2009-10-24: I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today!



Date: October 24th, 2009


An overworked shop owner hires a teenaged vagrant, deals with overzealous bible-thumpers, and sells knives to a very dangerous woman.

"I've Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today!"

Randall's Pawn Shop

The good thing about running your own business is that you can't be fired. The bad news is that you do have to actually keep it running, or else the customers will stop coming by, the bank will repossess the building, the landlord will evict you from your apartment, yadda yadda yadda.

This wasn't so bad back when Randall had that one CUNY sophomore around to share the workload, but ever since her internship came through… Remember how the Doctor always looks when he tries to run around and attend six banks of equipment all at once? That's kind of what he looks like today, only without the extreme cleverness. Or even the brainy specs. There are already half a dozen customers wandering around and peppering him with intermittent questions, while the help-wanted sign in the window remains blithely ignored.

Jade Eastly had never considered herself anyone's hero, or angel, or anything benevolent, really, but apparently fate intended her to play just that role today. The shop didn't look grand, which was just her style, so when she saw the bold letters reading 'Help Wanted', mentally counted the money she had left in the bottom of her duffel, the girl was quick to put two-and-two together and come up with Cha-Ching.

The door opens, admitting the dark-haired teenager into the establishment. Unlike most customers, she doesn't head towards the counter, or any of the aisles, she walks parallel to the front wall, snatching the sign out of the window before any /other/ jobless schlub took what she wanted. Dodging a few consumers who were bickering over whether to buy a lamp or not, the drifter teen next appears at the counter, looking around for anyone who was an obvious employee. There seemed to only be one, and he was looking rather busy.

Patience had never sat well with Jade.

The young woman begins incessantly banging on the tiny bell next to the register (every store has a clerk-summoning bell, right), with an expectant, if amused, expression on her face.

Morgana makes her way into the shop. She's not exactly sure what it is she had in mind to get here today, but something nagged at her to stop in. Perhaps her own version of a Dark Passenger was drawing her to this place. Perhaps a new target? Why not? Criminals love using pawn shops. Good way to get rid of evidence or to fence stolen property. She pushes her black, square-rimmed glasses back up to their default position on her nose and looks around, attempting to mix her gaze between items on the shelves, and the people perusing.

Heading into the store, Ophelia just seems to be there to glance through the goods. She's quite happily employed, which means that she's got no reason to go trying to steal the Help Wanted position from Jade. She stifles a bit of a yawn, heading to really take her time as she looks quite carefully through the goods.

Randall reaches up toward a high shelf, picking something up and chucking it right at a customer over on the next aisle. Oh, it's just a feather boa; no harm there, there's nothing else nearby that'd be light enough for it to knock down along the way. His gaze flits right past Ophelia, who's clearly still firmly in window-shopping mode, to—

"Yes, thank you for making sure the bell works." He pauses, giving Jade a look. No, she doesn't look like she's wearing an Edgar suit. "What can…?" A second look. Oh, she's holding the sign. A third look. "You're hired. When can you start? Please say 'right now', I'll pay you for the full day if you do." And, not waiting for an answer, he moves right along to the next customer. "No, I'm sorry, sir, we make a point of not selling ammunition here. There's an enthusiast shop two blocks down, turn left past the guy selling apples out of a wooden cart—"


The teen's words trail off as her new employer simply wanders off to another customer before she could even begin to agree, leaving the girl wondering if he didn't just have some form of ADD. With a shrug, she tosses the sign onto the other side of the counter, out of sight, letting her life-containing duffel bag slip off of her shoulder. With a sigh, she hoists it up onto the counter, rolling her free shoulders, now released from the weight of the hefty luggage. With a small grunt, she shoves it over the side, too, to land with a cloth-like *SPLAT* on the other side. At least she didn't have any fragiles within it.

She looks first one way, at a customer who obviously looked like they needed something, quickly averting her eyes before she caught his attention was asked the unfortunate question of 'Do you work here?'. Then she looks the other way, seeing Randall himself trying to direct another customer. Turning her back to the counter, she places her hands against it, lifting herself up onto the smooth surface, one leg swinging casually as she takes her new seat and plucks up a nearby magazine to thumb through.

"Huh. This work thing is easier than I thought."

Morgana makes her way down to a locked case. Possibilities. The glass fronts keeps the contents of the case from prying fingers, but eyes work just fine. A case of blades rests beneath Morgana's fingers, instruments of both destruction and mirth. There are a couple promising ones, just needing a good cleaning and some sharpening. She takes note before she notices a customer of in a corner by himself. A bit nervous, waiting for the crowd to thin before he can get rid of his wares of evil. Not exactly the kind of prey Morgana goes for. He's a novice, and more likely wanted by the police. She takes amnetal note of the man, to check up against what the NYPD has up on their 'Wanted' list before bringing her gaze back to the siren's song coming from the knife case…

Mm. Knives. Ophelia peers towards them, and then stops. On second thought, she doesn't like the idea of weaponry. Not in the slightest. She proceeds to look at some knick-knacks, rubbing her arms a little. Right. Don't dwell on the past.

