Since Zimmy was a young lad, he had dreamed of owning a record store. Now that he was in his thirties he determined he’d have one operational by the end of the year. It was already May and time was wasting. He called the local realtor, who told him there were no vacant buildings in his price range in their city, but one hundred miles away, in Bocaville, there was prime real estate at very low cost. Not having time to drive to Bocaville as his current salaried position demanded twelve-hour days, he asked the realtor to send pictures of the properties. The realtor, a disingenuous man who had made a lot of money on less-than-as-stated properties, emailed a couple of dozen photos, that showed a decent street with many bright storefronts.
When Zimmy got home that evening at 8 p.m. he took time to scroll through the photos. There was one with a full-plate glass storefront that also had an awning overhanging for when the sun was shining full-force. The interior was very well-maintained and much of the type of cabinetry and shelving he would need for the records was already installed. A bonus feature of this particular property is that it included 10,000 square feet of storage space in the warehouse behind it, just across the alley. Perfect for storing extra stock — or maybe setting up a small living area if possible.
Against his better judgement, Zimmy texted the realtor and asked to set up a time to sign on the dotted line — with the property sight unseen. The lease was for a year, so if things didn’t work out, he just wouldn’t renew. The biggest motivator in Zimmy’s impulsive decision was his recent breakup with Marlena. He and Marlena had been together for five years, and he adored her. It was her moose of a dog, a Neopolitan Mastiff named King, that he could not tolerate. Slobbering over them 24/7, he was tired of the intrusion. King was the hub of much of their conflict, and it drove a terminal wedge between them. He told Marlena he needed some space two weeks ago; Marlena was not OK with it and said maybe it was time they split up. Zimmy was almost relieved that Marlena wanted to call it quits. If he moved to Bocaville, he could see what being away from Marlena was like and he could live his dream of owning a record store.
Zimmy went down and signed on the dotted line the next day, Friday, and was given the keys to the properties. He stopped on the way home to buy a bottle of Jim Beam to celebrate. He would go into the office early the next morning and get his weekend work out of the way, then head to Bocaville to check out the beginning of his soon-to-be realized dream.
He was on the road by 11 a.m., the jams cranked up, feeling freer than he’d felt in years. At 12:30 p.m. he turned onto the the alley behind the place. Sure enough, there was the warehouse. He smiled and pulled up to park. The back entrance to his store had a heavy oak door. The key slid in and soon he was inside. It was just like the pictures said, and his heart swelled with happiness. After inspecting everything and seeing it checked out, he at last walked out to the front of the building, again through a heavy oak door.
The first thing he noticed was that most of the storefronts were vacant, even though all looked like prime real estate. Then he looked up – and saw the hundreds of umbrellas. These umbrellas were not in any of the photos the real estate agent had sent him. Zimmy began walking down the sidewalk until he found an open business, a florist. Entering the store, he saw a young woman at the counter reading a magazine.
“Excuse me, Miss, I’m new around here and just rented out the storefront a few doors down. I’m curious as to what’s going on with those umbrellas.”
The young woman looked up from her Entertainment Weekly and said, “Mary Poppins.”
“Yes, this whole 3-block corridor has been determined a living memorial to Mary Poppins, in perpetuity. The umbrellas are part of it, but what has kept everyone away is the sugar.”
“Yes, they are enchanted umbrellas that shower those who walk under them with a fog of sugar.”
“I didn’t get showered with any sugar when I walked down here.”
“Oh, they must like you then. Welcome to Main Street!”
Feeling like he was in the middle of a surrealistic dream, Zimmy bought a vase with an arrangement of flowers and walked back towards the new business home. He gazed up at the umbrellas and swore they were smiling at him. In a flash of business acumen that belied his impulsive commitment, Zimmy decided to make the entrance to the store in the back of the building.
Fandango’s FOWC is disingenuous, the Word of the Day Challenge is fog, Paula’s 3 Things Challenge words are breakup, warehouse, moose , and Teresa’s Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompts are “Sign on the dotted line” and the photo.