Mack’s Haunted Haberdashery

Hatter M from Looking Glass Wars

Welcome, potential customers!  My name is Bartholomew and I will be helping you today with your purchases.  All of our . . . I’m sorry, but Mack is far too busy to handle the day-to-day operations.  Somebody needs to keep us stocked in supplies such as ribbons, felt, leather, feathers, souls of the deceased, pins, glue, and those crinkly flowers that go so well on bonnets. Oh, the feathers threw you off?  Well, you don’t need to include those if you don’t want them.  Although, I will point out that we have a sale on peacock and dinosaur feathers.  It’s buy one and get a coupon for the cafe down the block.  They have excellent biscotti there.

I see, it’s the souls of the deceased that has you worried.  Well, we can’t very well use the souls of the living because that’s cruel, inhuman, and illegal since we didn’t get the correct licensing.  Forgot to sign the fifth paragraph of page eighteen and we can’t try again for another thirty years.  Anyway, we work with what we have and that includes souls of the deceased.  You didn’t think we were lying about the haunted part, did you?  It even says so on the window that every hat is possessed by a spirit that you choose from our inventory.  Yes, we do have a return policy in case you run into . . . issues.  Now, let’s begin making your hat.

May I recommend a nice wide-rimmed hat since it’s summer.  That will help protect your face from the sun and you appear to be very pale.  Sure, a cowboy hat can work and this is a strange enough city that you won’t get many odd looks.  I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for television, so that reference went over my head.  Speaking of heads, I think you would look very nice in a Gambler’s Hat, which comes in your basic colors.  If you want leather then it’s really only brown and black, but we have more shades in felt.  Brown leather will do nicely, so just let me measure you.

Do you want any accessories on your hat?  Beads and pins are possibly, but we can include other items.  For example, we have a sweatband that we sew into the inside and it releases a faint cologne if it senses that you’re starting to smell. It gives you a small beep to close your eyes because it can sting for a minute or two.  No permanent blindness since we changed the formula. We also have a GPS unit that connects to ear piece and will react to your words.  It’s mostly for online shopping and directions, but it is becoming one of our biggest sellers.  Yes, there is the possibility of you accidentally ordering ridiculous items, but I’m sure you’ll find a way to return them.  People are starting to know about our products causing such accidents. A glow-in-the-dark spider pattern on the front?  That can be done with ease.

Finally, what kind of spirit do you want possessing your hat?  This person will become your friend and act as a guardian.  Depending on the soul, your hat will display some powers.  Going by the hat type, you can gain some help with gambling if you choose a spirit with that experience.  Others are former warriors who will urge you into battle and there is a new shipment of seducers for all lifestyles.  Nothing helps with the dating scene like a ghost whispering in your ear.  A hunter spirit?  For somebody who was shocked about our business, you sure picked a specific and difficult breed.  Mack will have to do a special order and there will an extra waiver.  Please note that hunter spirits can get bored easily and you need to use them at least once every three days.  Otherwise, you might find your hat on somebody else’s head or that you are being possessed to wander the night in search of prey.  Still determined?  Very well then.

I guess that’s everything since cowboy hats aren’t as complicated as other styles.  We do expect half of the payment up front, especially with your new friend.  No, you can’t request someone specific.  That brings up some questions that we have no legal interest in handling at this time.  Now then, here is the paperwork and your biscotti coupon.  I know it says for anything, but I’m telling you that you have to try the biscotti.  It’s simply to die for . . . What do you mean that was eerie?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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83 Responses to Mack’s Haunted Haberdashery

  1. Olivia Stocum says:

    Reblogged this on The Claymore and Surcoat and commented:

    Looking for a fantasy this weekend? (No, not THAT kind of fantasy. Lecher!)

    Like

    • Thanks for the reblog. 🙂 Funny joke too. Especially since I tend to see a bunch of those fantasies on the sword & sorcery Top 100 lists.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Oh my…. yeah, those are kind of taking over these days it seems. I see them a lot too.

        Like

      • Honestly, I’ve found it rather frustrating. Hard enough battling the traditional fantasy authors and other indie authors for ranking spots. Now, I have to fight the erotica writers too? Those authors are insanely prolific and it seems erotica is the genre that never has a slump, so my chances aren’t very good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Yes! Same here. I know. Partly, I’m like, well, to each his own. But I have had increasingly slogging sales ever since the erotica has gained so much popularity. But I’m ‘classically’ trained, you could say, growing up on Jane Austin and Charlotte Bronte, and writing erotica for me would be like selling my soul. I just can’t do it. So, possibly, ends my career. I’m not sure I’ll continue writing after I’ve finished this series. That’s life…. or so I’ve been told.

        Like

      • Sorry to hear that. I hope you can continue writing after the series. I say this while wondering the same thing. My series ends in December and I keep wondering if I can afford to keep going. Last year was terrible and this year is just as bad. If I’m not facing erotica on the lists, I’m dealing with political stories. That’s the other genre that seems to be doing well. Wonder if they go hand in hand.

