The Configured

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Asmodeus, Oct 18, 2013.




    Raymond Thorne held his thumb up in the moonlight as a thin line of blood took form. It grew from dull to brightest red then, pooling, dropped to splash on the floorboards. The pain made him wince. He put his thumb in his mouth and finished sweeping up the rest of the glass.

    Halloween Night. The border with the world of assholes was at its weakest. A couple of drunks had put a brick through the window while Raymond was brewing his coffee. It was just what he needed. He had wanted to pack up this shop and be out before nightfall. But no such luck. Incidents had conspired to keep him here.

    Incident One: half the boxes he had brought up from his uncle's basement were sodden. Incident Two: some drunks had put a brick through the window, as aforementioned. And Incident Three... well... that was the strangest...

    Of the one hundred and fifty nine antique typewriters on display across the shop floor, forty seven were totally and utterly immoveable. He had spent hours by the display cabinet, trying to lift the machines from the shelves. But whether they were bolted, screwed or stuck down with industrial adhesive, he just could not budge them.


    He would have to leave them there. Let the next owner work out how to remove the damn things. It would mean less typewriters to sell at the yard sale tomorrow, but who the hell bought typewriters any more?


    The sound of duck tape unrolling echoed through the old shop. Raymond positioned one piece over the hole in the window, then another, then a third. The tape would keep the wind out, if nothing else.

    He glanced through what remained of the glass, checking the street for visitors. He had sent word to his friends a few hours ago, asking for help boxing up this junk. He didn't expect many to show. How could post-mortem Tetris compete with the city's finest Halloween parties?

    His thumb ached again. He stuck it back in his mouth. And as he sucked the wound he stared into the neon distance.

    Soon he would not be alone.

  2. Charles briefly showed his teeth in a sad twitch of his lips. He then breathed out, a small puff of hot air was released from his thin lips, "Type writers eh?" he glanced down at the message.[​IMG]

    'I inherited an antique typewriter shop. Want to see it?'

    Years of history all crammed up in a small shop...Dust ,old files, and iron. The scent of knowledge.The smell of Fact. Fabulous, he couldn't wait. His olive toned thumbs ran across the tiny keyboard.

    'Of course I'll be there soon.'

    He shuddered, glasses slightly falling off his nose, The History..... the power behind the lost knowledge... He walked off into the cold night...
  3. `Typewriters? Well, why not. Nothing better to do I guess.`Charise thought to herself as she read the message. She wasn't really interested in Halloween. She wasn't really interested in typewriters either, but it had been a while since the last time she had talked with Raymond. I'll be right over, she texted him back already wandering in the streets trying to avoid her too empty apartment.
  4. Notes to self:

    • Really need a fix
    • Really, really need to pay the O'Shea brothers back soon, or else they're going to get tired of just sending goons after you and start rolling out the heavy hitters
    • Seriously, need a fix bad
    • Probably shouldn't have traded your pistol for a rock a couple months back: it would be handy in situations such as this
    • Those three guys at the bottom of the stairwell totally work for the O'Shea brothers
    • You should probably run

    Front door's clearly out of the question, but luckily this isn't my first rodeo; the fire escape does nicely for sticky situations such as this where you need to exit the building by unconventional means. Whirling about, I haul myself out through the window and onto the rusting metal structure, the October chill reminding me that underneath my heavy coat I'm only wearing a vest. Rookie error, but no time to remedy it now; the shouting from the stairwell tells me that the O'Shea's guys have noticed me making good on my escape.

    I've no chance against three Irish thugs, but luckily I am really rather adept at running the fuck away from people out to do me harm. It's a talent I've picked up over the years. So by the time my pursuers make it out onto the fire escape I'm already down and sprinting towards the alley exit. Silly fucks should have just gone out the front door, but I'm guessing they weren't hired for their smarts. I don't look back as I rush out into the city streets, aiming to lose them in the crowd. It's Halloween night, after all, and the streets are awash in curiously dressed people.

