Ray Bradbury 52Ss52w Week 5 Wools & Coffees

What a name! I thought as I took possession of the keys to it after the estate auction. I glance over to the cobalt neon Wools & Coffees sign sitting just inside the window in full view of the street corner. I placed the new key in stopping short though staring at the shiny new lock, completely dumbfounded. It’s stuck, I try yanking at it, knowing it’s useless. I glanced side to side and pulled out the key. Maybe they’ve given me the wrong key running through my mind. I thought about putting it back into the keyhole, when the door flies open startling me so badly it causes me to jump back. I stand there wondering what the heck just happened, a bit afraid to walk forward towards the doorway and flip the light switch on. I don’t see anything special about the place while staring at literally tons of employees of the month on the wall. But, here’s the kicker, he’s the only employee of this place. It’s going to need lots of work weird bubblegum color walls with counters and other furniture items that are of a fake wood panel and linoleum flooring in three colors, the same pink with weird green-blue specks, blue green tiles with taupe color specks and taupe tiles with blue and pinkish specks which that extend all the way through to the back of the shop and powder blue powder blue appliances. I jumped back so hard I banged my arm into the fridge after a slam from the front scares me half to death. I ran to the front to see what it was only to find nothing out of place.  Now things sound like they’re throwing around in the back. “What is going on?” I begin to tiptoe to the back again only to find nothing out of place in here, starting to think I’m heading to crazyville. I decided to just shake it off as nothing and left for the night as I heard even more commotion as I whispered “Buddy you’d better be gone by morning, who-whatever you are!” I don’t sleep as my mind’s racing all night thinking about what is in there and if I’d made a mistake buying the old junk heap. 

I expected it to be bad, but after being told that the walls and everything had been all torn already it’s a bit of a shock to have found it the way I did. Start thinking would it be worth fixing up since all that awful looking crap will have to go. Dawn finally comes as I’m up already as I thought about heading over to take another look. But this time I will bring friends with me in case. So I have witnesses to anything strange that may or may not happen and here is the strange thing as we arrived and unlock the door we stroll in to find it exactly as I had thought it as I lay awake last night there’s no flooring, the appliances are junked up and broken and the walls are peeling. How can this be, we all said in unison slowly looking towards one another. Nobody can believe their eyes. It is all junked up like it’s not seeing the light of day or people in fifty years. We all feel a bit nervous as we start clearing out the old stuff into a dumpster and pickup trucks parked in front of the place. This all takes about half of the week when we started that Tuesday and finished that Friday. The following week we start picking out the new cabinetry and tables with chairs as I ordered new stainless appliances. It’s on a Thursday when we start painting the walls the new medium evergreen color on the walls. Me and Jake are the only ones there painting when we hear faint male voice just behind the door to the kitchen. They seem to be taunting us! We can’t see anybody—but, they’re there. We start fighting after a while.  I think Jake is doing things while Jake thinks the same about me and agrees to work on things in separate parts of the place. Things go smoothly for a bit after that. That however is short lived when something comes flying past both our heads and we duck in oposite directions quickly looking like something out of an action or science fiction movie as we slide over the counters on either side of the room ducking below as things continue to fly. We’re stuck behind there on the floor for over an hour before it finally stopped. Our pulse and heart racing I decide to call the people I got the place from seeing if they may have left something important out in the description. 

