Kelly Marie Munson cursed to herself as she tried for the fifteenth time to download Google Earth. She had too many pictures on her computer and she couldn't get the damned thing to run. It was so frustrating to be the only person in a small, one person company. All the perks were also the liabilities.
She had gone off to college and received a masters degree in journalism and was doing good writing short stories and getting them published. It wasn't a lot of money, but she was surviving.
After her father had died, she came home to help her mother in her haute couturier shop. It had been fun as a teenager. They had gone to Vienna, Burano, Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent during the summers to participate in little known workshops for making Chantilly, Needle, Bobbin, and Belgian Lace.
Every so often, they were able to find original garments from the sixteenth century to bring back. When her mother went as a child with her grandmother, the garments were not that valuable. Now, they were about as priceless as coins from the tombs of Ramses that had been sold by Egyptian shepherds.
Kelly didn't want this to be her life's work, but her mother was in poor health and in her seventies. She had nobody else to run her little shop; nobody to sell it to. It was more of an effort of love than a basified business.
Kelly garnished some of the outrageously expensive wedding dresses with very labor intensive and artistic stitching. She had many outrageously ornate tablecloths on display and for a little less, she could get machine made lace from Thailand.
It could be a very satisfying job, but for Kelly, she was more obsessed with her writing. Often, if there was a lull in the work, she could pull out the computer and work on a few chapters. From Kansas City, it was hard to get a decent agent and get much published.
Their small Victorian house, which had been used for fifty years for the sewing shop had been condemned and taken by eminent domain by the city to make way for a shopping center. There was nothing wrong with the ornate, gingerbread house, but the city wanted the property to resell to a developer.
Kelly had decided to get a small space in the garment district. Several blocks of warehouses along Broadway had been renovated and turned into boutiques, coffee shops and sports bars. It was good for tourists who were enthralled with the ornate stone gargoyles and terra cotta statuary that decorated the cornices.
Kelly's little shop, Guinevere's, was on a corner near the entrance of Union Station. Union Station had fallen into serious disrepair during the 1960's. Parts of Union Station had been renovated just enough to film movies like "Truman, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, The Dalton Gang, and Pretty Boy Floyd."
Some nice restaurants had been put in the renovated spaces, and Kelly felt fortunate to get a very small place they just wanted occupied. The cost was relatively negligible; they just wanted the store for the character it could add to the place.
Kelly's high heel shoes clacked noisily and echoed off of the 90'-0" high ceilings and stone walls as she walked down the main Grand Hall of the Beaux-Arts building. Once you were in the building, you could never forget the memories of Union Station's headlines of June 17, 1933, as four unarmed FBI agents were gunned down by gang members attempting to free captured fugitive Frank Nash. Nash was also killed in the gun battle. The "Kansas City Massacre" highlighted the lawlessness of Kansas City under the Pendergast Machine and resulted in the arming of all FBI agents.
She took out her key to open the lock on the small oak door on the wood and glass store front of her simple sewing shop. She remembered fondly when her mother had hired a painter to put on the sign.
He was an old man, probably in his eighties. He had one grey eye, blinded as a small boy by a chip from his ax when he was splitting firewood. She remembered him opening a big old book and pulling out the thin sheets of gold leaf to apply to the center of the letters on the glass window. It was an exciting time in her youth to watch the older women measuring their customers and fitting them with ornate wedding dresses.
Customers rarely showed up before noon, unless they were tourists. She walked over to the Harvey House and got a cup of coffee to go and went in to get a few paragraphs started before any customers showed up.
About mid-morning, the bell over the door chimed and she looked up, surprised to get any customers this early. She was startled to see the odd couple come through the door.
The young man was about 6'-4" tall and about 225 pounds. He had an Afro/Mohawk running down his otherwise shaved head. He had an unbuttoned, sleeveless leather vest that covered a "muscle shirt." The shirt had tiny bands of cloth that joined the front and back of his sleeveless t-shirt together. It was a token garment. The thin fabric did almost nothing to hide the muscular framework of his biceps and abdomen.
His boot-cut Levis hid the top of his lizard skin boots. Following him was a tall blond with gigantic silicone breasts that never jiggled when she walked. Her skirt was a joke. There was almost no fabric below her crotch or above her gravity-defying breasts. Her high heels added about eight inches to her height. She had an incredibly slender set of legs, arms and abdomen. She turned heads wherever she went and she knew it.
Slowly, Kelly realized who the man was. She had seen the articles in the sports section and television news stories of Santana Battle, the first man taken in the NFL draft a few years ago.
"Hi, I'm here to help my lady friend buy something for a party this weekend." He said as he smiled and wrapped his arm around his trophy date.
"I'm sure you will both find something you will like in here." Kelly said as she closed her laptop and stood to greet them." Santana never really looked at Kelly; he was focused on the array of fine lace trimmed garments displayed around the room and on the mannequins.
Santana's eyes were as big as saucers as he gazed with wonder at some of the 16th Century garments draped over the statues. Not only was Kelly and excellent seamstress, she was a master of window display.
The only thing the dizzy blond could focus on was the price tags. She squealed and hugged her date as she fingered the price tags. Her eye caught on a black, lace, sleeveless bolero. "How much is this?" she asked.
"About $2,000.00" Kelly replied.
"What? That's outrageous." She replied.
"I'm sorry about the price. I spent a couple of months adding the fringe to it. The original bolero came from Bruges, in Belgium. It dates back to the 17th Century. My mother traded a ring for it, and I added the stitching. It was a lot of work. I don't really care whether I sell it or not. I doubt that you could get something like this for twice the price." She said almost apologetically.
Santana looked at the proprietor without speaking. "Oh, fuck." She thought. He is probably a huge spender. If she had given a discount, he may bring in the rest of his teammates. On the other hand, it was a piece with great sentimental value to her. If they don't want it too bad. I would rather keep it.
All of a sudden, Santana began to look at her a little differently. She was probably about forty, he thought. She didn't have any rings. Her long reddish brown hair had a slight waviness to it. The fishtail braid down the side of her face was kind of refreshing. It wasn't dyed blond like every other woman he had met. Her breasts were not huge; perhaps melon sized with no low cut top or push up bra. Her dress was a little long for his taste, and she wasn't even wearing high heel shoes. "Who does that?" he thought. Her wire rim glasses made her look like an English professor, which in a sense she was, or could easily have been.
"You actually made this?" he asked, trying to hide his curiosity. The blonde caught it. She sensed the interest in him. She felt the curiosity in him. She dismissed it. "No fucking way." She thought. I am a thousand times better looking than this MILF. There is no fucking way he will take an interest in her." she thought.
Something flickered in Kelly to; for a millisecond. She caught the fraction of a second eye contact he made with her. She dismissed it. "There's no way he'd be interested in me." She thought. "Besides, there's no fucking way I would have anything to do with a savage like him either." She thought.
Never-the-less, for that fraction of a second, it was flattering to get that flash of a spark from a younger man. It had been a long time since she had seen it. Actually it happened more often than Kelly was willing to admit, she just never felt a mutual attraction when she saw it. All the men who hit on her were married, divorced or fat. It was always somebody looking for a quick fuck, she had grown to realize.
Kelly had longed for a certain kind of man; educated, reasonably wealthy, dependable, and hopefully a good father. This man was none of that, she thought. He is out to fuck anything that will hold still.
Kelly finally sold them a silk shawl; something mass produced in Thailand on a loom. It was intricately woven, but not by hand. Kelly knew it; Santana knew it. The tall black man handed her his credit card, signed the receipt and walked out the door with the fine looking blond on his arm.
.... There is more of this story ...