    It doesn't take me long to get well and truly lost in and amongst the mob, but I keep moving at a brisk pace all the same. They may not be smart, but the guys who are after me are persistent. Gonna need to steer clear of my apartment for the rest of the night, because any scary gentlemen tasked with money retrieval worth his salt is going to be watching it like a hawk. This puts something of a dampener on my plans for this evening (which largely revolved around trying to scrounge a fix off my ever-constricting circle of friends), but I'll think of something.

    As I move through the crowds and out towards the nightlife districts my phone goes off in my jacket pocket. This is more than a little surprising, given that I'm haemorrhaging friendships at the moment.

    I inherited an antique typewriter shop. Want to see it?

    Raymond Thorne? Not heard from the dude in months. Somehow I doubt he's gonna have anything on him, but a typewriter shop? Antiques? That sounds like a potential solution to my monetary grievances; I'm pretty sure I can flog a couple typewriters and make enough bank to get the O'Shea brothers off my ass for a while, maybe even have some left over on the side.

    Looks like I've sorted my plans for this evening, then.

    I punch the reply key.

    hey bro long time no see. ye sure im down whats the address? :)
  5. He could hear heavy boots shuffling against the concrete. A shadow appeared in the window, features warped by the cracked glass and dazzling neon. With sensuous, disjointed movements, a pale hand pressed against the glass, scratching down. He paused, thumb in mouth mid-suck, and peered closer. The mess of flesh and gore met his gaze and spoke.
    Raymond screamed. A woman laughed. Followed by her Liverpudlian accent.
    “Let me in; I need te' piss!” The rubber mask was pulled away to reveal the patron saint of kitchen sink dye jobs. Raymond’s heart resumed beating.

    . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Gin unceremoniously dumped her bag onto a nearby table and declared “I’ll freeze me tits off in 'ere, kidder,” before taking a cursory glance around. “This is boss, mate, but I reckon de typewriter business has been on top te fuck this century. Your uncle must've been proper divvy.”
    Raymond noticed the contents of her bag: the mask, gin, tonic, cigarettes, mobile. Gin disappeared down the basement stairs to find the toilet.
    #5 Tegan, Oct 20, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  6. Kamiko Amamiya, a 20 year old lone child of a wealthy inheritance, lived alone in the splendid beach mansion of her deceased parents. Her only company were the loyal servants, Toya the butler, Tomoe the maid; both siblings and her pet cat Mao.

    She never recalled the two staff members through out her childhood, as she grew up with her cousins and aunt who loved her dearly, but they did remember her and knew the secret reasons why her parents had abandoned her. They were there when she was born and had a personal bond with her, they were now her only caretakers.

    Kamiko or Kami for short was an art student who also had personal interests in studying cultures and it only came naturally that she had a knack for antiques, she was amazed at the antique's room her parents had decorated in the basement. Although it would get creepy at times since it was a huge room with so many old collectors item and not a single soul.

    Kami made her own personal collectors room by the terrace, it was much more pleasant there. Her life was full of secrets untold and she was some what frustrated and tired trying to search for the answers.
    That is when an old acquaintance sent her a message, her phone buzzed to life as she glanced at it in the midst of making her notes. She was surprised to see an old name pop up and opened the message,

    "I inherited an antique typewriter shop. Want to see it?"

    Kami was curious at the sudden message, 'typewriters?' who'd need those?' she thought to herself but they were antiques none the less. She recalled wanting to own a typewriter in working condition because the one in the basement was jammed. Kami didn't reply to the message not sure if she'd go in the first place, so she searched the internet for where Raymond's shop was and noted it down. Curiosity was biting at her and she found it hard to sleep at night, she wondered if she could get her hands on something more valuable in his uncles antique's shop.

