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Author Topic: Northern Nerds Exchange  (Read 327 times)

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Offline Manimal

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Northern Nerds Exchange
« on: May 07, 2018, 08:44:07 AM »
I'm trying to write again but I'm hella rusty as I've found out. This is a simple tale of a small shopping plaza in a Northwestern Ontario armpit. I'm just going to write it and worry about making it good later, maybe I'll make it into something if I get motived? Either way I wanted to post this and see how it is, I'm very rusty and my writing isn't to the same quality as before.

I've written in a manner that is not quite like...novelish but not scriptish either. It's a simple way that I figure can turn to either and looks easier on the eyes then my old script format. So here, I'll see how this is. I need to write these characters a lot to really get them going anyway, I want to make a story that is about random characters in this plaza, more then just this one store. I want it to go somewhere as well, but I don't know what to do with it, so I figure it out as I go.

Chapter 1 : Battleyoads
Some Armpit In Northwestern Ontario

Bright blue skies, not a cloud to spoil the view. A chilly breeze flies by through an empty lot. In Dicker’s View Plaza we see a stretch of buildings that form an L shape. At the end of the space a small store with the name “Northern Nerds Exchange” hangs in a faded image.

“Instant cash for your geek goods” reads a cheesy sign from 2004, a washed out image of the Master Chief along with a poorly photoshopped PS2, Watchmen comics and an Elektra figure. The sign hangs on the small window below “Now accepting musical gear” with a small image of a chibi school girl ripping a Jazzmaster. 

Beside the small space is an empty lot with two windows, an entrance and a blank sign on top. A sign reads “For Lease”. Next door is Sassy Sally’s Steaming Salon, next to an Italian deli “Mussolini Meats” decked out in a tricolour explosion. i-Travel2000.com is next, a travel agency with it’s classic “CALL 1-866-WOW-DEAL AND GET AWAY FOR LESS” slogan in big letters below the sign. 

As the building forms it’s L shape we see an old Buck-Or-Two struggling to hang on. Next is a Little Cheasers, a big pig pizza that omits an awful greasy smell all day long. In the modest street the Dicker’s View Plaza sits next to many fast food joints, all assembled in little clusters.

It’s 8:59 AM, cars are moving along and people are stopping for gas or Tims. The parking lot for Dicker’s View is quiet, aside from a couple old wops waiting outside Mussolini Meats. The Canadian and Ontario flags mounted next to the plaza sign blow roughly in the breeze that runs across the sunny skies.

A car suddenly burns down the road, the song of jangly guitars and Kermit the Frog singing omits from the open car windows that dare to embrace the breeze. The old grey Impala turns into the plaza parking lots and stops promptly in front of Northern Nerds Exchange. The figure inside quickly turns the car off and grabs his backpack.

As he does a figure appears in the door. A somewhat tall girl with a lean form, light brown skin and long brown hair begins to turn the “Closed” sign around. Her brown eyes glare at the driver from under her thick black rimmed glasses. She slowly turns the sign as the driver grabs the door handle and roughly pushes it open.

“Safe!”, he calls out as the girl puts out her foot, tripping him to the floor. “How about showing up before we open next time?”, she smirks, officially opening the store. The driver looks up annoyed, “Right! I do this every time and it pisses me off! Like right before I have to go I get involved in something and boom! It’s 8:55!”. 

The employee stands tall with a skinny form. His shaggy dirty blonde hair moving as he speaks, his eyebrows a darker colour then his hair, and green eyes express every word, as he makes big motions with his hands. Kacey Karvala stands in clean new jeans and a collared black shirt.

Ami Desrosiers shakes her head, wearing the same type of clothes but with a necklace of USB sticks and assortment of rattling bracelets. Her long brown hair flows down her back roughly, in a manner that looks perfectly messed up, her bangs bushy and to her eyebrows. 

“When do you wake up?”, she asks grinning. “Oh 6:30 everyday!”, Kacey exclains proudly.

