To Be a Great Salesman | Teen Ink

To Be a Great Salesman

January 13, 2011
By carly.c BRONZE, Mequon, Wisconsin
carly.c BRONZE, Mequon, Wisconsin
1 article 7 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on..." William Shakespeare

“Yes. For the last time, my name really is Justin Case,” the young man said, running his hand through the thick mass of red fluff on his head. “Justin Patrick Case, signed clearly so on my birth certificate. You don’t believe me? Why don’t I just call the Public Record house, I mean it’s no hassle at all; they’re already on speed dial…”
“All right, all right, no need to get cross.” But try as he might the stout, balding man could not keep a straight face as he raised his hand to try and shield it, almost burning himself on the cigar he twirled between his fingers. He watched the smoke as it rose and expanded, the smog filling the dim-lit office. His eyes followed the trail of gray haze to the bookcases, the shelves filled with every sort of book known to man. The edge of the books led him to the marble fireplace, then to the ruby red walls, and stopped at the black stained wood panels of the floor. Finally the man’s eyes returned to the bright green irises waiting eagerly to return his gaze. “And you will sell me this,” he said referring to a brightly colored piece of paper that he held between the bloated phalanges.
“But of course, our main offices have been closed down due to this economy, and we have no further use of these anymore.” The boy cast his green eyes toward the bright colors in the man’s hands.
The man leaned forward, placing both of his plump elbows on the table, raising one of his dark, bushy eyebrows. “These? How many do you have on the market?”
“As I said, we have no further use for them. All of our models we are willing to sell, for reasonable prices of course.”
The man across the desk slouched back in his seat, the leather cracking and groaning with the change of position. His lips curled into a small grin and he began to chuckle. “Well Mr. Case, you truly have made your case. Now this reasonable price you mentioned…”
“A meager ten thousand is all we are asking,” the boy said, swinging a long arm over the back of his chair.
“Ten thousand? Ten thousand dollars, per machine? Ten thousand dollars,” he repeated, shooting straight out of his chair, his hand flying to his head, then just as swiftly returning to his side. “You call ten thousand…”
“Sir there is no need to be cross.” The boy stood, easily towering a good foot and a half over the now reddish man. “You and I both know that these easily go for fifteen on today’s market. I find the price more than generous.”
Slumping back into his seat the man sighed, “Boy, I just don’t have that money right now. I’m really sorry but…”
“Sir, you don’t understand.” The freckled face of the boy seemed to crumble. “I need to make this sale. I have a wife, and a little boy, and I just…” Tears soon blurred his vision. The two men just sat there, eyes darting between their folded hands and the face of the other. One sighed. The grandfather clock in the corner ticked. A phone rang, a machete cutting through the smoke filled silence; neither made a motion to get it, not even noticing the noise. Eventually the boy stood, dragged himself limb by limb toward the door. Before exiting he turned, nodded, and in a voice barely louder than a whisper said, “Thank you for your time.”
As he turned the knob the man rose. “Wait…wait. Now if what you say is true…I see no harm in buying…a few machines. Just tell me who to make the check out to.”
The boy’s somber face had vanished, replaced by a brilliant smile. He returned to the desk. “Sir, I cannot thank you enough…”
An hour later the boy waves at the man as he walked away from the black shingled house. A block away he is no longer a ginger, instead a pile of dark locks falls from his scalp and his green eyes darken to a deep chestnut. His now freckle-less cheeks pull on his lips to form a smug smile. He knew exactly what was going to happen next. In about a week the man will be notified by a woman’s voice that the money has been transferred completely and the machines will be sent in about a month. Within that month there will be no contact between the man and the voice. The month will pass by and nothing will come. The man will begin to worry and call back the voice he heard earlier. The line will be busy, as it will be the next seven times he tries to call. Finally, after two months, he will pick up the phone and instead dial the numbers 9-1-1. A pair of officers will come to the green colonial house on Ferris St to talk with the man. He will tell them of the boy he met named Justin Case. The cops will look at each other and shake their heads. With a name like that, they will tell the man, There is no way that is a real name. The man will fall to the floor, head in hands. The police will begin a search for a tall Irish man named Patrick, while the dark haired Justin will once again fade back into the background.

The author's comments:
I really love con artists after reading If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon. So when my Creative Writing class began flash fiction with a character exercise, immediately the name Justin Case jumped to mind. Later I pondered the idea of a con artist being named that, thus my story began.

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