3.46 – Thrift Shop

3.46 – Thrift Shop

[Present Day]

“Are you a vampire,” a disheveled looking teenager with wispy chin hairs, and nappy high top fade asks me. Are high top fades back in now?

“That’s a stupid question,” I make my way past him.

“Well, you did break into a blood bank in the middle of the night, you didn’t take anything and you’ve got a red stain on your shirt. That’s if you call it a shirt still. What is that? The new Kanye West line?”

“Go away,” I pick up speed walking away but stop when I hear a camera snap. “Did you just take a picture of me?”

“Yeah,” he stares down at his phone, “pretty good one too. Flash didn’t wash it out.”

“Why,” he’s got my attention now.

“Because you’re a vampire and I wanted to see if you’d show up in a photo.”

“So now you know I’m not a vampire. Beat it,” he doesn’t know anything about Adze.

“Well, you’re not a vampire, but you’re some kind of cryptid, so you’ll go in my files to figure out later.”

“Your files?”

“Yes, I’m planning to study cryptozoology when I finish high school so I’ve already started keeping files.”

“There are no schools for that.”

“No schools that a normie would know about. Maybe you aren’t a cryptid. In that case, do you need help getting your meds? Should I call someone for help?”

“Get away from me you,” I shout at the kid.

He keeps talking so I just start power walking; the sun is starting to rise and I need to break into a clothing store before then. I can’t keep wandering around like a deranged homeless man. He’s ranting about how I’m trying to avoid the sun and failing to keep up without doing a light jog. I’ll lose him eventually; he won’t be able to keep up long.

“Where are you going, I can drive you,” he makes an offer finally starting to run out of steam.

“I need to find a clothing store, anywhere will work. Where’s your car?”

“I didn’t tell you the cost yet, but you’ll pay it. There really aren’t any other choices for you,” why does this kid talk like he has everything figured out. Does he think we’re negotiating?

“Well, I don’t have any money so you’re out of luck. Where’s the car?”

“Oh, you’re planning to steal. How about I just buy you something at the local thrift shop?”

“What’s the catch?”

“You just need to tell me, who and what you are,” he smiles as if he’s got me.

“I’ll tell you who I am after the ride, and what I am after you buy the clothes.”


His car would have been a raggedy, beat up and barely usable piece of crap even back in 2007. Despite that, it was a surprisingly smooth ride. The kid’s name is Jabari, and he can’t help but tell me everything about him. He’s most proud of the car; some kind of merger of magic and technology, although he can’t fix the cosmetics. He eagerly talks about magic as if he just knows that I can follow along. I’m not sure why I hadn’t considered magic and technology being integrated, then again, a caveman would think a stove was magic. I’ll have to do some research on this after I find my name, get set up in the city, find Destiny and my siblings. I’ve got a lot to do, but I’ll put it on my list.

“So, what’s your name,” he parks outside of a shop with no sign.

“M,” I hand him my melted driver’s license.

“That’s cheating, what’s your real name?”

“If I knew that, I wouldn’t be asking a teenager to buy me clothes.”

For some reason he takes that as an answer and doesn’t argue. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a thrift store, if so, I probably wouldn’t remember anyway. All of the clothes are hung on racks, tops to the left, bottoms to the right. No men’s or women’s departments either, just organized by the color. My memory still isn’t firing on all cylinders, but I remember blue is my favorite color and that’s where I head first.

I end up with a checkered flannel, some black jeans and a black shirt with a faded logo and concert dates of a band called Critical Bill that I’ve never heard of. The whole ensemble is less than twenty and Jabari eagerly pays because he thinks his world is about to be blown wide open with whatever I say.

“So, what are you,” he wastes no time once we get outside.

“I’m a tortured soul, but you would call that human,” a lie, but honestly all I’ve got.

“You’re a liar, I know you’re something so let’s get it out of the way without going through a montage or flashback,” the kid talks as if we’re in a movie, and he’s already seen it.

“Kid, my memory is fried, I couldn’t give you exact details on what I was if I wanted to. All I know is that I should be dead, but I’m not. I woke up in a burning building and all I’ve got is fragments of my memories. So, there’s you’re answer, I’m the living dead.”

“Cool, where are we headed now dead man?”

“We’re not heading anywhere.”

“Oh, I’m coming with you. You’re a thesis paper waiting to happen.”


Post a Comment