Weighing the decisions in her brain took a good moment, but, ultimately Kris thought that she could always check behind one door, then if nothing was there, try one of the others. She did wonder where the store owner was, yet she hoped they would be around to help when she chose a door.
Kris chose the door labeled “Survival Supplies,” since to her, that, logically, included the things that might be helpful right now. Plus, she didn’t want to take too long lest the woman bleed out or something.
Kris walked through the center door and found herself entering a rather cozy shop that looked like an actual store this time. Well. Sort of.
The entire room was decked out in purple - royal purple walls tinged with lavender surrounded her, with the scent of lavender in the air. This, combined with smooth jazz music playing overhead, and the overall design of the room made it feel like she was in a classical music store or a coffee shop, rather than a store room with ‘survival supplies’ being sold.
Fortunately, she caught sight of a person walking about, someone who looked like they might be an owner or THE owner, or a worker, she hoped.
“Um, excuse me?” Kris said. “Sir?”
The person stopped and spun about, revealing a slightly tall, lean man who appeared to be in his mid-to-late-twenties. He was dressed extremely fashionably - like a gentleman out of an old British movie, including a top hat, a cane, and a suit from head to toe. All dark-purple, though his undershirt was white. Kris was a bit surprised, and would’ve expected him to be much older were it not for the youthful face with pale skin and neat brown hair poking out from under the fancy top hat.
“Ah, a customer!” he said.
He seemed to glide across the floor over to Kris, moving with a grace that struck her as far too fluid for a normal person. He stopped before her and smiled - a rather broad, toothy smile, flashing gleaming teeth. His features were thin and angular, jagged almost, Kris noticed, and his eyes seemed almost orange in color. Either was, it was… unsettling for her, to say the least.
“Welcome, welcome,” he said, speaking with a smooth voice, tinged by a faint accent of some kind. “It isn’t very often we get customers out here.”
Kris rubbed the back of her neck. She felt… small before the man. “Oh, uh, well. I wasn’t entirely sure…”
“What room to pick when you entered?” he finished. His smile dropped and he tutted. “Believe me, I know. This shop is run by myself and my two older sisters - older sister one runs the door to the left,” he pointed with his cane, “and the eldest runs the one to the right.” He rolled his eyes, then grinned again, a grin that stretched a little too wide across his face. “We tend to bicker a lot about it.”
Kris nodded, swallowing the lump that formed in her throat.
“Do pardon any unease you might feel with me,” the man said, as if he knew what she was feeling. He cocked his head to the side. “I am known to give off a ‘creepy’ vibe, but I assure you, I mean no harm.” He paused, cleared his throat, and bowed as he removed his hat. “I am Vance, my dear.”
“I’m Kris,” Kris said, a little shakily.
Vance nodded. “Pleasure to meet you, Kris. Now then, rather than leer at you - and trust me, I am aware, but I cannot help how I look - do let me know what it is you’re looking for, hmm?”
He glided across the floor a few steps, then waited for her.
Kris’ mind kicked in. “Well, I was walking down the path--”
“The forest path?” Vance asked, sounding curious.
“Y-yes, the forest path,” Kris said.
He gave another nod. “That tends to be the choice this time of year. Only the braver souls opt to climb that big eyesore of a tree growing close to our quaint little mess of a store, or go through the cave.” He twirled his cane about. “Apologies. Do continue.”
Kris brushed a hand through her hair. This guy was something else. “I came across a… person while I was walking. She looks like a cosplayer, or, I dunno, one of those people that gets surgeries to look more like an animal?” She shrugged. “But she was trapped in some kind of rope, and, she’s free now, but also sort of hurt.”
“Ahhh, yes, yes,” Vance said. “You’ve come here for medical supplies.”
“Yes,” Kris replied. “I just wasn’t sure which, uh, door to pick.”
“We don’t make it easy for potential customers,” Vance said with a shrug. “But when your business is run by three headstrong siblings that can never agree on even the proper color for the walls, it’s bound to be problematic. Either way!”
He hopped over a counter and began sifting about. Kris hadn’t even looked around at the contents of the store, yet she walked up to the counter first, stopping and waiting. After a moment, Vance stood up and set weird vial onto the counter before Kris, like a little potion bottle from a fantasy game. The bottle was green, yet the liquid inside seemed to glow… light purple.
Vance grinned. “In my shop, I don’t have any first-aid materials, I’m afraid. But what I do have is this lovely tonic you see before you. Home-brewed, devoid of any unsavory materials, non-alcoholic, and a money back guarantee that it’ll do the job. You can listen to me explain what my concoction can do. Or, you’re welcome to ask one of my sisters - one of them might have something more beneficial if you hurry and ask. What do you think, Kris?”
Written by Hollowpages on 08 February 2020