    The night passed by and the next day arrived with much of a moody weather, it was cloudy some times with light drizzling and clear skies the next moment. Kami carried her umbrella just in case, with her bag slung over her shoulder she peered through her glasses at the address and looked up at the rather creepy looking old shop. She took a deep breath and put away the chit, pushing her glass frames over her nose bridge, she wondered; here was the question running in her head, To enter? or To not?
  7. "Watch out for the nails in the wa--"

    Ray's warning was cut short as Gin's yelp echoed up the basement stairs. So swift was her entrance and toilet charge that he hadn't any time to warn her about the exposed nails and splintered floorboards of this old shop. He listened to her Liverpudlian cursing then heard the bathroom door slam shut. There were no doubt some spots of blood on the stairs now from where her arm or leg was scratched. He would have to tell the others to be careful.

    Gin... his loudmouthed, drunkard neighbour. He couldn't remember which party they had met at exactly, but he remembered holding her hair while she vomited down four storeys of Council estate high rise. It had been the start of a terrible friendship. Gin was the kind of girl who just needed someone to listen to her chatter and hold her purse whenever she was throwing bottles at rival skanks. Not a friendship to be cherished... but better than having a neighbour pissed off at you.

    "THE HOT TAP DOESN'T WORK!" he yelled down the stairs, while texting the address to Chuck. His thumb still bled now and then, smearing the keys in red. Perhaps a sign of things to come. Gin and Chuck never saw bloodshot eye-to-eye. He suspected they fancied each other, such was the imminence of stab wound trauma whenever they were around. He wondered how Chuck had got on at Rehab last month...

    Crossing back to the window and checking the tape, Ray noticed a silhouette across the street. The umbrella and fancy coat was a giveaway. Kamiko Ama-wotsit. He opened the door and waved to her. "Kami! Over here!"

    If Gin and Chuck were the pizza-crust of his friendship group, then Kami was the caviar sprinkles. The girl had a haunted past that Ray never asked about and it made her that rare rich kid without an attitude. They had bonded over the works of Beksinski, and he had visited her mansion once when returning a painting his uncle had restored.

    "Watch out for glass," he said as he welcomed her through the door. Then he looked once more to the street to see two others, Charles and Charise, crossing the road through the speckling rain. "Evening!"

    Charlie was another good topping - a fellow bookworm who had gone to school with Ray. They had spent a lot of time in the library, talking religion and science, two things on which Charles had some paradoxical and fascinating opinions. And as for Charise... he remembered her vaguely... they grew up in the same neighbourhood and yet, like Kami, there was something about her that he didn't like to question... a secretive bent that she guarded meticulously.

    Yet she was nice enough, and a good foil to Charles's seriousness.

    If Chuck actually turned up like he promised, there would be six of them. Good. A perfect number for ferrying boxes up from the basement. Maybe between them they might even shift those typewriters from the shelves. Ray flipped the sign on the door to 'CLOSED' and waited for everyone to get inside.

    God bless Facebook. There was no better way to gather a group of semi-acquaintances at short notice.
  8. Charles politely smiled and returned the greeting "Good Evening." Stepping over the glass he looked around, typewriter after typewriter filled his vision, a glint of silver color drew his eyes in, squatting above the broken glass to see a lower shelf, his heart stopped seeing an odd looking machine,
    "Amazing..." Charles breathed out,
    "A New Franklin 7..." He Stood up and began speaking. "Its quite old, obviously but its rather new for an antique. the first year of production was 1892 by Franklin Typewriter Co. Boston , USA. The Franklin typewriter is one of the most striking looking machines in history. Particularly the round keyboard gives the machine a unique and unmistakable profile. The down strike machine was invented by Wellington Parker Kidder, who invented the thrust action typewriter only several years later.The mechanical differences between the different Franklin models are quite small and there have been different ways to distinguish them. Not until the release of the Franklin 7 did the company actually begin to number the models.The machine shown here is regarded as the 'Type II' Franklin, or Model 3 or 4. The serial number of 2183 shows how few of the first Franklin model were built. That machine, decorated with an elaborate decal is extremely rare. The Type II was labeled 'The Franklin' and had a nickel-plated plate of the manufacturer in the center under the keyboard. The Type II was followed by the 'New Franklin'." He suddenly stopped seeing as everyone was staring at him, "Heh... Sorry..." his awkwardly sighed.
    "This is valuable...The estimated starting 300$ without the wooden case, which you have making the starting bid 600$ and the estimated Like Max bid is... 1200$. And its in mint condition. if you have any more like this you might be looking at a fortune." His monotonous voice drawled.
    (Disclaimer :info for the typewriter is from
  9. Charise smiled and returned the greeting. Raymond had changed very little from the last time she had seen him, and he still seemed to gather people around him. And apparently some weirdos too. Charise knew nothing about typewriters, but that guy knew a lot. She tried to tried not to stare too obviously as he listed information and years like nothing. Charise had had always been in trouble when trying to remember details like years when something happened, so she really admired people who could. But typewriters? Though it was an alien looking gadget and seemed to be quite expensive too. She send amused look at the device. Amazing what people were ready to pay for something like that.

