Oh what a night, late December back in 2003, what a very special time for me, as I remember, no wait scratch that, I think it was back in August 2013. Well whatever, what matters the most is that you know I met Charlie, a renegade punk with an attitude and a terrible sense of humor.
Why do I know Charlie, well let's just say we're now in the same line of work. Charlie is the cashier at the toy store where I still currently work, but when I say Charlie and I are in the same line of work, I'm not talking about selling toys. Let's just say Charlie is good at getting what he wants, and I'm a great accessory to getting what he wants. Working at the toy store sure was bringing in nice loads of cash, but it wasn't enough for me. That's when I overheard Charlie on the phone in the break room talking about some "project". I had heard him mention a town called *****, which peaked my interest initially. I listened in. Now mind you, it's very hard to listen in on a conversation when the bulletin board above you starts singing at the top of its lungs every bit of information that is pinned to it in a whining shrieking voice as if someone is being stabbed over and over while singing opera.
I'm leaning in trying to listen to what Charlie is saying about ***** when the board shrieks, "EMPLOYEEEEEEEEESSS MUUUSSSSTT WAAASH HAAANDS BEEFOREEE RETURRN-ING TO WOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRK!"
Charlie stops talking, turns around to look at the board that has one page of pink and one page of green for eyes, with a big silver border that surrounds it talking as a mouth. Charlie looks at it mortified, jaw on the floor, eyes WIDE open as if a, well it's a talking bulletin board, people don't see that every day. Charlie's hand relaxes as he drops his phone and turns screaming out the door.
I hear the voice on the phone saying, "Hello? Hello?" over and over and, "Charlie? Are you alright?"
"Hello," I answer, picking up the phone.
"Who is this?" the voice answers back.
"Why are you talking about *****," I say kind of curious.
"Where's Charlie?" the voice demands.
"The board scared him off," I mentioned.
He must have misunderstood me because then he mentions, "Oh, I'm sorry sir, I had no idea you were with the board."
Confused I decided to play along and continued pressing for answers.
"Yes I am. Now what business do you have in *****, no one has informed me" I say just as Charlie peeks around the door, checking to see if the board is still moving.
"We are planning on making a move to find the lost goods sir" the voice responds.
By now the bulletin board has stopped moving and talking, and Charlie comes slowly into the room looking like a paranoid freak that just saw a ghost, checking every corner muttering "What the hell? Where are you?"
I must have freaked him out, because he looks once at me and sees me holding his phone.
"HEY!" He shouts, "What the hell are you doing with my phone?"
"Charlie?" the voice exclaims on the phone.
I smile at him with that look that says, 'oops' and hand him the phone. Charlie is now in a little bit of a rage.
"Hey, just HOW MUCH did you tell him?" demands Charlie.
The conversation went back and forth for a few seconds, with every response from Charlie getting louder and more upset. His eyes were BEAMING at me. When Charlie hung up the phone his gaze was fixed on me.
Charlie grabbed my shirt, "Listen you little shit, I swear if you lie to me I'll throw you into that wall over there with all them pins in it."
I look over at the board again where he was motioning.
"What do you know?" he says in a slow, yet deep, and angry voice.
"Nothing, I was only curious about what was going on in *****," I say back, with half a smile on my face.
He pushes me a little, "I told you not to lie to me little punk,"
"Or what you'll throw me into that board over there?" I smirk.
Irate he starts to push me towards the board, overpowering me all the way towards it. Then a chair out of nowhere sticks its leg out and trips Charlie, to the point where now the force and weight he's exerting, I have to now try and catch. I pull away from Charlie, watching him fall to the ground. The chair starts laughing at him. Once Charlie gets up I can see the anger in his eyes. Slowly that anger turns to fear though once he sees the chair that he had just tripped over jumping up and down next to me yelling "FIGHT ME! FIGHT ME!" in a high pitched voice.
"Are you some sort of DEMON?" he shouts terrified.
I smile at him, "what?"
"Are you a wizard or ghost or something? I swear man I didn't mean any harm." Charlie's terrified eyes have pools of tears forming.
"What are you talking about?" I say looking back at the dancing chair.
"The chair is DANCING, and, and, and talking!" Charlie cries out.
Mind you, I am well aware what he was talking about, but I decided to play as if he was hallucinating the entire time, "No clue what you're on about man," I say.
Suddenly the chair shouts, "shall I get him master ######". Well there goes my bluff.
"I knew it, you're a demon!" Charlie yells terrified.
The owner who had confronted me on the street that one fine day walks in and yells, "What's with all the commotion, you're scaring away the customers!"
"He's a demon sir!" yells Charlie.
The owner looks at me, "hah hah hah hah" he laughs, "this guy, HAH, he's no DEMON you moron".
"But the Chair sir, look its alive!"
"What of it?" yells the owner, his tone much more serious?
"You don't see it sir?" Charlie cries.
"I said what of it," the owner more nonchalant about it with the same tone in his voice.
Charlie gets up off the ground and walks out of the room to talk with the owner. Probably more about how I am a demon or some sort.
That's just how I met Charlie. How we ended up in ***** fighting the war outside of the war in *****, that's a different story.
After the initial chair-man and the board meeting with Charlie, we had talked more and more during our breaks. I later told him about why I was hired after the owner had already once tried to explain it to him earlier. He just couldn't quite grasp the concept until he saw me in action one day at work. Since he is terrified of what I could do to scare him, he would always make sure I knew what we were doing, and why.
Turns out the phone call he was on that day was from a group of "thugs" calling themselves the "%%%%" that liked to steal and con people who lived in *****. It wasn't long until I was introduced to this group and found out that they didn't only work and steal things from ***** but also from the company where we were employed. The owner had no idea, or if he did, he kept it under wraps to maybe use as ammunition sometime later.
It was only a month or two later before I quit the toy store, fighting the owner every which way until I finally just walked out on him. Charlie was soon to follow my lead. I was making more money from stealing in town and conning people at the casinos of *****. Life surely was easy. I felt as if NOTHING could stand in my way, however, SOMEONE did.