FF - Million Dollar Yard Sale Find

Fast Fiction is fiction written fast. The object is to get your brain thinking about a given subject without interference from “reason”. Go for the 30 minute time limit.

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FF - Million Dollar Yard Sale Find

Postby JillStar » Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:57 pm

jillstar wrote: Fast Fiction is just that... fiction written fast. Please visit What is FAST FICTION for more information.

Look at the subject for today's Fast Fiction at the end of this post... once you have the slightest beginning to your story… begin to write. Don't stop to ponder the meaning behind your writing or try to "fix" it so it's perfect... just write.

If you want to include your Fast Fiction finished product on WordTrip, simply add it to this thread. We would love it!

REMINDER: Please keep your stories PG13 if posted on the site. If you want a critique after you are complete, please consider using your writing group for help in that area or send a PM to one of us.

... try to stick to the 30 minutes time limit... ready, set... WRITE!

SUBJECT: Million Dollar Yard Sale Find
Last edited by JillStar on Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby timberline » Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:25 am

Took me a while to get my arms around this, until I rethought the premise and then learned about toogles. Sorry if I re-set this to a flea market. It's where I lost my innocence. (994 words)

Million Dollar Flea Market Find

Aristedes Globus called himself a round-tripper. Every Saturday, he would take his daughter-in-law to the flea market in Englishtown, New Jersey, driving up from New Egypt out in the Pine Barrens. There, he would drop Elisa off at 6 a.m. so she could open her tee shirt and sweat shirt business. Elisa would unload her boxes of shirts and the decal press so she could imprint custom sayings, and he would unfold the three tables and tarp, lay out the ready-made shirts she had ironed and make sure she had change for the customers who came from as far away as Manhattan and Brooklyn in search of treasures, or perhaps just some bottles of cosmetics and laundry detergents, or a hat or picture frame.

Ari was a walker, a boardwalk walker, a country road walker, a city street walker. Sometimes he’d go all the way to Philadelphia just so he would walk up Race Street and down Market before getting in his car and driving back on Route 70. He told his son and daughter-in-law it was the reason he was fit and good looking at age 65. They looked askance and told him to be careful.

Ari enjoyed Saturdays, not because he was close to Elisa or because it gave him a purpose living out his retirement as a widower. His sense of destiny lay in taking half an hour to file quickly up and down the dozens of lanes between the tables, the walks named after states. He was looking for what dealers called “smalls.” Little items that moved quickly off the tables. He had a practiced eye that could spot a three-inch-tall Meissen figurine and know it really was Japanese, or a Murano cigarette tin worth twice the asking price now that smoking was socially hazardous.

Once or twice—perhaps as often as three times—he would stop and say, “What're you asking?” and hold up an item. He was a buyer, not a pain-in-the-ass phony negotiator. If the item was two bucks, he paid two bucks. He held the urban hagglers in contempt, the city folk who came down to feel proud they had knocked fifty cents off the locals.

The woman with two folding tables and no sun tent on Connecticut Avenue was the place he stopped most often because she usually had the most interesting finds. Her name, he knew from a business card, was Maureen O’Dowd and she had a shop in Belmar at the shore. Maureen looked to be in her 50s, and even during the heat of the afternoon when he returned to pick up Elisa and drive her back, she smiled if he happened to see her and wave. Her hair was done up in a colorful bandanna, as though it were some African style she affected. Her teeth were a perfect set of small, evenly set ivories and she smiled every time she saw him.

“How much you asking?” He held up an angled piece of wire with a glass jewel at one end.

She shrugged. “A buck. Don’t know what it is, but you can have it for a buck”

“It’s a toogle. Thought you’d know that, since your mother or someone probably had one.”

She blinked and laughed. “Toogle?”

“It’s for a woman to use, to hook onto the table and then hang her purse on it when she sat down in a restaurant. Kept your purse off the floor and out of sight.”

“I didn’t know that. A toogle. You’re not kidding me?”

He shook his head and smiled back. Smiles could be infectious, just like yawns and sneezes. Smiles were cathartic, too. “I have maybe two dozen at home.”

“Jeez, you collect them?”