    "Guess we should be glad at least someone in here knows what he's talking about." Charise chuckled. "I know nothing about typewriters myself, but I do know that this place needs some cleaning before you can sell it." She sent criticising looks at the dust on the shelves and the glass on the floor.
  10. Kami was staring ahead at the old shop when a figure stepped out of the door and waved at her, calling her. That was Raymond alright, Kami really couldn't tell if he had changed or if she thought he always looked the same. She followed him, closing her umbrella as he greeted her inside warning her of the shattered glass and she stepped aside wondering what had happened and then noticed a broken window. Her eyes scanned the place observing the old dusty place and shelves of various kinds of typewriters. She was too lost in looking around the shop to realize two more people had entered until one them started speaking nonstop of some sort of scientific invention or was it a scientist or a typewriter, she lost track of it and turned to him.

    He apologized when he noticed all eyes were on him but in all honesty she was amazed at the funny looking device, it looked weird to her. "It looks funny." she said softly. The other lady spoke of how it was nice to have someone who had knowledge on typewriters followed by her objection of the dust, "It is rather old looking, it should look presentable if it is to be sold." she added.

    Kami wanted to know if this shop had any more antiques than just a collection of typewriters, "Raymond, is it only typewriters you own in this shop or do you have other collectibles as well?" Kami inquired curiously, looking around.
  11. There was a pause before Ray answered - a pause in which he stared at Charles in the wake of his ramble. Then, after a few blinks, he looked to Kami. "Er, yeah. There were some old cameras and gramophones when I took over, but they sold pretty quickly. The only thing I can't shift is these typewriters."

    He opened the cabinet on the far wall, where the rows of cluttered typewriters sat. "I tried Craigslist and Ebay, but there's not much call for them. I guess it's because the keys are worn down." He ran his fingers over some of the keyboards, where certain letters had been worn away by over-use. "Can't even get the Hipsters to cough up money."

    Then he smiled through the glass at Charles. "Unless you're feeling generous, Charlie. Two thousand bucks and you can have the whole shelf. You'll probably have to, as well... these things seem to be stuck." He demonstrated by trying to shift one of the typewriters and failing, as before, to even budge it an inch. "Gngh! I guess they rusted to the shelf or something. Can't even move the damn wood."

    He tapped a few of the keys, making them click crisply, then moved away. "The rest of the stuff is books... about typewriters... and typewriter cases and replacement parts. If you guys give me a hand we can get them boxed up before midnight."

