Response to The Daily Post’s prompt: “Sudden Downpour”

“Welcome.” said the proprietor. I was startled to see someone in here. This shop looks like it hasn’t been used in years. The shelves and bookshelves are dusty. Some of the items here look as though no one has taken care of them.

“Hello. I’m here for an umbrella, if you sell one.” I declared. ” I have plenty of umbrellas. It’s how I make money of my money nowadays anyway.” The proprietor responded in a monotone voice. His sleepy eyes and menacing grin gives me a really bad vibe. I ignored it and decided to follow him with caution. “I’m only here for an umbrella anyway.” I thought to myself

The shop’s assortment of spoils catches my attention. Pottery that looks as if it was invented in the 1700 to 1800s. Porcelain dolls with big, soulless eyes staring blankly at each other. There were also puppets garbed in tuxedos that resembled puppets you’ve seen in Goosebumps and The Twilight Zone were staring at me. Ignoring the disturbing the wooden and glass made figures my attention shifted to the elder man.

He was shorter than me by a feet in a half. His arms were behind his back with hands clasped together. The proprietor’s piercing grin never left my mind the moment he approached me. “Here we are!” The proprietor spoke gleefully. He wasn’t kidding about the umbrellas. There were about a hundred boxes stacked neatly from wall to wall. The strangest things were these boxes were fairly new, as if they were delivered just last week.

With his free hand the proprietor grabs an umbrella wrapped in plastic except for the handle. Leaving the closet, I felt a slight wind behind me. It was like someone just ran past me. “Did you feel that. sir?” I asked with dread curiosity.

“No. I didn’t.” The proprietor said. His eerie grin turned to a frown as he said that.  “What the hell is up with this man?” I asked myself. “Eleven dollars please.” He stated in his endless monotone voice. As I hand the cash to the man, I backed away in fear seeing a clown puppet behind the proprietor. The clown had a similar grin the old man did. However the smile was more, demented; the clown’s eyes were shaped like a cat’s eyes.

The proprietor looked at the clown and back at me. He grinned again, “Come on, sonny. Really? Are you that scared of puppets?” he asked. I picked my ten and one dollar bill from the floor and slammed it on the desk. “What is your damage?!” I shouted in an angry tone.

“What is the deal with this antique shop? It looks like grim and as though I’m being watched.”

The proprietor took the money from my hands and handed the umbrella. “Let’s just say…that if you don’t want to know the history of these artifacts. I’d suggest you walk away and forget you ever stumbled upon here. I’ve been around a long time. This is not a threat. It’s a warning. You’re very perspective and have a gist of what the atmosphere of this store is.”

I gulped. His monotone voice shifted into a serious, gruff tone. What was more frightening was his frown curling into a toothy, menacing grin. I turn about-face with the umbrella in hand and flee. “The name is Barnaby. I hope to never see you again!”

It was still raining out and with my new umbrella I keep running as far away as I can. A week passed and I hear that an old antique shop was closed down because the owner moved his business elsewhere. I was relieved that creepy old man was gone. That relief ended quickly when I received a postcard in the mail. It was labeled, “Barnaby’s Antique Shop”. I turned the postcard and it said, “Remember, don’t tell anyone! >;)”

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