Chiselville 2.25.07

Chapter Four

Tom of course had none of these things. With his back to the paneled wall of his cafe, he dipped a brillo pad into an old yellowed tupper ware bowl. The oversized price tags refused to peal off cleanly from the plastic lawn furniture he intended to use in the café seating area. Tom couldn’t resist a sale at Wal-Mart.

The door knob swiveled slightly, a loud creaking, and then a pause as the door snagged onto the freshly laid industrial carpet. A loud thud sent the door swinging open.

A slim brunette with short, styled hair stumbled into the room along with the door. Recovering herself, she closed the door and walked over to Tom.

“Well, I’m here. No need to stop what you’re doing.”

“Thanks Mary,” mumbled Tom as he continued with his work. “How are yah hon?”

“Well, since you asked, I’m a little flustered right now.”


“Didn’t you see how I practically had to throw myself at the door just to walk in here? Do you expect your customers to body slam themselves against the door every time they want to com in?”

“It’s fine Mary. You’ve gust had a hard time because you wear those impractical heels. What are they, two, three inches high?”

“Wait, you’re blaming the door on my high heels?”

“People in Vermont wear clogs, Birken Stocks, and hiking boots. They don’t get so uptight about pushing a door open because they have good balance.”

“Tom, I’m not wearing clogs with my new business suit from Jones of New York. Just fix the door.”

“OK, you win,” sighed Tom. “I’ll get to it.” Tom furiously scrubbed away at the same chair that had been the center of his attention since long before Mary stumbled in.


“I don’t know Mary. Before I open this Saturday.”

“Do you realize that your menu isn’t up, there are labels on most of these cheap chairs, and you have an entire corner of the store filled up with Aunt Emmie’s junk?”

“Antiques,” cut in Tom. Keep her on the antiques, she can dig into that he thought. Just don’t mention the art.”

“Forget them, my point is you don’t look very prepared for business. Do you even have an artist lined up for your gallery?”