Randall hasn't forgotten about you, Jade, he's watching and listening out of the corner of his eye (and ear?) even as he gets things settled with the would-be gun buyer. Who ends up not buying anything, but that's still better than having him grab something and promptly turn it on the crowd.

A couple more customers later - and after shooting Morgana an odd look, but he'll leave her alone as well until she asks something out loud - he steps behind the counter, tapping Jade on the shoulder and stage-whispering to her. "I read that issue yesterday— they give the new Bruce Willis movie two and a half stars."

"Hmm… I don't care what anyone says, I /like/ Jennifer Garner…" Mumbling to herself as she reads the latest edition of US Weekly, Jade is brought out of her reading by the tap on the shoulder, turning her head just enough to glance at him out of the corner of her eye. "What do you expect? You can't sell movies based on pure testosterone content alone." With a bereaved sigh, as if she were being asked to do something completely unpleasant, the dark-haired girl tosses the magazine back onto the counter and slides off of it, shoving her hands into her pockets, slouching as she approaches the nearest customer: a woman looking at knives a little too keenly.


"Hey, uh, welcome to…" She didn't even know the name of the place, or even her boss! "This place. We have a no-loitering policy, so you wanna buy something?" She gives the older woman a dull-look, as if she couldn't possibly any more bored, and was half hoping she'd get offended, storm out, or do both.

The people here may or may not be used to dealing with Southern Baptists. If so, the small group that walks in fits them to a 't'. A woman with huge hair and strong perfume, check. An old gaunt man who looks very much like he tried to brush his hair, but lost, check. A bald man who looks very much like he was a linebacker in high school and has the state championship ring to prove it, check. And finally, a nearly middle aged man with brown hair in which every strand has been correctly poised. A white seer sucker suit with patent leather white shoes and a Bible in his hand named Dean Haynesworth? Check. Those who aren't familiar with Southern Baptists might have shell shock. Dean walks to the front of the group right to the counter, "Oh, can I see the proprietor of this establishment?"

Oh. My. God. Ophelia looks up from a bobblehead that she's certain no one would ever want, and she /stares/ at the group that just entered. She tries, rather hard, not to laugh. She then proceeds to fold her arms, idly glancing at objects while trying to observe what's going on.

Morgana looks over to Jade. "Oh, I most certainly planned on buying something. I'm not some teenager." She says to the girl with a smirk… "no offense…" She turns to the case. "Those mid-sized blades, the surgical steel? I'll take both of them.

It's a good thing that Jade dropped in when she did. This new group looks contentious enough as it is; trying to deal with them and Morgana at the same time could've gotten… messy.

That snap decision about hiring her, earlier? It wasn't just that Randall was in a hurry, it's that he looked at her aura and saw a decent person. Or that's what's going on in his head, at any rate. Just as quickly, he gives the new arrivals a once-over, and while he offers a polite enough smile, it doesn't reach as far up as his eyes. "You can and you do," he replies to Dean. "What can I do for you and your flock?"

The teenaged brunette has to physically stop herself from groaning out loud as yet /more/ people walk through the doors. They didn't look like the typical customers, so she could only hope they weren't here to buy anything, and thus, she wouldn't have to deal with them. At all.

As Morgana slides in her remark about teenagers, Jade's mouth twitches, then her eyes turn towards the two knives indicated. She glances back to Morgana, then the knives, then back again. "None taken. But sorry, I'm on my break. Us teenagers need our down time."

Jade turns on her heel, walking all of three steps away to hover over Ophelia's shoulder. "Hey! Can I help you find something? …Let's not drag this out, are you browsing, or do you actually have any money you wanted to spend?" She raises her eyebrows expectantly, an almost superiorly amused expression on her face. The very model of the helpful sales assistant.

"You know, you kind of /have/ to browse in pawn shops. Hurrying people along isn't exactly the most conducive thing to a sale. I will, most likely, buy something when I find something worth spending my money on." Ophelia raises an eyebrow, looking only slightly miffed.

Dean speaks in a southern accent. For anyone who's good with accents he can fit in well either in Louisiana or Mississippi, a little a both, total of neither. He raises his Bible, "Good sir," he says, "I'm sure it must have been a mistake and your eyes were blinded by the devil. But you have outside your shop, in that very window, a ouija board. A foul item of witchcraft which is used to summon spirits by warlocks and witches." he raises his Bible over his head, "As you know, in Exodus 22:18, the Bible commands that you should not suffer a Witch to live. And here." he says, "You hold out the very items used for their powers. I must insist that you take it down."

