Shattered by Davyne DeSye

by Davyne DeSye

When the one you love has their future destroyed you might pay anything to buy it back for them. In this urban fantasy a father searches to restore the hopes and dreams of his daughter.

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Come in, come in, and welcome! See something you like? Looking for anything in particular? Oh, no problem, no problem. Just look, and let me know if I can help with anything.

Yes, that is a fine piece. Retrieved and fixed that one up myself. Yes, I do my own work. Learned the trade from my father and he from his father before him. That’s right. Sort of a hereditary business. My boy’s not really interested, but my daughter—she’s only seven—she seems to have the interest and, what is more, the gift. It isn’t everybody who can spot shattered hopes and scattered dreams and tell the worthwhile ones from the flotsam, but she has got a promising eye.

Ah yes, I like that piece as well. It is one of my daughter’s favorites. Really shiny. Prima Ballerina. Picked it up after a car wreck. I think the fractures throughout it really add to the beauty, don’t you? I don’t think I would like it as well if I had seen it before it was broken and fixed back up. I am sure the young lady who had that dream would have preferred to keep it unbroken, of course. Thank you. Yes, it is another one of my pieces.

Actually, there aren’t many dream reconstructions in here that are not mine. A couple of my father’s pieces, of course, and that one over there, the dusty one, that is my grandfather’s work. I wouldn’t sell that one because it is sentimental to me now, not that anybody would want it. That dream is a bit out of date. But the rest are mine. I don’t contract out and don’t buy from other dealers, no sir. I want to know what I am selling. Like I said, I take pride in what I do.

That one? Yes, it is really nice, but not for someone who has achieved your stature in life. Buying for a son or daughter? No, no! Heh, heh. I was not calling you old, no sir. But they do not let gentlemen your age into the AirAcademy. Yes, found that shattered dream outside an optometrist’s office when a seven-year old found out his vision was bad, and he could not be a pilot after all.

Yessir, that is my sports wall. Football quarterback, Olympic ice-skater, soccer scholarship. Yes, those are a bit pricey. Stands to reason. If you are looking for something a bit more reasonable, I have chess champion, spelling bee winner, dominoes champ…

No? How about music? I have a fine collection of musical ambitions over in this area. Any particular instrument in mind? Singing? Yes, of course. Any particular genre? I mean, you can pick up any number of pop star dreams; you can find those laying around just about anywhere, but I have a terrific group of virtuosos in several genres—best collection in town, I dare say.

Oh, that’s fine. I’ll just let you browse.

No, no, I don’t mind talking with you. Aren’t many who want a chatty salesman these days. Seems to me, people have gotten too used to shopping online where nobody talks to you at all. I suppose it is this electronic age; people don’t have to be civil anymore. Honestly, my son would rather text me from his phone than actually talk to me on the same phone.

That is right; I own the shop. My wife is here in the mornings, since mornings are when I can best scavenge. Oh, because mornings are when most dreams are shattered. People wake up and realize their life has changed because of what happened yesterday, and well, I like to pick up the pieces fresh. Yes, makes any particular piece easier to salvage. No, I do the actual refurbishing work in the evenings. I find I am mellowed by the day and ready to sit quietly and study the piece, warm it in my hands. I guess I just feel more artistic in the lee of the day.

Yes, those are the arts. I have painter, cartoonist, sculptor, writer, fashion designer, all sorts. Lots of those abandoned art dreams could probably have been fulfilled if the dreamers had been a little more patient or a little more thick-skinned. But I suppose you can’t eat hopes and dreams, and life gets in the way. Wife gets pregnant, and you have to get a job or some such. You know.

Oh sure. Yes, I know, money has a lot to do with dreams. Or I should say it the other way around: lack of money has a lot to do with shattered dreams. I guess that is why this store has been here so long. Lots of people bide their time, find they finally have some money, but haven’t got any dreams left. Most of my clientele are at least your age, I must admit. I suppose it is for the same reason that most people who own fancy expensive sports cars are older, too. Don’t have the money for that dream until you have worked and saved a bit.

Say, if you can give me some idea of the price range you are looking for, I might be able to direct you to pieces that might work for you. I always like to see a customer walk away with that gleam of a dream in their pocket and no buyer’s remorse, simply because it was in their budget. I think that is why I get so much word-of-mouth business. Satisfied customers.

Say, how did you come to hear of the place? I don’t advertise in the book, and I know my shop is a little out of the way. Sign bring you in? Friend send you? Oh, really? Been in every shop in town, you say? Well, how does my shop compare, if you don’t mind my asking? Besides me being much too talkative, I mean.

Oh, thank you. I appreciate your comments. I mean, being a family-owned establishment, I suppose we do take more care than usual to keep it clean, letting the pride shine through, I always say. And I am glad you appreciate the extent of my collection. I think that has more to do with the artist in me, though. I would not want shelf after shelf of the same old hopes, piled one next to the other as if they came off an assembly line.

Oops! Got to get that phone, but you just keep right on looking.

Okay. