Knife, Part One
"Would you like to see something strange?"
Ashley looked up from the glass case, the rings she'd been eyeing now ignored in favor of looking at the pawn shop owner.
Ashley had been spending the last three weeks looking for a good Christmas gift for her brother. While not wealthy, he was a man that never really wanted anything. He worked at a factory, a grueling job for certain, but one that paid well. Whenever he had a desire, he would fulfill it.
This made shopping for him a complete and utter headache.
The owner of the pawn shop was an older man, lean with brown pants and suspenders. He wore an apron over his shirt, a long sleeved blue piece that had seen better days. He had a belt with tools and glasses hanging off of a chain from around his neck.
"What do you mean strange?" Ashley asked, pushing back a stray hair that'd fallen from her ponytail over her face.
"You've come in here twice now, always asking to see what I have that's new." The man said, turning to walk behind a counter. The shop was small, but had a good stock due to the fact it was located in a shady neighborhood.
It would seem there was always someone willing to pawn something for some quick cash. Especially with a man that likely didn't care whether the goods were stolen or not.
Ashley stepped up to the counter, folding her hands in front of herself.
The man reached in a case beneath the counter, pulling up a heavy wooden box with a complex lock covering the exterior. The box was easily a foot and a half long, and ten inches deep. The case was made from polished rosewood, with a relief of a demonic face acting as the lock. The pawn broker pulled a key ring from his pocket, fumbling about for a few seconds until he pulled up a tarnished silver key.
"You seem to want something special, and while you keep looking at what I have that's new, I think you may enjoy something old."
Ashley raised a manicured eyebrow. "Old? Like an antique?"
"Sure," the man said with an easy smile. "You could say that."
He unlocked the box, opening it with slow deliberation. The smell of a farm assaulted Ashley's senses as she looked at the interior. Inside, resting over a bed of dried straw, was a knife.
"A knife?" Ashley asked.
"A knife." The pawn broker agreed, nodding. "It's quite old, however. Made from silver, with an ivory handle and wolf-skin sheathe."
"So," Ashley said, looking down with uncertainty. "A silver knife? That's what you're offering me?"
"You were looking at my collection of hunting rifles two weeks ago, yes? So I know you're shopping for an outdoors-man."
Ashley sniffed. "I guess, yeah. Yeah, he is."
Brandon would often go camping with his friends, where they'd hunt and drink for days on end. They always came back with meat for venison and stories to tell.
"Well," the pawn broker said, waving at the knife. "With this, he'd be prepared for anything that nature could throw at him."
"I suppose he might like a fancy hunting knife..." Ashley said, thinking over the possibility of this strange tool becoming a valued Christmas gift. "How much?"
"I can part with it for one-hundred dollars," the man said. "I've had it in my inventory for quite some time, so I would love to make a profit off of it."
"I can spare eighty-five." Ashley said.
"I can do ninety, fine." Ashley said, pulling her purse up onto the counter. She pulled out her wallet and fished out the cash, handing it over.
"Let me get you your change," the man said, stepping away from the counter.
Ashley looked down at the dagger, studying the gleaming blade. "Hm... how often do you polish this?"
The man looked up from his cash register. "About once a month. I rarely take it out, so it's never been a problem before."
"Do you have any silver polish? I'd rather not make any extra stops."
"I can throw two bottles for ten dollars."
The man ducked back into a small workshop, mumbling to himself the entire way. Ashley sighed, reaching up to rub at her ear as she felt something fly close to it.
"Damn flies," she groused. "They shouldn't be out anymore, it's freaking December!"
The man came back, two brand new bottles of silver cleaner in hand. "I have a bag that can hold everything, so don't worry."
"Only thing that I need is to gift wrap it all."
"I'm afraid you're on your own there."
Ashley chuckled. "I'll be fine."
The man smiled. "I'm sure you will be."