Hey, Flobo here! On weeks like these, I like to share with you some of the short stories that I wrote that I’m pretty confident won’t be released in any collection. For some reason or another I kind of left these stories behind. But fear not, I’m going to publish them here for kicks.
This was originally created in January 2007 and has not been edited since so I apologize beforehand for its cheeziness.
Based off a “News Of The Weird” article, this short story is notable for being the second appearance of the town of “Silverside”, the same name of the the town that is featured in “High Desert Run“. Don’t worry, the name has since been retired since being fully realized in the novel.
The Garage Sale
Matthew Hopper was a man of many talents. He graduated first in his class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in electrical and computer engineering. He started his own computer services business while working as a programmer for Allied Games, the largest videogame maker in the country. The company’s most popular game, “Mac and Shmac” (You’ve probably never heard of it) had made Allied Games the largest videogame publisher in the industry.
The town of Silverside was the perfect home for Hopper. Not too large, and not too far away from the job, it was the perfect fit. The eastern corner, Silverside Valley housed regular, upper middle class folks just as normal as he. Hopper lived two doors down from that famous late night talk show host, and was across the street from that rock and roll band everyone kept on talking about. Hopper didn’t mind his arrangement, although he considered his nightly concert noise.
Like all good things, Matthew’s string of good luck had come to an end. The sequel to “Mac and Shmac”, entitled “Mac and Shmac 2: Shmac’s Revenge” tanked and Allied Games had to declare bankruptcy. Without a steady nine to five to hold on to, Hopper focused on his entrepreneurial efforts, though they were never the stream of cash his day job was.
No matter what way you slice it, time and the payment of bills waits for no man and Hopper found him desperately needing the dough to maintain his “average” lifestyle. He could have sold his house, or maybe his silver Porsche, but Hopper believed that those two items were important. If he wasn’t going to be rich anymore, he didn’t want the neighborhood to know it. The next big thing for him he thought was to consolidate his belongings and have an old fashioned yard sale.
It was a pretty safe bet that Silverside Valley never had a yard sale. Most residents simply threw what they no longer needed away (didn’t everyone?). Hopper felt that that would work to his advantage as such an unprecedented sight would drive the neighborhood to his lawn in droves.
One Saturday morning, the entire neighborhood lined up to see what Matthew Hopper had to offer. There were the average knick-knacks, bric-a-brac, doodads and thingamajiggies. Old lava lamps were side-by-side old board games with coffee stains on them. The ceramic miniatures lay next to old copies of the infernal “Mac and Shmac” game.
The table farthest from the street was the one that attracted the most people however. On it, laid three electric guitars, a set of drumsticks, a collection of designer leather chairs, and signed celebrity headshots. Matthew was especially proud of this table. In his mind he thought the sales from the drumsticks alone were enough for two mortgages. Though most were in attendance, the Matthew Hopper yard sale was missing four very special Silverside Valley guests.
Two police cruisers carrying two Silverside Valley officers apiece—about half of the underused force—pulled into Hopper’s driveway. Before long the small army of service men and women had arrested poor Matthew. While he thought the opposite, no one in Silverside Valley took too kindly about buying back the merchandise that Hopper stole from them some days prior, especially the talk show host that lived two doors down, and that rock band that lived across the street.
News Of Weird 10/29/2006Audacious: (1) A 37-year-old man was charged with burglary in Waterbury, Conn., in September after he was caught selling the victim’s distinctive furnishings at a yard sale just a few doors down the street.