The only response we get is you bought and look at the contract making an insinuation. I hadn’t bothered to look it over when I bought the old coffeehouse and didn’t offer any solution to the problem at hand. Of course, their assumption is untrue. I’ve never bought anything without looking it over for good. We try to continue on with the repairs and replacement work. But we digress. It is next to impossible for the next week and a half. The constant barrage from it is more than my friends can take, with most of them bailing on the project faster than you can draw at a duel. I’m practically bribing people, Jake included, to stay and help me out, to no avail. I ended up hiring workers to finish the work. I can’t even take that place at this current pace with the person that sold it to me telling me over and over again I cannot renege on the contract and to stop pestering them with emphasis… my problems.This even after I threaten lawyers to no avail. Just when it couldn’t get any worse, the workers are now bailing on me at a high rate of speed. As the thing in the coffee house giggles like an idiot. Until, one afternoon inside this empty ringading, I confronted it. It shows itself as a half bald old guy in the ugliest Christmas sweater I’ve ever seen. The color is a blinding lime green with neon red ornamental balls.  He starts to write on the chalkboard, slowly starting a deal for peace. That is if I agree to it, which at the moment doesn’t look very likely. He wants me to keep the ugly sweater tradition going all year long for the rest of…my life and also I’m to come up with my own coffee he also demands I use and grow his special kind of coffee that’s been growing somewhere on the property or he’ll allow for now peace between me and my customers. We don’t see eye to eye on this and I don’t agree to the said terms threatening to have an exorcism if he persists and doesn’t go away. He doesn’t buy it and continues on the path of total, utter chaos as we’re closer and closer to opening after a while I decide to just ignore him, with the day of the opening now the next day I eagerly finish the final touches acting completely oblivious in reverse psychology ignoring the incidents. The first day of the opening seems to go off without a problem thankfully as a matter of fact the next six weeks go off without a hitch, no dragging of shoes, no sounds of things dropping or banging and customers are being left alone. We’d all started to think the ghost got the hint vacating the premises and we’re happy about it. That is not exactly how it ended up, as it comes back making weird sounds behind folks at their tables and laughing hysterically loud to a point they look and see nothing but the person at the next table spilling coffee, making plates fly, you name it, he did it. This is so bad I have to do something. I did try the courts but, after a few weeks of the trial they found in favor of the other. I’ve tried speaking to them again to no avail dead end after dead end.  My friends try to convince me to hold out a little longer. Maybe things will improve as surely this guy will eventually just you know move on as one of my friends puts it.  The next day, I tried again for a peaceful wonderful coffee house experience. Only most of the day I see no customers. I try changing the sign to entice them back. So far nothing until a stranger finally strolls in taking a seat near the window. I eagerly rush over to take their order rushing back and forth getting their order ready. I fill the coffee machine and turn it on as I get their doughnut ready. I hear weird grinding then splattering. Turn to find the coffee grinds flying everywhere as this big hulking machine is flying around hovering in the air as it shakes. When a voice echoes you want powder with that as powdered sugar flying everywhere by now just as bagels are flying in the air like frisbees. To my surprise the person stays put and does leave, as a matter of fact doesn’t even flinch or react to it. Which I thought was strange yet brave of them as most leave when this happens. O don’t mind him they say. He’s just upset right now, give it time they’ll settle down and move on. I ask how they know this and a peculiar response gives me the chills. Come along Nicholas, no need to be bothering these folks. It’s in good hands now I promise.  I haven’t failed you yet have I, Nicholas? She said softly.  There are suddenly a lot of grumbling voices coming from one entity as they appear next to the woman. 

They start to argue as things start to fly up, hovering in the air as utensils in the back clang and bang against pots and dishes. STOP! I yelled. How about this? How about I close this thing down for a bit and go on vacation for a while…a long while? Until you sort out whatever the heck, this is and after a period of a loong time I’ll come back and you can tell me what you want. He agrees rather gleefully to my dismay where I immediately leave locking the door up tight behind me. Where at the six-month period after my vacation I decided to abandon ship while still having my sanity somewhat intact after I brought the people to the coffeehouse where they could see for themselves. Nicholas, with a great deal of glee, showed them all the funny nastiness he can do in a single bound. It takes twenty-four to forty hours of being locked inside in the constant state of a ghostly barrage of chaos  before they agree that I may renege on said contract.  However their problems don’t end there ever after I manage to free myself of it.  As it turns out, Nicholas has a clause of his own in the contract they did with him before he died. They cannot, under any circumstances tear down said building or even move said building to another lot nor can they alter the place way other than the original interior coloring and all. Which by chance, is not in said contract with me. They apparently, in an attempt to rid themselves of it altered the contract in a redraft, taking out the said items that are in the original. Thus, ticking off thy old property owner and putting me, my friends and customers in an utter nightmare. I also managed to get all the money I’d spent on it from the time I bought it and repayment for any lost money due to this fiasco after it opened. My advice is never to buy a coffee from a strange place. You never know what you’ll really get. 

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