“Well, not collect exactly. It’s just part of the past that’s disappearing. Like those little four-inch-long pencils or plastic pieces with a ball on the end, little thingies that women used to dial the telephone so they didn't break their fingernails. Guess I have about twenty or thirty. They all have advertising for banks and hardware stores. It was advertising art before refrigerator magnets came into style and celluloid mirrors went out of style.”

“Doesn’t your wife or whatever get kind of crazy with all this stuff?”

“You’re a dealer,” he said. “It’s not about collecting. It’s about something else. Connecting with the world some way.”

“I know. Hey, I see you all the time. My name’s Maureen.” She reached out a hand, something that hadn’t happened to Ari before. A personal connection was taking place, not just a transaction.

“Maureen, I know. I picked up your card once. I’m Ari, and no, there’s no wife.”

“Sorry.”

“Don’t be,” he said.

“I just said that ’cause I know the feeling. There’s no Mr. O’Dowd either.”

“I drop off my daughter-in-law at her shirt concession and just scout the place every Saturday.”

“Me too. I mean, I’m here because I like all the people. What a parade! It beats sitting behind a counter in my shop.”

“Never know,” Ari said, “I might find that million-dollar item, like the guy who found a Declaration of Independence behind a bad oil painting inside a frame. He wanted the frame, tossed out the picture, and lo and behold....”

“I heard that. Million-dollar treasure in a flea market. Happens all the time.”

“I’ll take the toogle, Maureen.” He reached for his billfold.

She waved her hand. “Take it, Ari.”

“You sure?”

She nodded and the smile lit up her face again. “Come see me sometime. I’m in Belmar. Might have some more toogles or pencil dialers tucked away.”

“I might do that. I could do that on Monday. Whattya say about Monday?”

“Monday sounds great. Hey, if I find something there worth a million, I’ll split it with you.”

“You never know what you’re gonna find. You never know in life.”

Ari walked down Connecticut Avenue with a feeling lodged somewhere in the back of his mind that he just might already have found a million dollar treasure.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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Postby JillStar » Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:04 pm

Very nice Timber... some million dollar finds are not necessarily monetary.

... but I sure wouldn't mind find the monetary type... I could use a million or two right about now. :)
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Postby timberline » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:44 pm

I don't think I ever got back to you guys (and Jill) to mention that "Million Dollar Find" finally got published at r.kv.r.y magazine. (http://www.rkvry.com/fiction/244-walter-giersbach) I saw the market mentioned in Duotrope and its capable editor Mary Akers connected with it. Goes to show that even work written years ago can still show some life.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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Postby JillStar » Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:28 pm

Right on!! I'll go check it out!
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Postby timberline » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:53 am

Thanks, Jill. The toogles and telephone-dialer pens have disappeared. Now, I just go for the cheap CDs. Oh, and I found a nice ashtray yesterday for two bucks. Still have my wife, so I'm not looking in that direction.
Last edited by timberline on Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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Postby JillStar » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:28 pm

I don't know if yard sales are the best place to look for replacement wives anyway... :D
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Postby LizGrayson » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:33 pm

My favorite line: Smiles could be infectious, just like yawns and sneezes. I don't know what particularly made me smile, but I love this line, Timber. Cute take on the prompt, not the usual one you'd expect for something like this....
Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star and they give you them for free! ~ Billy Mack (aka the lovely Bill Nighy), Love Actually
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Postby timberline » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:34 pm

I try for the unusual. All else is boooring.

Why don't you join us on Facebook at Fast Fiction Friday? I just put a new -- unusual? -- story in response to Jill's (now Penix.Jera) prompt.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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Postby LizGrayson » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:00 pm

Well I would if I could find you, but anyway, I've been looking for prompts to spur some blog content. Hope to see you there, or somewhere:)
Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star and they give you them for free! ~ Billy Mack (aka the lovely Bill Nighy), Love Actually
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Postby timberline » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:30 pm

The name is Walter Giersbach. Or you could have clicked on the link to my collection of short stories. See ya there!
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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Postby timberline » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:30 pm

The name is Walter Giersbach. Or you could have clicked on the link to my blog or collection of short stories. See ya there!
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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Postby LizGrayson » Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:41 pm

Ah HA! Ok so now I know! I'll look for you over there:)
Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star and they give you them for free! ~ Billy Mack (aka the lovely Bill Nighy), Love Actually

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