All In the Card


edgar_icon.gif quinn_icon.gif

Scene Title All In the Card
Synopsis Sometimes things aren't worth the paper they're printed on.
Date September 8, 2010

Ichihara Bookstore

Nestled in the heart of the main street marketplace, the Ichihara Bookstore is an old and crooked structure pressed between two newer high-rise tenement buildings. The old glass windows and creaking wooden door on the shop's front give it a rustic and old-world feel. Catering to both antique books and newer prints, the narrow aisles and tall shelves are packed full of literature. A single shelf for periodicals lies near the front counter, while signage both out front by the register and in the back of the store indicates that tarot card reading is done on-site at request for ten dollars per reading.

Behind the old and weathered wooden counter that contains the register and a small stack of reserved books, a narrow wooden staircase leads upwards to a black wooden door with peeling paint, revealing red paint in narrow strips beneath, a rope crossing in front of that door hangs with a small sign that reads, "Private".

It's a quiet evening, perhaps an hour (maybe a little less) before the book store closes. The door chimes and the clump of boots sounds out over the hardwood floors. Not a word is given to see if anyone is actually there, the man doesn't seem too keen on actually seeing anyone as he ducks in between the aisles looking for something in particular.

Along the way he sees a cat, a white cat with black eyebrows and he stops and stares down at it. Gabriel, the cat in question, crouches down low to the floor and puffs up at the sight of the bearded man, hissing. Whether he's ever reacted to anyone like that before, Edgar doesn't know. The juggler simply shrugs and turns his back on the feline. Such an action would be a mistake with a wild cat, or a large cat, but a common house cat? The carnie isn't afraid.

Gabriel's hissing draws movement from behind the counter, a woman with red hair peering up from behind it a moment later. Robyn Quinn had been busy organising something behind the counter, and the headphones around her ears - probably not wise in retrospect - had prevented her from hearing the bell of the door opening. Gabriel hissing, however, is unmistakable even through the sounds of Metric blasting from the tiny speakers.

Headphones pulled down around her neck, resting at the neckline of black button up shirt, she peers out into the store, only spotting the new arrival after a moment. The music is quickly turned off, Quinn tipping up on her tiptoes so she can see better, taking a moment to straighten her yellow skirt. "Oh! I'm sorry!," she remarks apologetically, "I didn't hear you come in! Is there anythin' I can help you with, sir?"

Edgar's back is turned on the young woman as she turns the corner to the stacks that he's currently occupying. He's pulling a thick, hardcover book down and flipping quickly through the pages. Then, with a snap, he closes the book and inspects the binding and feels the edges of the pages for any dog ears or creases.

The brogue is what first has his head lifting, then he turns to look over his shoulder at her, giving her a good view of his profile. Reddish brown hair that looks like it's been cut byhis own hand, is spiked in some places and laying flat in others. "I'm lookin' fer a book." His own accent is British, lower class British; gutteral, not the pretty kind you hear from the mouths of princes and princesses.

Twisting his head back to look down in front of him, he drops the book he's currently holding to the clean floor and pulls out another thick tome from the lower shelves. It's a classic text, an old hard cover copy of War and Peace. The binding is faded red cloth that's been glued over heavy cardboard, frayed in a few places and worn to pink in others. His lips twitch upward and he nods and holds it with one strong arm over his shoulder. "I'll take this one."

Quinn goes through a very distinct set of reactions as she observes the man - curiosity, of course, is the initial one to read across her face, followed by an appreciative smile once she hears him speak. "Always nice t' find someone froma cross the big Pond," she remarks as she makes her way back across the counter, leaning against it with a smile.

The next thing to cross her face is distinct surprise when she seems him drop down that really feckin' huge book. "Christ, I didn't even know we had this here," she remarks as she opens the cover of the book, examining for a moment before gently closing it back again. The last look on her face is one of slowly forming recognition. She had visibly paused each time she had seen the man's face, as if trying to place him. "I don't mean t' be rude, sir, but I seen you somewhere before?" she inquires quite absently, and somewhat rudely.