Morgana raises a brow as Jade walks away and shrugs, pulling the straps of her purse over her shoulder, preparing to leave. That is, until the Entourage of the Holy makes their way in. She groans to herself, at all forms of organizied religion. Marx had it right when he called it the 'opiate of the masses'. Nothing blinds people from the truth more then 'Faith'. She waits for patiently for the crowd to wither move through the store, or leave, since that's what she has in mind.

"I assure you my eyes are unveiled," says Randall, not missing a beat. "Now that board is ten dollars including sales tax, and if you'd like to invest that yourself, then it's your property— you can burn it, throw it in a wood chipper, whatever you like. Otherwise, I'll have to refer you to the separation of church and state, the right to refuse service— and Matthew 7:3." Someone, it seems, has had this sort of argument land on his doorstep before.

Reaching up, Jade scratches idly at the side of her neck, blatantly, and probably purposefully, yawning as Ophelia corrects her sales attitude. "I hope I don't work for commission." After a moment, she looks back at Knife Lady over her shoulder, muttering none-too-quietly. "I /really/ hope not."

With an inward moan of misery, she leaves the second woman to her browsing, slowly, with great outward reluctance, meandering her way back towards the first. She leans against the case displaying the knives, an elbow on top, leaning a hip against it, her weight on one leg, looking more like a loiterer herself than any of the customers did. "I don't have the keys to get inside. You'll have to wait for my manager…" She looks in the direction of the counter. "You'll be waiting a while." She jerks her chin in the direction of the congregation and her manager, going toe-to-toe over a board game. "Whaddaya think it's all about?"

Morgana looks to Jade, and calms a bit. "It's quite alright. I'll come back when its not so crowded." In otherwords, less witnesses. She looks back to the crowd.. "Dunno. Probably lecturing your boss on how he's aiding the forces of evil and how we're all damned to hell. As if we couldn't tell by taking a look out the window." She says, and then tries to turn on a bright, cheery smile as a way to emphasize her point.

But before Ophelia can say anything else, the comment about witches has her /full/ attention. Witches. She idly wonders if, several hundred years ago, that's what they would have called her. Normal people can't open up the heavens and bring down storms. She tenses up, just slightly, taking a deep breath in to calm herself. She hugs her arms just a bit, glancing back to Jade. "On second thought, I don't think I'm planning on buying anything." She moves towards the door. After all, who knows when the weather might change.

Dean doesn't snort, it doesn't really appear to be his style. "Oh brother." he says, "How they have blinded you to the Word. You think taking a passage out of context proves anything." he holds the Bible to his forehead, "Do not give the devil a foothold." he says. There's a general nodding and praising from his small group, "Ephesians, brother, perhaps you should read the whole text instead of just a few passages." he raises his Bible, "But since you have shown that you use the Word, then I must look out for your soul." he shakes his head from side to side, "And as such, I cannot let this stand." he turns to the group. "Brothers and sisters, we have here a fallen brother…and we do not let our brothers fall, do we?" They raise their hands, palms out, "No, we do not!" he turns to Randall, "Oh, brother, you are so lucky we are here. The Devil has a hold on you. And we must make sure that he gets no further. For this, we will stand vigil outside your shop, in the wind, in the rain, in the darkest hour. We will tell all visitors of your establishment that we are here to watch over the souls. We will not let you be tempted, no, for criminals and fornicators may try and slip in and we will take their pictures and make sure that none of that ilk will tarnish you, brother." he clapses his hands together, his Bible held between his palms, "And we will pray. We will /pray/."

Randall purses his lips. This is no casual effort to appease one noisy member of the congregation, then - these guys seem to be in it for the long haul. "Well, as lucky as I may be, I'd appreciate it if you'd stay out of the store proper. If you want to take up posts out on the sidewalk— well, that's city property, it's out of my hands." But the neighboring businesses might have something to say about it. And the NYPD, if anyone calls in with a claim that they're disturbing the peace. And Randall has an idea of his own, too, which he'll wait till later to set into motion. For now, he simply does his best to get past Dean's group and over to Morgana, fishing a ring of keys out of one pocket. "Sorry about the delay there. Is there anything else we can get you while you're here— sharpening stone, bottle of polish?"

A thin, dark eyebrow archs at the bright, cheery grin thrown at her by the other woman, Jade leaning back from almost impossibly cheerful-seeming attitude. "Yeah, the world sucks. Can't fault bozos for trying to make it better, I guess." As the second woman makes her way out the door, Jade doesn't even look in her direction, instead staring towards the front counter. "Thank you, come again." But her tone indicated she wished for anything but.

