Chapter 10: Crystal Night's
With some trepidation, Trevor approached the storefront. Events from a few short hours ago played through his mind, giving him a surreal feeling of disjointedness in time. As if astral projecting, he seemed to be floating two steps behind his previous self. Life had become very confusing. Leaning against the wall of the bank, he shook his head, trying to regain some symmetry to his thoughts.
He checked his watch; five minutes till the store opened, and his appointed meeting time. Taking a few deep breaths to steel himself, he peered around the corner, and through the glass door into the shop.
There was Crystal, sitting on the floor, her back to him, lotus position. The scene looked odd but peaceful. He tried the door, finding it open he crept in, “Good Morning Trevor,” Crystal called to him as soon as he stuck his head in.
Racing thoughts can’t describe what was going through poor Trevor’s mind. How the hell did she hear me? How the hell did she know it was me? How the hell did she know my name?
A proverbial cold shiver ran up his spine, sixth sense screaming at him to run the hell away. He made it this far, and he was not about to let some stupid superstitious thoughts step in the way of finding the truth, any truth at this point. To turn a phrase, he knew the truth was out there.
Doing his best to appear nonchalant, he walked into the store, “Good morning.”
Sitting on a tatami mat, hands in lap, holding a crystal. He concluded she was the perfect type of person to convince of the supernatural powers of this place. Even if not manufactured yet.
Her eyes moved up his body, reading his aura beaming at him the whole time. A smile so natural, her eyes lighting up in a more normal way. In one fluid motion, she rose from a sitting to a standing position. He extended his hand, offering as an introduction, “I am at a disadvantage. You seem to recognize me, but we haven’t been formally introduced. I am Trevor Swindell. Pleased to meet you.”
She extended her hand and did a little curtsy, “Enchanté. I am Crystal Knight. Chief cook and bottle washer here at Crystal Night’s crystals,” she offered him her hand knuckles up.
He obliged her, and brushed his lips across the top of her fingers, whisking breath on her knuckles, “The pleasure is mine.”
Breaking contact, she moved towards the counter. She did a little pirouette, carrying her crystal to an enshrined position on a shelf.
Trevor noted the clock on the wall, it was five after ten. He was making damned sure to keep track of time. Just in case.
“Lovely little shop you have here. I think these crystals are beautiful,” he moved to one of the shelves browsing over her wares.
“Aren’t they wonderful? I think crystals are the answer to all the world’s problems,” she stated matter-of-factly. Moving around to stand beside him, they admired the many geodes on the shelf. Her voice held no accent. A person with a good or trained ear can tell where a person is from or where they were educated. Crystal had no accent, no tell. She was speaking in a perfect Standard American voice, an accent that does not exist.
“They are pretty, but all the world’s problems?” trying not to sound incredulous but her hyperbole took him by surprise.
Examining his face, not phased at all by his skepticism, “Do we not use crystals to maintain balance or perfect rhythm in watches? Aren’t our bodies in need of rhythms or balance? There are many things we didn’t understand ten years ago, we do now. There are things we don’t understand today but in the future...” giving him a little smile like she held a secret, before continuing, “we eventually will learn more than we can comprehend today.”
There was something about this woman that gave Trevor the willies. She appeared no more than twenty-five or thirty, but she spoke with a confidence and conviction of someone much wiser. He was sure, she was a natural sales... woman. Able to convince the most reluctant buyer on the veracity of her claims. Of course, he found it difficult concentrating on her claims.
Standing in front of him with skintight yoga pants and an oversized tee not doing much to cover her sports bra, she exuded sexuality. Feeling the temperature jump a few degrees, he adjusted his tie.
Still smiling, a controlled penetrating gaze analyzing him. Before gliding towards the counter, “I can see your doubts on your face,” reaching under the counter, she recovered a small box.
Returning to him, she held it out, not on one knee but like a man proposing to a woman and offering a ring, she opened the box. Inside was a man’s stick pin. A globe of polished azure blue crystal clasped in a setting as if floating.
She took it out and offered to put it on him, “May I?” waiting until he nodded his permission. Inserting it into his lapel, attaching the back, and smoothing his jacket back into place. Her hand pressed over his rapidly beating heart.
“This will help keep you safe and balanced.”
Gently placing his hand over hers, they made an instant connection both perceived, “Thank you,” he murmured. She extracted her hand from his chest.
Needing to regain his composure he turned away to scan the other shelf covered wall containing books and more crystals. Repeating himself, “You have a nice little shop here,” picking up a book with a crystal filling the cover. He turned to find she’d moved back behind the counter.
“I like it. I think it is needed here at this time,” again, the smile that could subdue the strongest will.
Remembering why he came to visit her in the first place.
“I was told you might know someone,” changing the subject as he moved towards her counter. “Do you know a Russian guy named Old Sits?”
She giggled, “Never lived in a small town, have you? I am sure everyone knows Old Sits. I’ve only been here a month and I know Old Sits,” she took a cloth and began to clean her glass top counter, not unlike an old-time bartender.
Pressing for an answer, “I am starting to understand that more and more... so you know Old Sits. Do you know where he lives or how to reach him? I would really like to meet him.”
“How about I help you find him if you tell me your real reason for being here. You don’t strike me as the tourist type.” countering.
Glancing past her, he noted his reflection in the mirrored wall holding her crystal shrine, he appeared drained.
“I am here looking for some information about an event that happened in the night’s sky a few months back. No one seems to know anything about it, but someone took pictures. I have questions, I heard Old Sits might have answers.”
“Humm, that was before my time here, first I’ve heard of it. Come meet me after five when I close. Dress to head into the desert, I know where to find him,” they caught the sound of an engine revving from the front of the building.
A VW van parked in front, disgorging a pile of geriatric hippies, “Sounds like customers coming. Be safe.”
“A pleasure talking with you,” the moment lost. Time to move towards his next objective. He left after holding the door for the tie-dye clad groups’ entrance.