        Like

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Let’s hope for both of us, to better years ahead!

        Like

      • Fingers crossed. Still, I’m really confused on how things went downhill so fast.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Same here. Things were going fine. I was hardly even doing any marketing. It was bliss. And then all of a sudden the rug was pulled out from under me. And then those oh, so loving, ‘friends’ in my life basically didn’t give a bat-butt while I slid into a tailspin. But that’s another story entirely… that’s why I’m blogging again. Not to sell books but because I need conversation with people more like myself. Yeah…

        Like

      • Oh, I stopped expecting most of the people around to understand me being an author a long time ago. I know every setback is basically blood in the water for the ‘time to quit’ crowd and I’m just trying to endure. I think things went really downhill last year and a few friends were pointing out that only romance, erotica, and politics were doing well. As odd as it sounds, the insane election may have driven a lot of people away from more escapist-level fiction and closer towards genres and stories that are more like the current reality. It probably isn’t the main cause, but I do know some people who have decided that they don’t have time for fiction any more because the real world needs them to stay aware. Makes conversations rather awkward.

        More than likely, Amazon changed something in their system that most of us didn’t pay attention to or think much of. Then scammers and opportunists found the loophole to dive right in. I think that’s what basically killed the Top 100 lists.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Possible. All of what you said. Something definitely changed. I write romance but it’s not the right kind of romance so I’ve been cut off. Too bad, really, for us and readers. Sometimes I wonder what the world is coming to. And what’s the deal with these short, badly written books with two star reviews at the top of the lists? Now THAT’s fishy.

        Like

      • Fantasy has a top dog thing going. If you’re not trying to imitate Rowling or Martin then it’s tougher. Though you end up getting compared and crucified if you do. What’s the right kind of romance these days?

        I think those books are being helped by click farms. I read a blog post about it. Seems to be the newest scam trend disguised as a viable option. Not sure how many indie authors are aware of how it works and how bad it is. The language the sellers use is rather coy and cunningly disguised.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Wow. I figured something was going on there. Click farms, huh? Not good. With romance you have to be willing to write more erotically, it seems. I’ve tried, but usually I end up cutting those scenes. It’s just so unnatural for me. I might have to get with the program though, and force myself to write more sexually and focus less on over all character development. Sigh.

        Like

      • Not good at all. Amazon will probably do something to stop it, but they tend to hit innocent bystanders in their reactions too. I can’t bring myself to write anything more than making out and afterglow scenes. The actual act seems unnecessary unless the book’s goal is to turn the reader on. Sucks that you would have to do that over character development.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        I hope things will look up at some point. I keep saying I’m ready to quit writing, and then I don’t. Not writing would be like stepping out of the MATRIX, and the rest of the world just isn’t appealing enough for that! And that’s me too, about the ‘love scenes’. Making out and after glow, and the rest of the romance is just that, old school romance, and not low key porn.

        Like

      • I’ve peeked at the rest of the world and agree that it isn’t that great. Not sure why people keep requesting that I live in it more often. The funny thing about those ‘love scenes’ with no description of naughty bits, I still get some people complaining about all of the ‘sex’. Just can’t win.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        I know. I had a woman send me a nice message about how she’d read all my books but would no longer be supporting me because I explored the concept of premarital sex. Granted my characters got married a week later…. but now my character is a bad girl. The guy is fine, of course. But not her. Nope.

        Like

      • It’s amazing how people get about that. Not sure what exploring the concept of premarital sex means. Pretty sure the exploration is: ‘Are you married? Nope. Did you have sex? Yup. Discovery has been made!’

        I shouldn’t joke too much though. I have an open relationship in my series that drives people up the wall. It’s 3 cultures kind of converging and two of them are fairly open about sex. The 3rd is the guy who is trying his best to adhere to the traditions of his girlfriend who comes from the most open of the 3. It’s amazing how people get angry and attack the girlfriend like she’s stomping a puppy. It’s with a book that she doesn’t even show up in, but a jackass character appears to claim he slept with her. People never seems to think that he’s lying or there’s more to it. They immediately crucify the woman. And ONLY the woman for some bizarre reason.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Yes. Men are in a different category it seems. My female character slept with him because she’d previously been abused and was essentially attempting to heal herself with a man who was gentle by nature. Anyway he was already in love with her so all was well, even if my reader didn’t think so.

        Like

      • Oh, there’s some oddness with men too. Outside of sex scenes, you can do whatever you want to them. Torture them in graphic detail, slaughter an army of male minions, and nobody bats an eye. They’re really seen as expendable or designed specifically for abuse. I’ve even found that people are less likely to connect to the males than the females because they don’t expect much longevity out of them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        I’ve noticed that, yes. It’s really pretty alarming too. And true to real life, unfortunately. Biologically speaking, we need a lot of fertile women and just a few men. Sad, because every man is someone’s son.

