The Sweete Shoppe
Seven hundred twenty tiles. Three hundred sixty each of black and white. He should know; he helped scrub each and every one back to pristine condition.
McKay Sweete surveyed his small studio, recalling what it looked like when he first saw it. In it’s previous incarnation it had been an ice cream parlor, simply and aptly named “The Sweete Shoppe”. When his great-grandparents had gotten too old to continue to making their ice cream and serving up smiles to the neighborhood families, their children weren’t interested in keeping it going. But there were too many memories, so they didn’t sell the place. Just boarded it up and it kept like a museum piece.
It was only after his grandfather—whom he’d admired and emulated—had asked to be driven to the old place that McKay’d ever stepped foot inside.
Grandfather Mitchell had been a dapper old man to the day he died. Cordial and charming, and never took a step without his black and white wing-tips polished to a high shine. When he was a boy, McKay’d overheard his grandmother call his grandfather a cad, and when he later asked, she explained what she meant. Then she’d whispered conspiratorially—and with a smile—that it was only behind closed doors, and his grandfather was the perfect gentleman, with a twinkle in his eye reserved just for her. McKay had told his grandfather that day in the dust-filled old building about that conversation and damn if his grandfather’s smile seemed to brighten the entire building, making his eyes shine. It was there his grandparents had met and courted each other, and it was then McKay realized what he wanted to do with the place when he inherited what had become the family heirloom.
As he sat at his grandfather’s beside, he propped his feet up on the bed and started to tell his plans for the place. Before long, their black and white clad feet were swishing back and forth in time together. His grandfather pointed at their feet and let loose a chortle that ended in a ragged cough. He squeezed McKay’s hand and told him it was a grand idea. That his only suggestion was to find someone to put a twinkle in his eye, like his grandmother had done for him.
Sitting here now, he pulled his wing-tip clad foot across his knee and doodled random designs on a pad of paper while waiting for his next client. He’d kept the name of the place as it had always been; only now instead of creating frozen concoctions, he inked his creations directly on the customers who sought out his talents and the complete experience he offered from the environment to his attitude. The only thing missing was someone to share it with. He was thinking about his grandfather’s request when the bell above the door jangled. His new client was here.
“Welcome to The Sweete Shoppe,” he’d said before looking up. But when he did… damn, if the man walking in didn’t put a twinkle in his eye.
I hope you enjoyed today’s flash. Be sure to check out the other flashers, who also wrote inspirations from the same pic. Find them here!
Have a great Monday!!