She finally turns an ear to the conversation going on between the proprietor and the biblesalesman-looking guy, eventually cracking the first smile she had since she'd woke up that morning. "Fornicators? Wow, I didn't know people still talked like that." She places both elbows on the case of knives, leaning heavily on them as she prepares to listen to the highly amusing confrontation. At least, it was much more highly amusing than doing something as mundane as her new job. Unfortunately, she has to displace herself as Randall extricates himself and moves to open the case. She casts another glance at Morgana.

"We also have a no-stabbing-the-smart-lipped-employees policy. Just so you know."

Morgana shakes her head at Randall. "I've already got that covered, thank you. No worries on the wait, you seem to be having yourself a good day today, barring the usual distractions." She says with a smile, indicating the group. At jade's comment she turns, still jovial, but serious at the same time. "They're for hunting.. They work well with cleaning the meat. And being smart-lipped isn't necessarily a bad thing."

Dean nods and turns to his church members, "Brothers and sisters, this man has asked us to leave and under man's law, we must go. But call out to our brothers and sisters, call out to the local media." and, of course, their lawyers, "We will witness this man. We will save his soul." as it begins to rain, he says, "You see? You see brothers and sisters, the devil wishes to scare us. The Devil knows we've got him right where we want him and we aren't giving up, are we?" the members continue their praise and affirmations, "Come, brothers and sisters. We will go outside and we will save this brother's soul." and so they begin to move outside. But they're not going anywhere. Plus, they can get umbrellas. But it's clear, Dean Haynesworth is going to make this into a media circus. And he's going to use this business as the center ring.

And they probably won't even buy the umbrellas from his store, the ingrates. After they head outside, Randall rings up Morgana's order without any further comment (save to confirm the price of her purchases), then - tossing the keys to Jade - walks over to a laptop somewhere behind the counter and pulls up a web forum. I know you guys are not my personal army, he types, but if you *want* to take some time out and tweak some self-important noses, then I know just the opportunity…

"Huntin', huh? Hey, whatever floats your boat. You don't look like a carnivore." She looks the woman down, then up, remembering the way she had been staring at the knives not too long ago. "Then again…"

As she catches the keys, Jade's expression registers surprise, her eyebrows moving up towards her hairline as she glances at Senorita Knifehappy, holding up the ornaments and jangling them a bit. "Wow. You know, he doesn't even know my name, but he's giving me the keys to this place." As the unlocking devices disappear into her pocket, she gives them a small pat and a wistful sigh. "Sometimes, I really wish I was a thief. Hey," she calls up to Randall, as she leaves the knife display case behind in favor of hovering near the front counter.

"How late do we stay open? Because I still gotta find a place to stay. Cool laptop. Can you look up some of those cheap hotels that rent by the week?"

Morgana nods and makes her way out, keeping to herself, like usual.

With the cosmic forces of /b/ now alerted, Randall nods and turns the keyboard over to Jade. He's not logged into anything sensitive any more, anyway. "You might want to check out the Deveaux Building," he offers, after rattling off the shop's operating hours. "I don't know if they do weekly rates, but tell them I sent you and they should be able to work out a good deal."

Meanwhile, outside the shop, there's a flash of light. Has the rain been joined by lightning? No, it's just one of Dean's followers taking a photo of Morgana as she heads off. Maybe those two will end up butting heads after all.

"De-what now? That doesn't sound very cheap at all." Muttering as she takes over the keyboard, everyone in the store would find out Jade is one /slow/ typer. She had to look down at each letter as she pressed it, with the two-fingered method no less, then look back up at the screen to make sure she'd hit the right one. Her first four spellings of 'Deveaux' go awry, being Devo, Devoe, Divoe, and Diveau. Finally, she looks back up.

"How the hell do you spell that? I keep getting referenced to this bawdy house in Canada."

A few minutes later, she has the words 'cheap motel weekly rental' typed in, and browse down the list, making mental notes about the addresses, and their relative locations to her. When she's done, she looks back up, first left, then right, rubbing at the back of her neck. "Geez, kinda cleared out real quick, did'n'it? Hey! I'm Jade, by the way. Jade Eastly."

"Randall Kirkwood," the alleged warlock finally gets around to introducing himself. And just as well they did, after all he needs to put something down on the inevitable paperwork. While Jade hunt-and-pecks, he writes down the name of the place on a spare scrap of paper, sliding it across to her. "Yeah, it comes and goes. Mostly, it just tends to drag you down when you can't take a break without closing the whole place down." Unfortunately, there will be no rooftop hockey games any time soon, as the second floor is occupied by a cooking school.

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