Can’t delay the inevitable any longer. It is time for Jared to enter the store and accept whatever consequences come his way.
Through the door, into the familiar sight of the bookshelves, Mrs. Friedman behind her counter, and the unfamiliar sight of a man holding a knife. Oh dear.
The assailant is screaming something about a book at poor old Mrs. Friedman. She naturally seems terrified by this encounter, and neither of the participants has noticed Jared’s entrance. Jared begins to step forward; his motivation, we will never know. Did he intend to stop the burglar? Perhaps try and negotiate with them? Or was it merely an automatic reaction as he attempted to understand the scene? Whatever it was, before his intention could be made clear, he slips on the ground, and as he flails his arms trying to regain balance, hits a pie which was on a bookshelf, sending it flying forward. Why was there a pie on the bookshelf? Certainly an excellent question. One which none of the participants at this scene would have been able to answer.
And with the comedically required splat, the pie hits the face of the robber. Oh, slapstick. The thief begins to swear a string of obscenities, wiping the delicious custard from his face. When he sees that a new witness has appeared on the scene, he chooses flight over fight, and pushes past Jared in a dash to the exit.
Thus the danger seems to have passed. The police are called, and Jared attempts to apologize for his lateness, but such a trifle seems inconsequential compared to recent events. Besides, it was thanks to Jared’s lateness (along with a strategically located Deus ex pie) that the robbery was foiled. A large chunk of the workday is spent answering police questions; in spite of being the hero of this incident, Jared knows little of what actually occurred. Mrs. Friedman is the better source for the police, describing to them how the man, after spending hours wandering through the shelves of her store, suddenly pulled out a knife and demanded a book he claimed to know she was hiding. The crazed way which the man acted led Friedman to believe that he was under the influence of drugs.
Following that excitement, the rest of the workday is slow. The store was never known for being very high traffic, so Jared has plenty of downtime to himself. He finds books on Roman and modern sculpting, from which he hopes to glean some insights from. Friedman always tells him he can have any book from the store he likes, but Jared insists on paying. After all Mrs. Friedman’s done to help him, just taking from her store would feel wrong.
Night is fast approaching, and Mrs. Friedman soon must leave. Her grandchildren will be coming tomorrow, and she needs to prepare the house for guests. Jared’s paycheck is written out, and he is left to close the store.
Well, this has been eventful. Jared foiled a robbery, found books he was looking for, and got paid. Already his mind is brimming as he tries to convert these events into inspiration. But why end the day so soon? There are still plenty of hours before tomorrow comes. In what manner should Jared spend the rest of this night, in order to put a satisfying close on such a day?
Comments close 2/27/12