“What’s wrong with you dude!”, a loud voice calls out from behind the counter, a plump guy with a golf cap and brown beard walks into the scene. Medium height, wearing khaki pants too small for him, and old fashion loafers. He wears a long black top under his employee shirt.

“I like to be productive and get going! No time to waste sleeping I say!”, Kacey pounds his fist in his hand, making a proud statement as his backpack slips down his arm.

“You have so much time and yet you’re late everyday”, Walter Perogiski replies, hands on his chubby hips. “Don’t lecture me man”, Kacey becomes annoyed, “I’ll try to stop being late”, he speaks facing Ami as he walks behind the counter.   

“That guy eh, always late...unlike someone around here…”, Walter looks smug, straightening out his hat. Ami smiles, shaking her head. “Coming 20 minutes early to re-alphabetize the games won’t win you any favours, unless you can sell more of them”, she walks by, flicking Walter’s hat down his face, exposing his balding head.     

“And Kacey try to be on time alright”, Ami turns her back and walks towards the employee room, “I’m already going to be firing one flake this week”. Walter’s eye light up, “Jerry!”. Kacey shrugs.

The store is bigger inside than it appears but still modest in size. In one half is a counter with all kinds of games, figures, cards, and board games behind it. The exchanges are done here with a cash and computer behind the class cabinet containing used game systems. Along the wall are racks of video games, new and old, with the other wall containing a growing music section.

A couple cheap guitars hang from the wall, with practice amps, cords and pedals nearby. A keyboard sits in the box below, with a shelving unit holding assorted goods. Next to it are shelves of DVDs, Blu-Rays, VHS tapes, CDs, records, tapes and books. A small selection that is packed tight.

The walls are all packed, with a TV in the corner playing a curling game. The store radio lightly blares, rotating between classic rock, old & modern pop and bebop free-style avant jazz at any given day. 

There is another counter by the door for purchases, a small space leads to a washroom, employee room and closest of random cleaning and handy gear. In the center wall a door leads to the backroom.

Kacey walks in the employee room, throwing down his backpack, he tosses his water bottle in the freezer and straightens his collar. He turns around to see Ami holding up the doorway smiling. “You know what time it is?” she teases with a playful grin. “Coffee-a-clock already?”, Kacey grins back. Ami nods, holding a couple loonies out. “4x4, large, make sure it’s a roll up cup, I got ripped off last time!”.

“But Roll Up The Rim ended 2 months ago!”, Walter yells across the store. “I don’t care! I just want to finally win! Do you realize how maddening it is to lose every SINGLE TIME. I WON’T STOP UNTIL I-”, Ami rants as Kacey grabs the change and begins to walk off.

“I’ll be right back! Want anything Walter?”, Kacey askes as he nears the door. Walter thinks, “I could really go for a 1 milk 1 sugar iced latte with a strawberry danish. I need a little fuel in me!”, Walter straightens his cap as he cleans the glass cabinets. 

“You look like you’ve eaten too many danishes Walt”, Ami smirks from the corner. “What...oh, okay hold the food then, and make my coffee a medium”.

“Ya don’t want to get more fat eh!”, Kacey grins. “HEY! Workplace bullying!”, Walter throws down his paper towel in mock fit. “Ya but it’s okay when she makes fat jokes!”, Kacey replies annoyed. “She was just looking out for my health and well being!”, Walter looks back at Ami. She shakes her head, “Just go Kacey, hurry up today might get busy”.

“Might get busy...it’s never bu-”, as Kasey turns around a girl walks through the door. “Oh”. He quickly turns to the side and opens the other door, speed walking outside and promptly opening his car door before speeding off quickly.   

The girl looks confused, turning her gaze up to Walter and Ami. “Hello, my name is Ellie Mäkkeli and I am coming to apply at store”.