A shuffle from the sole of his boot is the first warning that the man is snapping a sharp turn in her direction. With all the precision of a WWII German soldier, Edgar twists on his feet and clomps his foot down as he hands over the large book to the clerk. "The pond, yeah," he agrees absently, possibly not even paying attention to what he said. The carnie looks down at the woman for a moment before passing the book to her. He doesn't seem very friendly at all, until she mentions that he looks familiar.

At first, there's a twitch to his left eye, as though the young woman was on the verge of triggering some sort of psychotic episode. Then he narrows both of his eyes suspiciously and clenches his teeth tight. Slowly, the juggler lowers his head until he's about 3-4" away from her face and weaves left and right, inspecting her closely. "I don' thenk you look familiar. Maybe I jes' go' one'a those faces, eh?" Then he's standing back up straight with his hands dipped into the pockets of his old brown corduroys.

Quinn peers for a moment long, attempting very much to not look like she's staring, and not totally succeeding. She shrugs, leaning down on her elbows as she begins ringing up the rather large book. It's when she stares down at the counter somewhat absent mindedly that a true sense of recognition beings to wash over her. A hand taps down on the counter several tmies before Quinn looks back up in Edgar's direction, peering at him - and then rather abruptly, she snaps her fingers.

"Wait! I remember now!" she exclaims rather suddenly, leaning up and over the counter. "My boss had a baseball card up here on the counter yesterday! Augusto somethin'-or-other, right?" She has a wide grin on her face, and an enthusiastic tone in her voice. "Must be worth somethin' nice, that card."

The heavy clomp of his boots reverberates through the store as Edgar follows the young woman to the sales counter and immediately spots the card on the sill behind her. Slowly, he lifts one of his hands from his pocket and points. "You mean tha' one? Can I see i'?" He seems a little interested, there's a red tinge to the tops of his ears as he looks past Quinn to the card. By the time the young woman turns around to look where he's pointing, the card is gone.

"I s'pose I do look somethin' like 'im, eh?" The carnie's lips twist into a sort of sad half smile as he turns it over his his hand, examining the stats and then staring at the man in the white uniform. "I don' think it's worth anythin' though. It's only minor leagues, Yank ball.." he lets out a small puff of a laugh.

Quinn does indeed turn to wear he's looking, and seeing it gone, she spins back around, looking rather confused. "I- okay…" Her head tilts, peering quizzically at who she believes is this Augusto. "I don't really don't know much about baseball t' be honest. So minor league cards aren't worth that much? That's a shame." Quinn shrugs, continuing to ring up the book. "Maybe she's a fan?" Quinn asserts with a grin. "She's had it out the last few days. Left it out a few times now."

"Minor leagues ain't e'en worth the cardboard they's printed on." The man says as he grabs a marker and scribbles a signature across the front of the small bit. Augusto Hernandez. Lifting his head, he takes a deep breath and holds it for a minute, taking in the faint scent of lavender that permeates the air. A rather depressing countenance comes over him and as he furrows his eyebrows, he gulps audibly.

"Listen, ehm… I'm jes' goin'teh pay fer the book." His voice sounds rough and raspy instead of the smooth it was only moments before. Plucking a few bills from his pocket, he tosses them onto the counter and nods to the young woman with a rather sad smile. "Thanks, I appreciate it. Tell yer boss she's got a lovely shop, eh?"

The chime on the door jingles once and when Quinn looks out the window, not a trace of the man can be seen.

Quinn is left blinking as she takes back the card and the money for the book. "No worries. Sorry, I didn't mean t', like… annoy you or anythin'. I was just a little surprised is all!" But before she's even done talking, "Augusto" is already out the door and totally gone, causing Quinn's brow to furrow. "How weird," she comments to her self, leaning against the counter. "Hope I didn't, like… offend him or anythin'." The card is placed gingerly down on the counter, and with a sigh, Quinn returns to her cleaning and organisational tasks behind the counter.

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