    Ray stepped over some flat-packed boxes and tape reels, then opened a beer cooler on the shop counter. "There's beer and soda if you want it," Then he smiled over to Charise. "And since you mentioned it, Charise..." He nodded to a corner, where a broom rested against the shelf. "This place could use a damn good sweep."
  12. "I have no need for one honestly... but it might be interesting.... Is it glue?" he leaned in and looked at the stuck typewriters while the others spoke of cleaning. 'Could it be some sort of Sap? or resin form the wood?' Charles stood and stretched, "Have you done the accounting yet?" he smiled his signature sad smile, "Cause if you haven't, I'll check through it. There might be some orders left over, someone could have already bought some and they just need to delivered."
  13. It takes a moment for the old fluorescent bulb to flicker to life. By that time, Gin is already standing by the sink, inspecting the long gash just below her shoulder. It's bleeding a lot, but it isn't too deep. The splinter is large and pulls out easily. Should be easy to patch up.


    Gin looks up from her arm, searching the cramped bathroom for the source of the sound. But it's all around her, in the walls. The bulb flickers, threatening to burn out. The sound stops. Cold fear stabs through her guts, before it withdraws, leaving Gin shaken. She recovers quickly, tells herself it's nothing--old plumbing, shifting wood, rats. The redhead kneels beneath the sink and traces one bloody finger along the porcelain, drawing three lines and connecting them. Just in case.


    Gin appears from the darkness of the stairs, all reds and gloom grays. There's a clean rag wound tightly around her upper arm. She recognizes the others who have joined Ray, if only from their faces. She's seen each of them come by her next door neighbor's flat at least once. Ray, always so polite, would introduce them as they passed her smoking place by the fire escape.

    Charles is inspecting a shelf of typewriters, going on about some kind of glue. "Ah, Charles ye soft lad, it's no grand puzzle." Charles could smell her cigarettes and perfume as she stood closer to him.

    "Me arl fella repairs engines, 'ad me 'elpin' scrub this shite since I was a wee nipper. Closet's down the stairs. You an' me go see if the auld manc's got some mineral spirits or turpentine."
  14. There are several things that people quickly tend to note about Chuckles when he first steps foot in a room.

    The first is the smell.

    It's not any one odour, rather a combination of multiple odours combining to create a super-odour the likes of which has never been smelled before. Sweat, desperation, stale beer and the unmistakable scent (for those who know it) of someone who smokes a fuck-tonne of a certain herb. Junkie-stink, in short.

    The second thing is the fact that this guy looks like shit. Pallid, damp skin that makes a vampire look like a perpetual beech bum. Heavy bags under his eyes, the marks of several days with sleep. Then there's the way he moves. Sharp, slightly dis-jointed and off; like some weird bug-monster in a really good human costume, he looks pretty convincing but there's something that's just not quite right.

    And thirdly, there's the eyes.

    There's a hunger, there. An itch that will never be sated, that will keep getting scratched until it's raw, and open and all-consuming.

    To be fair to the man, Chuckles is on his best behaviour as he steps into Raymond's store. After all, last his friend heard he was off for another trip to rehab, so he's out to try and act like a semi-upstanding citizen. There's a wide grin on his face as he enters, the cold October draft following him in briefly, and strides over to grab his friend's arm in a brief handshake.
    “Hey, bro! Been way too long!” Chuckles drawls with a smile, before turning to gaze around the dusty, gloomy interior. “Goddamn, this place looks like the sorta place Stephen King'd be writing about, or some shit!” He glances back over to Ray. “Don't remember you mentioning you had an uncle with a shop like this.”

    It's at this point that it seems to dawn upon Chuckles that he should probably say hello to the other occupants of the shop. He flashes a brief grin around the room, recognising some of the faces from events at Ray's apartment but not quite recalling names. “S'up, guys.” His eyes finally fall upon the red-haired woman standing just beyond the gloom of the stairs, and the grin widens slightly; there's a flash of recognition in his eyes. “Oh hey, it's Gin! Everyone's favourite incomprehensible redhead! How's life this side of the pond treating you?”
  15. Charise was also fascinated by the mystery of unmoving typewriters, but figured there was some sort of logical explanation and shrugged. Grinning she moved to the broom and swiped a few stray shards of glass to the pile Ray had been working on before they arrived.