Ellie stands at a fair height, with her blonde hair in a tight bun, little pieces touching her face. Her blue eyes shine, with her brow tense as she holds out an essay sized resume. She wears a white sweater and black pants with grey fuzzy boots.

“Oh, you want to apply well let m-”, Walter begins before Ami walks up, grabbing the resume from Ellie’s gloved hands. “Kal-la-jocky, Finland?”, she tilts her head looking up from the paper to Ellie. “Kalajoki!”, she corrects Ami. “But this is a j...why are y-whatever, anyway I guess you saw the ad online?”.

“Yes. I am coming to Canada now, and I need work before I go school. I live nearby and am a great team player who works well with others or alone!”, Ellie smiles brightly. Ami shields her eyes, “Right, I’ve heard it all before...you have an impressive resume Ellie Maka-e-lie”.

“Mäkkeli!”, the blonde girl stomps her foot and looks up angry. “Holy *censored*, okay Ellie yes. I will keep your resume by my desk and get back to you!”, Ami nods motioning to the door. “Thank you, I’m hoping you consider me for placement. I am tidy, organized and above all punctuational.”, Ellie beams. “Yup…”, Ami opens the door as she leads Ellie out, the blonde girl waves bye to Walter and skips off.  Ami tosses the resume in the trash and walks to the employee room, “I need some coffee…”.

“I thought you sent Kacey to for that?”, Walter askes. “It’s for while I wait for that airhead”, Ami shouts back. Walter shrugs, humming and playing air guitar along to the Lynyrd Skynyrd song that fills the store. “And be a simple kind of man!”, he thrashes around dramatically beside a customer who looks over embarrassed for him.

5 minutes later Kacey shows up with a bunch of coffee in his arms and donut bag in his mouth. He struggles to open the door before spilling Ami’s coffee all over the sidewalk. He gets mad and throws it all down, kicking the cup along the sidewalk. As he opens the door Ami points back to his car, prompting him to sigh as he walks back to his car and drives off, leaving the Tims cups to sit on the concrete.   

An hour later a Tims cup lands in the garbage, staining Ellie’s resume. Kacey looks at 5 PS4 games still in plastic wrap. “Ya, so how did you get these…” 

“I had this like $75 gift card to Wal-Mart man so I like bought a bunch of games, just stupid things, and thought I’d sell them for some quick cash!”, the stoner kid stands, looking dazed as he tells his story, shaking around, wearing a baseball cap and baggy pants. 

“Oh so instead of buying I don’t know food and essentials, or selling the card you bought 5 games to sell to us for a lot less money then $75?”, Walter comes in from the side, looking angry. “Dude go away this is my sale! Ya I can do something on the games...let me see…”, Kacey replies.

Walter eyes up the customer angry, as Kacey looks up the games. “Do you have a problem?” the stoner askes angry. “Hey Walter, go back to what you were doing!”, Kacey replies annoyed. Walter backs up, looking at the guy in disgust as he walks back to the guitars and plays a Led Zeppelin riff poorly. 

Later the stoner walks out with $40, rolling up his sleeves, “Vein juice!” he smiles running off. Kacey sighs as he rubber bands the games together and throws them in a bin on the floor. “So happy to pay for someone’s trip”, he sighs. “Should’ve given him more money so he could overdose”, Walter chimes in. Kacey shakes his head, “Feh”.

The next morning. The skies are bright once more, Walter is inside reordering the games. Ami sits at her desk arms crossed as the open sign is flipped. On the schulde we see Kacey is off and Jerry is on 9-5, but nowhere to be seen.

“Today’s the day, if the prick shows up”, Ami mutters as she drinks from her Robins Donuts mug. Finally the door creaks open, an awkward bald guy with a big backpack and taped glasses stumbles in, he’s carrying a half finished pizza and 2L of Coke.

“Jerry, you’re late again”, Ami speaks plainly as the employee walks to the desk across from her. “Ah”, he speaks softly, sitting down as he opens the 2 liter. He begins to drink the coke and slowly pick at the pizza.

