My choice this Friday is an early entry in the Writing Challenge at Faithwriters. Boy! Did it ever need some work to spruce it up! But, it's reminiscent of the times I went with my mom to Antique Shows and Flea Markets. We were well known as the "Deco Dealers"; we specialized in Art Deco and stuff from the 20's, 30's, and 40's. It was fun!
To read more great fiction, hop on over to Pattering's Blog and click on the links posted there.
Little Rascal's Traveling Antique Show
“My map was turned upside down, Mabel!” I exclaimed.
“Is that why we’re out here in the boonies?” Mabel muttered.
My sister Mabel’s sigh reflected how hopeless she thought this day was becoming. She glanced in her rearview mirror to check for traffic before she swung our car and the attached trailer into a farmer’s lane that had a wide turn-around at its end. The dust-covered caravan wormed a circle back onto the road as we reversed our journey to the main highway.
Two weeks ago, this whole thing seemed like such a lark, but now, road weary and nearing poverty, we were thinking it might be time to give up and go home. Ah, but that would take money and we had almost nothing left. We’d have to hit at least one more flea market and hope for the best in order to get back to Ohio. The nearest market was where we were trying to go, but my less than exemplary map skills put us miles in the wrong direction.
“What time does that brochure say we need to be there to set up tonight, Mryt?” asked Mabel.
“Well, it says, umm, let me see…by 7:00. Better floor it, Mabel!”
“Yeah, you get us lost, then pressure me to make it come out all right,” she grumbled. Still, she pressed the pedal to the medal, so to speak.
Our troubles didn’t bother us for long. The sun was shining; the scenery was beautiful; and hope was riding with us. This trip had worn us out, but we’d had a blast being away from the pressures of our antique shop, Little Rascal’s Antique Emporium.
I settled in my seat and watched the scenery fly past. We rolled into the Bradley County Fairgrounds at 6:15. This was our fifth Antique Show and Flea Market so we could almost unload in our sleep. A bleary-eyed presenter pointed us toward the building
we were scheduled to set up in.
At the door of the Sheep Barn, a teenaged-back-for-hire loaded our stuff onto his cart and rolled us to our spot. We paid him with our next to last twenty.
We managed to get most of the glassware unpacked before the presenter shut the lights off row-by-row. He left our row for last. Nice man, I hope, considering we have no money right now to pay him.
The next morning, at 6 am, we hit the floor running and got to our spot before any early birds showed up.
“I need coffee, Myrtle,” said my sister after twenty minutes of placing the displays.
“Ok, let me finish this, and I’ll go find some.”
I followed my nose to a café in the back of the building. I nearly turned around when I read the sign over the counter: PTOMAINE JOE’S.
“At least he’s honest,” I muttered to myself.
After getting two cups of coffee to go, I got back in time to see two buyers looking over a Depression glass butter dish with a matching top.
“I don’t think this top goes with this bottom,” said Buyer One to Buyer Two.
“You are so right,” said Buyer Two to Buyer One.
They turned to Mabel and asked her to sell them just the top since it wasn’t really the right one for the bottom dish anyway.
Mabel smiled, took the dish and said: “Oh my, we never sell faulty merchandise, Gentlemen. I’ll just put this away.”
Their faces fell, but they finally forked over $60.00 for the whole set and left in a huff.
“How many times do you think that’s happened to us, Mabel?” I asked with a laugh.
“Enough times for us to learn they’re trying to cheat us, Myrtle,” she answered with a grin.
We had the gamut of buyers that day; the Lookers, the Walking-Encyclopedias, the My-Grandma-Has-One-Just-Like-Thats, and the Collectors.
We love the Collectors. They scan our booth with infrared eyes and zero in on their target in seconds. A collector never squabbles over price; he hunts, bags his trophy, and carries it away. He comes prepared with cold, hard cash, too.
At the end of the day, we counted out enough money to pay the presenter and still have enough to make it to Ohio. We loaded our stuff and revved up the engine to head home.
“Give me five, Mabel!” I said merrily.
“On the side, Myrtle!
”In the air, Mabel!”
“We’re square, Myrtle!” We slapped hands and smiled.