Tag Archives: a yarn shop yarn with a bit of noir

A Yarn Shop Yarn With A Bit Of Noir

It was one of those really beautiful sunny summer days on State Street. Shoppers, many of them just window shoppers, ambled up and down the street enjoying the day and sometimes going into one of the many little retail stores to browse.
+++++“Hi, I wonder if you could help me find some yarn,” said Meredith Simpson to the clerk in THAT’S QUITE A YARN.
+++++“I’m sure I can. Is there something special that you’re looking for?” asked Beth Miller, whose name tag proclaimed her a “CUSTOMER SERVICE SPEICALIST.”
+++++“Well, I’m planning to knit a suit of long johns for my boyfriend for next winter; he’s always cold…”
+++++“Hey, who does a guy have to kill to get a beer in this joint?” came a call from the checkout desk up in the front.
+++++“Excuse me just a minute, please” said Beth. “I’ll be right back.”
+++++“Oh, do you serve beer here?” asked Meredith. “I could sure use a beer.”
+++++“No, we don’t serve beer,” said Beth. “I’ll just go and see what the misunderstanding is.”
+++++Beth walked up to the front where a tall good-looking thirty-something was leaning on the checkout counter. Even though the question he had yelled out had sounded fairly aggressive, he had a smile on his face and Beth didn’t feel afraid of him. Not afraid, but still cautious. She’d had some experience in her personal life with guys who seemed harmless at first and then later had turned out to be real jerks. She thought she would play the “customer service specialist” role and see if she could get him out the door without too much disruption.
+++++“Hi, I’m Beth Miller. May I help you?”
+++++“Well, maybe ya can,” he said. “Ya see, I’m a character and I’ve hit a bit of a rough patch recently.”
+++++Beth didn’t doubt that for a minute; he sure seemed like a character, all right. “This is a yarn shop, Mr. …?”
+++++“Smith. Spencer Smith. My folks named me Spencer rather than something like John or Robert so that I wouldn’t have trouble with other people having my same name. Besides, John Smith kinda sounds like an alias, don’t it?”
+++++Geez Louise,” thought Beth to herself. “Whacko City right here in the ol’ yarn shop.”
+++++“Well, Mr. Smith, this is a yarn shop. We sell yarn and knitting supplies. This is not a bar; no beer here,” said Beth in a patient professional manner. “Now, there are a couple of nice bars in the next block if you just walk out our front door and take a right….”
+++++Just then, Meredith Simpson walked up from where she had been waiting. She eyed Spencer and gave him small smile.
+++++“Buy a girl a drink?” she said.
+++++“Well, hello,” replied Spencer. “If I told you that you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?”
+++++“Now wait a minute,” said Beth. “What’s going on here? No cheesy pick-up lines, please.”
+++++“I told you I was a character, didn’t I?” said Spencer. “I’m a character in a lot of bar stories. A lot of writers are having trouble lately finding literary sites that accept bar stories. Says right in their submission guidelines: ‘No bar stories.’ Bar stories are fun. They’re loud, rough and tumble slices of Americana….”
+++++“I’m sorry,” said Beth. “We are not going to have a conversation about submission guidelines. This is not a bar and this is not going to turn into a bar story. This is a yarn shop and this is a yarn shop story. At least it was before you came in. I don’t know if yarn shop stories sell or don’t sell, but you’re an out of work barfly and you have to leave. This story has already had more bar references than knitting references as it is. Somebody’s going to have to do a major rewrite before it gets accepted anywhere.”
+++++Beth looked at Spencer and Meredith with her hands on her hips as if daring one of them to disagree.
+++++“Come on, Spencer,” said Meredith. “Let’s blow this pop stand and go have a couple of beers.”
+++++“Sounds good,” said Spencer. “And Beth, ya didn’t really think a story about a yarn shop was gonna go anywhere, did ya? Why, there’d have to be somethin’ like an armed robbery to save a story with a setting that lame….”
+++++“All right, you three, down on the floor. This is a stick up,” yelled a tough looking character holding a large caliber handgun. “Just don’t try anything funny and nobody gets hurt.”
+++++“You’re holding up a yarn shop?” asked Spencer, as he, Beth, and Meredith lowered themselves to the floor. The robber, Max Smith, no relation to Spencer, ignored Spencer’s sarcasm and put his efforts into opening the cash register.
+++++While he was working on it, a clown came in the front door. “Do you have a restroom I can use?” he asked. The gag flower on his lapel then squirted a stream of water into Max’s face. Max coolly leveled his pistol at the clown and shot him once in the forehead. The clown crumpled to the floor next to Beth who quickly scooted over a bit to make room for him.
+++++“God, I hate clowns,” grumbled Max as he started stuffing wads of bills from the now open cash register into the pockets of his trench coat.
+++++Beth turned her head to face Spencer and Meredith. She had taken a .22 from a holster in her boot and had it pointed at the back of Max’s head.   “Noir, anyone?” she stage whispered out of the side of her mouth.
+++++Spencer and Meredith both smiled broadly and gave her the thumbs up.