff that survive her latest rampage.
“Is that a note?” Kidra asked as she entered the back room. She grinned malevolently, “Finally, that wretched little gremlin is gone!”.
“Indeed, though I need to hire more staff.” I said rubbing my eyes in annoyance and setting the note back on my desk.
Kidra read the note quick then asked, “But that’s only one of the things she asked you to do, what about all this other stuff?”
In response I whistled an odd little tune and revealed a large monthly schedule on the wall as the framed poster slid away. On it, clearly listed, were regularly scheduled tasks as well as those penned in as one-time events. “I’ve ran this store for a couple years now, I learned the hard way that the owner has no interest in this shop other than the prestige it gains her. As such, I’ve been frequently tasked with keeping things running.”
Kidra scratched her head as she stared at the schedule, “Then why hide the schedule? Wouldn’t she be happy you have everything under control?”
“A normal person would yes,” I sighed, “however, we’re talking about a narcissist. She views any idea or plan that may not be her own as essentially wrong. The worst part is she is almost entirely oblivious to this fact as she delusionally believes that same falsehood.”
“Why don’t we just kill her and take over then?” Kidra shrugged.
I looked at her like she had just admitted to wearing scratch and sniff underpants, “Are you demented? You can’t go and just kill people. That’s precisely why we have contracts with law enforcement to begin with.” I scolded. “Besides, that narcissistic little monster may be a pain but she is very good at snorting the rectums of profitable clients. It may truly be her only skill but everyone is good at something I guess.”
Kidra would most likely have debated this concept, however at that moment the spectral form of Renard floated through the wall. “Mom, Dad,” he teased, “what’s for breakfast.”
Kidra grinned in response snapped her fingers, an ethereal looking collar buzzed around Ren’s wrist in response forcing the ghost solid as he collapsed to the floor. “Why don’t you just go to hell and end this torment?” Kidra chided.
Ren gasped on the floor before looking up and scowling at her, “Because knowing my luck you’ll be waiting for me there too!”
Before the bickering could escalate once more a bell jingled indicating we had a customer. I lifted myself out of my chair and headed for the front desk, “Well while you too fight like siblings over a cookie, I’m going to make this place some money.”
What waited for me was a short girl with a long black case that she hugged tightly to her chest as she looked around. “Are you the one who deals in special technology and mythology?” She asked with a slight rasp to her voice.
“As long as it’s not illegal or you at least have the legal documentation for restoration than yes.” I replied in the professional tone I reserve for our customers.
Her small hands carefully lift and set the long black case on the counter, “I need you to destroy this.” as she lifted the lid I saw a long black blade about fourteen inches long with a bone white handle that curved ergonomically. It looked sharp, and I went to lift it to examine.
She slammed the lid before I could touch it glaring, “No one must ever touch that blade, do you understand?” although she appeared young that glare betrayed that she had seen things those who lived centuries could only dream of.
I simply smile and nod handing her a form to fill out, she raises a questioning eye to me. “Please fill out this form, indicate your name, place of origin, type of being you identify as, gender if you like, the name of the object you’re dropping off, the document number of any relevant forms for you to deal in such objects, any risks your aware of in handling it, any curses or contracts that it may be tied to, and any other relevant information we may need in its disposal.”
Her confident face seemed to melt away into an overwhelmed and confused expression as I listed everything. “Um… I’m not sure… I mean I don’t know if I have all that?” she asked weakly.
“Then I’m afraid I’ll have to deny you our services until you can come up with them.” I strode over to the door and opened it for her.
“How dare you!” she stammered, “Do you know who I am? Arrogant little whelp, I’ll teach you to mess with one of the three great witches of ….” she trailed off as she aimed her hands at me. I’m sure the curse would have been spectacular but such things are unwelcomed in the shop. Instead orange and green sparks fizzled from he palms and extinguished as they hit the floor.
“What have you done!” she seethed, I pointed at the ceiling where an assortment of different magical symbols shifted around her.
“Consider it a warning, the damned things are less forgiving a second time.” I informed.
She stomped out the front door and stood glaring back at me, then turned up her nose and with a snap of her fingers she vanished in a puff of smoke. Unfortunately, she also left that black box on the counter so I scooped it up and placed it in the lost and found bin in the back.
I was about to go check on Kid and Ren in the basement but the bell dinged again. I sighed before putting a grin back on my face and turning to head to the front to greet our new customer.
Before me was a very pale looking young woman wearing a patchwork pant suit, reading the promotional posters on the wall for some of our accessory brands. “Can I help you today miss?”
“Levia” she said turning to face me and extending a hand, “my name is Levia Stein, I’m here for an interview.” Her eyes were miss matched, one a brilliant blue colour the other almost a yellowy brown. I reached out and shook her hand, surprised somewhat at the strength in her grip.
“Well Ms. Stein, come this way into the shop and I’ll ask you a few questions.” I said as I lead the way into the public work area of the shop. I took my usual stool at my bench and directed her to one of the others.
She was almost vibrating with excitement as she sat and grinned, “I just need to tell you how excited I am! My family never wanted to let me work, but I finally got my daddy to say yes and I mean sure it took a few decades, but it was totally worth it! I’m here now and the grouchy gremlin lady said I can work full time and fix whatever technology comes in before she told me to shut up and wait to see if you’re okay with hiring me too, but you seem totally chill compared to her and I just know we’re going to be friends and I can help plan the annual Halloween party and…”
I held up a hand a couple minutes before but she did finally stop when she noticed. “Okay, let’s stick to simple answers, no more than five words okay?” I said.
“But…” I raised an eyebrow and she slowly closed her mouth again.
“Right, first what is your experience? Do you fix tech? Or the supernatural? Or both?
“Mostly Tech, though technically both.” Levia replied as she counted the words off her on her hand.
“Perfect, do you have any training or experience in the area?” I continued.
She nods rapidly, “Yes, over fifty years experience.”
“I’m sorry, did you say fifty?” I asked incredulously. She nods an affirmative but doesn’t say anything else. “Alright, what is your father’s name and why weren’t you allowed to work?”
Levia’s smile flickered for a moment, “His name is Howard F. Stein and he just wants me to be safe.” I motioned for her to continue with my hand. She inhaled and exhaled once to calm her nerves I suppose before she said, “His father was, if you can call him that, was a one Victor Frankenstein.”
I laughed a quick nervous laugh in surprise and said, “Well, that does clear up some questions.”
The smile faded from Levia’s face and she began to stand up to leave, “Thank you for your time and for not screaming at me.”
“So, what’s your availability?” I continued after composing myself.
She stared at me in confusion, “Um, whenever I guess? I only sleep for like, eight minutes a day plugged into the wall.” She blushed slightly as she realized she’d gotten a little to personal in her explanation.
I merely chuckled and said, “Perfect, well if you’re free now, head downstairs and introduce yourself to Kidra and Renard, they’ll show you around while I finish a few things then and get your paperwork ready. Then we’ll begin your training.”
Levia squealed in delight as she grabbed me in a hug that literally squeezed the breath out of me. “Oh sorry… I mean thank you, and sorry, but really thank you!” she said bowing as she made her way to the stairs leading below.
I sat and regained my breath for a moment staring at the long black box that Witch had left. This month has been crazy so far and I expect things are just going to get worse as we approach Halloween. I don’t know why but I think that knife has something to do with it. Best to try to follow some leads and try to staff up before then. I’ve only had to deal with two apocalyptic events since working here but even that much begins to give you a strange feeling when they approach. I hope this record in someway helps document whatever happens in the next couple weeks.