Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gauntlet - Episode 22.



Episode 22 – The Digger Doll

After the majority of Redemption’s residents had gathered together in town for a little song and dance courtesy of their selfless public servants, the store became a hub of commerce. Apparently everybody seemed to have the same idea; while they were already here in town anyways, why not do a little shopping. The whole situation did little to ease Marshall’s unsettled nerves at present. All these swarming shoppers who only a short while ago was deciding to denounce the actions of Gauntlet made him more than a little concerned.

In hindsight it might have been a little wiser to have concealed his identity, Marshall concluded. He hadn’t really thought about it before; everyone adored a champion of justice – at least in the stories anyways. Now all it would take was one person who recognized him from the bank or the bombed building and his goose was as good as cooked. At least in both those situations there was the distraction of danger that might have limited people’s attention from his face.

When Marshall next redirected his gaze from the crates of goods he was sorting in the back a startling sight awaited him. It was almost as if he had blinked and missed someone yelling a warning about a bomb. The General Good was suddenly devoid of patrons, save one lone lady. Standing just inside the doorway and looking quite oblivious to the absence of everyone who had just recently shared the space was the familiar form of Miss Donovaen.

Sharply dressed as always in a flattering three piece suit the mysterious maven silently stepped inside the shop and then greeted Grandma Grael. She removed her topper and bowed slightly. “Lovely weather we are having today isn’t it,” she offered politely. “Business, it seems, is on the rise so I just need to restock on a few things.”

“Certainly dear,” Grandma Grail replied as she accepted a neatly written note detailing everything needed. “My, this is quite a list then; isn’t it? Well, no worries – we’ll see to getting that filled and you back to your waiting workload. Let me just get my extra pair of hands; Marshall, come over here please.”

Marshall’s curiosity welcomed the request as he still found it puzzling how quickly everyone had vanished. He also admittedly wondered at just what exactly it was Miss Donovaen even did for a living. One look at her shopping list didn’t really seem to provide any answers either. It almost seemed like she was building something, but to look at this well-dressed woman he couldn’t begin to imagine her laboring over much of anything.

“Always a pleasure to be of assistance,” Marshall offered with a soft smile. “If it isn’t overly forward, do you mind if I ask what you’re working on? I might be able to lend a hand some if Grandma Grael can spare me on occasion.” Something in his words clearly amused both ladies as a ripple of muffled giggles erupted.

“What,” he asked somewhat embarrassed. “Care to let me in on the joke, ladies?” After a second round of laughter both ladies managed to regain their composure before addressing him with an answer. “Terra here is the town’s resident undertaker,” Grandma Grael explained. “Hence the immediate vacant vicinity that accompanies my presence,” Miss Donovaen added.

“Wait, you mean you’re…” Marshall found the idea strangely hard to swallow. “It’s your job to deal with the dead, but – well, no offense ma’am you’re a lady. Even taking your profession into consideration, how can anyone as charming as yourself be lacking with regards to social matters?”

Terra was hard pressed to resist a burgeoning blush that already started to show in her cheeks. “Would that more of the people of Redemption shared your thoughts on the matter,” Terra confessed. “Thank you for the kind words, but unfortunately those in my chosen career isn’t exactly the type to invoke a comfortable atmosphere. People accept that such a job is a necessary one but out here it is more visible and therefore less savory of a subject.

I imagine that by avoiding my presence in public they figure they might also keep my morbid occupation out of thought.” Marshall honestly couldn’t argue with that one, but he still couldn’t see anyone turning away from those amazing amethyst eyes. “Do you need a hand packing these items back to your shop,” he asked her still smiling. “If you’d prefer I can deliver them for you next time. Something tells me you’re going to be getting some steady work for a while yet.”

“Perhaps,” Terra agreed as she returned a brief grin herself. “However, I will do you the small kindness of excusing you from your offer to assist me. I will, though accept your help in escorting me back with these supplies.” Turning back towards Grandma Grael and nodded a friendly farewell. “You know you really are getting to be a full service shop here!” The comment prompted another chuckle from Grandma Grael as she admitted in reply; “we do aim to be of service.”