    Charise vaguely remembers the face of the redhead that appeared from downstairs. She reminded her of cigarette smoke. The man who looked like he had really tried to dress up as a zombie for Halloween also ringed a bell somewhere. `So the redheads name is Gin` she made a mental note to herself, while smiling friendly as sort of an answer to the man.

    Turning her attention back to the mess Charise sighed. There was a lot of glass, she was glad her shoes had thick outsole. "Do you have a dustpan somewhere?" she asked from Raymond. "Or a vacuum cleaner? That would make things a lot easier, despite the terrible noise."
  16. Kami looked around at the old type writer shelves and it was quite interesting to her why the typewriters wouldn't budge at all. A recent member showed up from somewhere inside, she was a red head and apparently her name was Gin. She found out only when another person walked in, he seemed rather shabby but then again she shouldn't be judging him everyone has their own stories.

    Kami wondered how huge the place actually was, curiosity was getting the best of her, it would only be a while till she'd be disappeared somewhere inside the huge shop, "I wonder how big this place is..." She spoke softly as if to herself.

    She overheard then how Gin asked Charles help to get some stuff from the closet, Kami noticed Charise helping clean up and so she asked Gin, "Uhm would there happen to be dustpan in that closet? We could use that to clean up." Kami smiled softly, she had always been a soft spoken and polite person to the extent that even her argument and debate had a low volume to it.
  17. Charles tensed as he smelt the mix of smoke and perfumes, Its not a bad scent, just...reminds me of home.
    "Lets. This can be fixed right up." He straitened up and sighed as he heard Kami's question,
    "Why don't you come with us? It would help if we need to move stuff up." He said his normally clipped monotone a bit softer.
  18. As Gin, Charles and Kami headed downstairs to fetch the cleaning supplies, Ray cracked a beer bottle and handed it to Chuck. "Yeah, I never mentioned my uncle. He was..."

    He forgot himself, looking at the bottle as he passed it over, then blinking. "Er, yeah, he was weird." Then he nodded to the flat-packed boxes they were standing amongst. "Can you make up these boxes, man?"

    As Chuck fumbled with the tape, Ray crossed to the window where an old armchair was wrapped in plastic. He lifted it slightly. "Charise, some glass went under the chair. Can you get in there?"

    The girl came over and bent low, running the broom under the furniture and sweeping out the last pieces of glass. But in doing so her grip shifted on the handle, going closer to the head, and with a yelp she suddenly dropped the broom and recoiled. One hand clutched the other, and through her fingers trickled bright red blood. Charise gasped with pain.

    "Shit, are you okay?" Dropping the chair down, Ray moved to her and tried to look at the wound. But moving her hand away only made more blood gush from the palm. It dripped to the floorboards and Charise had to squeeze harder to staunch the flow.

    Something had cut her. Something on the broom handle.
  19. Charise kept sweeping while Gin, Charles and Kami left for downstairs. She listened half-heartedly to Ray's and Chucks conversation. As she changed her grip from the handle and she felt terrible pain in her hand. "I-, I guess." she gulped and she reluctantly let go of her hand as Ray checked her wound. The blood started dripping more rapidly. She quickly moved her hand back to the wound and pressed it to staunch the flow. She felt a little faint, mostly due shock. "Do you have something I bandage this with? And we should probably clean the floor, too" she inquired. "And what's up with that broom handle? You'r uncle booby-trapped it?" she laughed nervously.
  20. "Hmm I guess I could join you guys." Kami spoke with a soft smile and took off her coat laying it on the counter along side her umbrella and followed Gin & Charles. Kami watched her step along the way observing the run down places as spiders and tiny insects scurried away.

    "Aren't the lights a bit dimmer, it's kind of hard to see where we're stepping." She had just spoken these words when her foot stepped on Charles's accidentally and she quickly jumped back.

    "I'm so sorry I really didn't mean to are you okay." Kami asked embarrassed and flushing red, Kami really didn't know how to handle herself when she put herself in an awkward position.