“Are you going to do any work today Jerry?”, Ami turns around in her chair as Jerry huddles up, picking only the pineapples off the pizza. “Dah”, he replies with a mouth full, taking another sip of pop. Walter shakes his head in the background and walks up, Ami signals him to stop as he approaches Jerry.

“We can’t do this anymore Jerry, it’s not working out. For 2 weeks since you’ve started all you’ve done is sit in the corner for 4 hours eating pizza and drinking pop, how can you explain yourself?”, Ami speaks firmly hands on her hips. Jerry looks up at the clock, noticing it’s 10:00.

“It’s apple-o-clock”, he speaks trying to get up. “Please get out of my way, I have to eat my 10 a clock apple”. Ami stands in front of him as he tries to leave the chair. “Jerry you’re fired”.

Outside the store a deadpan Jerry walks out eating an apple, pizza and 2L of Coke under his arm. “See if I care” he laughs to himself, choking on a piece of apple in the parking lot.

Ami sits inside with her head in her hands. “Great down another employee...what will I do…”. Ami looks over to the garbage can where Ellie’s resume sticks out. She shrugs, taking it out of the garbage covering in coffee and food stains.

“This girl seemed pretty useless, I think I may regret this one”, she speaks grabbing a phone.

The next day, Ellie shreds on a Jackson V. Everyone is in shock as the blond girl plays with technical and aggressive precision. She rips across the fretboard with a goofy smile, nodding her head back and forth and her fingers menace.

“The bridge is not set up good. I think I should adyust things a bit. Lot of the fret buzzings”, Ellie looks at the guitar as everyone picks themselves up. “Ellie, the guitar lass of Northern Nerds Exchange”, Walter speaks as he adjusts his hat. Kasey looks at Ami as she tries to hide her surprise. 

“Well Ellie you’re good at guitars, but what about games? What if someone asks for a recommendation or wants to sell some rare titles?”, Ami askes.

“I like to play video games, back in Finland we used to stay up all night me and my father, and we were playing the old Nintendo and the...what was it, cube of games?”.

“The Gamecube, my favorite system”, Walter finger guns. “Did you ever play the Momdroid Prime discs?”, Ellie askes. “Did I ever, wow. Sister, I played the HELL out of Momdroid Prime, it was my JAM!”.

“Remember the final level when Sam’s Mom is in day care and-”, Ellie looks excited, Walter backs up. “Oh it’s been a while I don’t remember too much...but uh, it was a classic!”.   

“Sounds good Ellie, but the only issue is your English. How will you interact with customers and tricky situations?”, Ami askes. Ellie grins, “I am master of English language in only four easy steps! Four long steps, but book says four easy steps!”, Ellie smiles smugly.

“Ya she’s hired right?”, Kacey whispers. Ami shakes her head, “I like the spirit, and it’d be nice to have someone around here that is good with guitars”. Kacey and Walter motion to themselves, “Ya I said good” she fires back.

“I have of one question however”, Ellie smiles. “Ya what’s that”, Ami braces.

“Have you a copy of Battleyoads?”. 

No one replies, the store is silent aside from the soft sounds of avant jazz that blare. Ami puts her hand on Ellies’ shoulder. “You'll be alright Ellie”.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 12:17:15 PM by Manimal »

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Northern Nerds Exchange
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2018, 06:16:53 AM »
Damn that was... Better than I thought it would be? I mean I was expecting some action or some slap stick comedy with explosions and stuff ala Mango but this is legitime Slice-of-life stuff here. The dialogue still needs extra paragraphing because I mix up the characters quite a bit, but you've done an excellent job at framing the scene, especially during the introduction.

This sort of story isn't my cup of tea, but I appreciate getting used to the characters' patterns' and their relationships. Ami's character description was the best. I wish I could do it half that well. And gawd, Battleyoads (toads haha). I wish I'd jammed that game. Heard it was hard.

Cool to see you writing again. Keep at it!