Friday, July 5, 2013

Adventures with Talon

             Talon threw her head back and drained her shot glass, slamming the empty vessel on her desk. She flicked a lighter on and produced a hefty cigar from her humidor. She meticulously lit the end, taking slow arduous breaths. She could try to delay it as much as possible, but nothing would save her from her worst nightmare:
                Paperwork.
                It was inventory time at Talon Salvage Co, and she let the mountains of forms and lists pile up this quarter. She poured herself another drink, praying to the gods that some form of distraction would manifest itself in front of her. Her answer arrived with a knock of the door.
                “Come.” Fuckin’ thank you, she thought. But her relief was short lived as a stout, vertically challenged man wearing a poorly tailored suit emerged, carrying a rather large suitcase as he was sporting a not-completely-sincere grin as loud as the pattern of the outfit.
                “Good afternoon, Madame!” He cheerfully greeted in a boisterous voice.
                “Aww, hell.” She cursed under her breath. She got herself a distraction, alright. “What do you want, Potts?”
                “Well, I happen to be in the area, and I thought it would be the most ideal time to show you what I have for wares this fine day.”
                “Oh, you did, did you?”  She grumbled, shifting papers in front of her. “Well, I’m afraid it is really not a good time, I have to get the inventory done before I even consider…”
                “Nonsense! It will only take a minute of your time.” Potts began to unhinge the clasp of his suitcase.”
                “No…don’t start opening that shit up in here; I told you, it isn’t a good time.” But, like always, her words fell on deaf ears as the portly merchant produced an intricate bronze statuette from the depths of his suitcase.
                “This lovely little piece is from the Fourth Era. A fantastic example of…”
                “Where did this come from?” She interrupted, in no mood for his antics.
                “I’m sorry?” He said, laying a hand on his chest innocently, feigning misinterpretation of her question.
                “Where. Did. This. Come. From?” She picked up the statue and waved it at his face, emphasizing each syllable she growled.
“Ehrm….fell off the back of a skiff….” He suggested dismissively.
“Uh huh.” She thrust the metal figure back into the merchant’s hands. “ Look, I’m an arms dealer and an expedition outfitter.  I kit out people who want to actually search for this shit themselves. You know what I want, don’t waste my time with anything else.”
“Well, I just got a new shipment of tent pegs in.” The merchant began emptying the entire contents of his case on Talon’s office floor.
“I still haven’t gotten rid of the last forty crates you sold me.” Talon dismissed.
“I have a new crate of gauze, thread, and other medical supplies here.” He picked up a length of medical tubing from the floor, waggling it suggestively.
“Ugh, no thanks, I have my own source for first aid. One I know is clean and safe to use, thank you.” She waved a hand at him in disgust. Unscathed by her suggestion, the merchant continued digging through his small treasure trove.
“And then there is THIS,” He pawed through his suitcase in an attempt to distract her. He produced a strange, yet colorful device resembling a weird hybrid of a pinwheel and a kaleidoscope. It was made primarily of brass, with segments along the barrel revolved in a delightful scintillating light.
“The hell is that supposed to be?” She said, folding her arms over her chest, unimpressed.
“It’s pretty that’s what it is.” He said, almost offended as he flicked one of the projections, making it spin.
“Can I eat it?” She asked sternly.
“Good lord, why would you want to do that?” He looked at her shocked at the absurdity of her question.
“Can I start a fire with it?” Her glare narrowed.
“Well, no it’s mostly glass…I don’t know how…” He scrutinized the device further, making it obvious he didn’t actually know what it did himself.
“Can I wear it over my face to keep the sun away?” She pointed.
“Surely you can’t be serious…” He started, but was cut off by a series of growling noises made by the privateer as she rubbed her face in irritation.
“Get out. Of my office.” She ordered.
“You’re making a serious mistake by rejecting this offer.” He pouted, grumbling as he packed away his suitcase.”
“Then perhaps you will finally learn that I am a very bad businessman, and stop wasting both our times by trying to haggle me.”
“Good day then, Madame.” He harrumphed and turned his heels noisily as he dragged his suitcase, messily packed and bursting from the seams, out the door.
She flopped back into her chair and emitted a few more growls, attempting to scrub the incident from her memory. She stared indignantly at the pile of paperwork, gunning up the effort to work the numbers again.
She finally managed to center herself, once again taking up the quill and distractedly dipping it in the ink. She was about to make progress, letting the nib touch the paper, when another knock on the door shattered her concentration.
“Yeah?” She sighed. Martin emerged from the door, a self-satisfied grin on his face. He brandished one of Pott’s enigmatic contraptions, spinning the wheels gleefully as he set it on her desk.
“You didn’t….” She glowered at him. He shrugged at her.
“Well, sometimes people bring their kids on these expeditions, wouldn't want them to be bored, now would you?”  He said happily.
“How many did you buy?” Talon pinched the bridge of her nose in irritation.
“Ten crates.” He replied.
“Oh for fuck’s sake.” She slammed her fist onto the desk. “That shit’s coming out of your cut, you know that, right?”
“Oh, now, now.” He patted her derisively on the head. “I know we can get rid of them, don’t worry.”

“I hate you.” She hissed. “So much.”

***
Author’s note:
I work in the back end of retail, I thought I would make it more interesting, because I like making unrealistic goals for myself.

Whoops, got so caught up in the moment of having a post ready a week ahead, I forgot that I actually had to post it....It's up in the air for next week. Not sure what I will write next.
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