Here's my #SaturdayScene for today, an unfinished WIP from the horror genre laying around awhile. I found it lying around in the dark recesses of a drawer dusted it off, and rewrote a little. It remains rough and unedited.

The Amigurumi Menagerie
by Ronda Reed
Chapter 1

"Jordan, sweetheart? Honey Pie, Sugar Bear, Hottie Hunk of Mine, My Man of Steel?" Chelsea said, in her best syrup-dripping voice, "There's this really cool new little antique store on Sixth Street I've been dying to check out. Ally said she found all colors of hand-dyed yarn there, too. Wanna go?"

"Um, lemme think..." Jordan said, eyeing the TV, unaffected. He squinted with one eye closed, tilted his head to one side, and created two air pockets in both cheeks behind his closed mouth. He let the air explode out in a whoosh and said, "'That would be a ...Hell No," he said, smiling sweetly sour back at his wife of four years.

Chelsea punched him in the gut playfully. "Fine. But, all things being fair in love and war, I may have to reconsider going to the Demolition Derby with you next Friday night," she said, grinning a Cheshire cat grin.

"Really?" Jordan said. "You're gonna play that card? Seriously? Chase and Dylan already have it all set up with Ally and Hanna. Everyone's got babysitters lined up."

"Yeah, well, FYI? The other girls want to go as about as much as I do and it wouldn't take much to convince them we three just might need a girl's night out on Friday night instead," she said, countering with lifted eyebrows and her best payback's-a-bitch look.

"Un fricking believable, Chelse," Jordan got up from the sofa, tossing the remote down on the cushion.

"You know how I don't like that part of town, Jordan. It's creepy," she said, resorting to a pouty whine. "Besides, I need to start crocheting now if I want to have Christmas gifts done in time. You were the one who said we needed to cut back on expenses and not go hog wild buying stuff this year."

"The game is starting in fifteen minutes, Chelsea," Jordan said, his eyes pleading.

"If we leave now, you'll be back by halftime."

"You mean before the seventh inning stretch, Chelse."


Jordan rubbed his face, staring at her in dejected defeat. "Let's get going, then. But, Chelse?" he said.


"Fifteen minutes. That's it. I won't spend another hour and a half like I did in Craft Corner last month. I swear, I won't," he said.

"Deal. I love you." She squealed in delight and hugged him tightly. She pecked him quickly on the mouth, jumped up off the sofa, grabbed her purse, and practically skipped out the door.


They drove by the store twice before parallel parking by the curb. The small store, wedged as it was in between two larger businesses on the block, looked almost non-existent. There were no flashy blinking business signs on the sidewalk to attract customers like the other antique stores on Sixth Street. This one was well away from its competitors. The rustic wooden door looked worn with faceted edges around the glass pane and etchings of random placed stars. In the center of the glass was a black hand-painted script that read "Anonymous Antiquities and Yarn Emporium" with flourish.

A tiny bell tinkled as Jordan opened the latch and held the door open for Chelsea. The deceptively small store was crowded with antiques from all eras and ethnicities and appeared to go on forever, one dimly lit room after another. There was everything from vintage jewelry and toys to Asian art; African masks to claw-footed furniture; hooded baby prams to obsolete oil company metal signs; colored glassware and bone china to old fishing gear. The odor of fresh lemon oil and beeswax mingled with years of musty vintage staleness. An old phonograph crackled as it spun a vinyl record echoing Nat King Cole's classic "Unforgettable" from somewhere within the hidden folds of the customer-less store.

A huge totem pole, of sorts, stood stately at the entrance, keeping watch over the incoming customers. It was carved out of wood and had funny painted celebrity heads, ranging from the forties through the sixties, each caricature stacked on top of the other. It reached a mere eight feet in height toward the airy ceiling high above. The melded actors Jordan and Chelsea recognized were John Wayne, Bette Davis, James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Clint Eastwood, Judy Garland. Many others faces were familiar, but they couldn't recall a name. Two evenly spaced ceiling fans hanging three feet down rotated slowly in a rhythmic squeak.

"Hello? Anyone here?" Chelsea said.

"What a blast from the past...Holy Dinosaur Relics, Batman...What a..." Jordan's whispers ceased in a yelp, from Chelsea's swift elbow.

Suddenly a small man stepped from the depths of the back rooms. He was balding, had round spectacles, and walked amazingly fast, maneuvering around the old oddities with agility. He was shorter by a few inches than Chelsea, and had a round face that looked like it needed a snowy beard and a red velvet stocking hat trimmed in white.

"Hello, hello! Welcome to our humble store. I'm the owner, Harvey Dobbs. How can I help you? Are you just browsing, or or is there something in particular you are looking for? My you're both young, so young. We don't get many your age people in here, no we don't. That's not to say you are not welcome, oh no no. Sorry, so sorry if I seemed rude. Please, please look around. We have a refreshment area just over there, if you would like some tea and tarts. My wife just made them this morning. She runs the Yarn Emporium upstairs. She's upstairs alright," he said, nodding. He pausing his stuttered speech momentarily to wipe his brow with a handkerchief. Mr. Harvey Dobbs' nervous rambling had an odd way of coming out in doubles. Jordan and Chelsea could only smile and wait for an opening to get in a word.

"Thank you, Mr. Dobbs. This is my wife, Chelsea, and I'm Jordan Hensley. Nice to meet you." Jordan said, extending his hand, he added, "I was just telling my wife what a lovely store you have. Just how old would you say..."

"Actually, Mr. Dobbs, a friend of mine told me about your fabulous new store. She said the most wonderful and unique hand-dyed yarn could be found here," Chelsea said, interrupting and placing a hand on Jordan's shoulder. She added a smile, a handshake to Harvey then a glare to Jordan that clearly said 'Just stop talking.'

"Oh, yes, yes...unique your friend said? Good, good. Come upstairs and I'll introduce you to my wife. Tell me, Mrs. Hensley, do you knit or crochet? Or both, perhaps? There is no other yarn out there like my Lin's. Oh no there's not! But, come, see for yourself," he said, already on the fourth stair step and motioning her up.

Chelsea glanced back at Jordan. He was currently occupied at a glass display case full of sports memorabilia while cramming a strawberry tart in his mouth and balancing three more on a napkin.

She followed the strange little man up the stairs. As they climbed, the old steep and narrow wooden stairs creaked, protesting their weight with each step. Eerie staircases always did provoke my 'spooky antennae', she thought. At the top of the stairs was a closed door painted a deep purple. From underneath the door a turquoise glow emanated. It reflected off of Harvey Dobbs' spit-shined black shoes, alive and flickering. Glancing down at the glow, he got out the hanky from his back pocket again, wiping his forehead.

"Let me...I don't want to startle her. I'll just..." He knocked gently, called out to his wife, then turned the white porcelain doorknob, opening the door a crack.

"Linny? Lin, dear, we have a customer," he said through the slight opening. The door squeaked loudly on its hinges as he opened it wider. The mysterious bright blue glow vanished.


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