        Like

      • I’ve actually had that ‘most men aren’t biologically needed’ argument used against me. Felt like a stab to the chest because it was in regards to me being the stay-at-home parent. Honestly, I’ve managed to shrug it off because of my son’s animal shows. There are a bunch of species where the female stays with the babies and the male goes off for food. If he fails or gets eaten himself then the babies die. Mostly with birds though. This actually sounds like it still moves toward males being the expendable gender.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Good point though. Raising young makes people/animals vulnerable, and someone who’s not pregnant/nursing needs to bring home the food. Which is is really important, but also really dangerous. Guess it just takes us back to the fact that life kinda sucks.

        Like

      • Life really is a battle once you get into or out of college. Nobody ever warns you about how sucky adulthood is. Where’s the fun that’s supposed to come with all this responsibility? It better not be the bills. If so then I feel really gypped.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        I know. I feel like I’m 500 years old and still not dead yet. I seriously don’t belong on the planet.

        Like

      • Only 500? Youngster! I’m already in the quadruple digits thanks to the mileage. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Well, then, old man…

        Like

      • No idea why this went to spam after a lengthy conversation.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Go figure, right?

        Like

      • WordPress does really strange things.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Olivia Stocum says:

        Jane Austen, pardon my forgetfulness. I’m not good at remembering how to spell names.

        Like

      • No problem. Still waking up, so I didn’t notice.

        Like

  2. ionia martin says:

    I want a joker’s hat please. Complete with jingly bells. You choose the spirit.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ack! This one is getting surprisingly close to the next book I’m going to write. It’s one of my novella projects. Love these shop posts.

    Like

  4. L. Marie says:

    Love this post! Any chance that I can get a hat for an enemy? Can we custom order the types of odors the hat emits? Got any hats that screech loudly?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You could get a hat for an enemy, but we’re under no legal contract to hide that fact. It is true that whatever you do with the hat after you leave the store is not our business. Yet, we can’t lie to the cops.

      Custom ordering the odors is part of the package. Those that are not in our catalog will take some extra time. Our perfume makers have to do a lot of traveling and they get sick fairly often because of the testing phase.

      We could do a screecher hat, but that involves a waiver. Having something that loud near your ears is not really recommended.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Super post, Charles. I like these retail shops of yours. Liked seeing Ionia’s comments too.

    Like

  6. Howdy, I’m in the market for two hats. First I too want a cowboy hat, just like what John Wayne wore. I’m a good guy, so I need it in white, leather preferred. I’d like the spirit of a great gunslinger in it, and an atomic symbol on the front… no, it’s not for me but a friend of mine, Marty, the atomic symbol is because the Doc insists on it, we won’t go into details, but let’s just say he’s a bit odd, he gets a kick out of gong 88 MPH in a locomotive.
    Next I’d like a nice bowler hat for myself, a politician spirit would be good, I’m thinking about running for mayor… or was I thinking about running from the mayor? Oh well, it doesn’t matter much, add a ribbon to it for class.
    Oh! Could I get a fedora too? Anyway to get to spirits in that one?

    Like

    • Great gunslingers are tough these days. It wasn’t like there was an inexhaustible amount from the Wild West days. So, all of the famous ones have been taken. They come back from time to time, but there’s a long waiting list. We’ll have to go for someone a bit more modern if you’re in a rush. This is assuming you mean ‘great’ as in Wyatt Earp level. They don’t make gunslingers like that any more.

      The politician spirit is easy, but those do tend to get a little pushy. If you’re not careful, they’ll try to take over your body. We can out a protection charm in the hat, but politicians are exceptionally slippery. I’d recommend only wearing the hat when you really need it.

      Two spirits in one is doable. Though you’ll have to negotiate usage with them. Playing favorites with spirits is dangerous unless they are told the hierarchy up front.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I guess just about any gunslinger will do, I’d like to have a great one, but I need the hat soon, my buddy Marty is going on a trip, the Doc just got a Delorian and wants to take it on a trip out west.

        Sounds good with the politician hat, I just want it in case I ever need it.

        As for the Fedora with two spirits, I need it with a top notch newspaper man, say from the 1930s or so, I’d like the second spirit to be an old time gangster/bootlegger, someone good with a Tommy gun, that way if the newspaper spirit gets me into trouble, the other one can get me out of it.

        Like

      • If time travel is involved then we recommend your friend setting an unknown on the road to being a gunslinger. Make them a mystery and then tell us the name, so we can get the spirit for him. It will make a little time-space continuum wrinkle, but it’s good business.

        So, a Capone/Clark Kent special. In that case, we’ll need to find a reporter from a different era or one that has no qualms about sharing space with a gangster. Two spirit deals do require some level of compatibility.

        Liked by 1 person

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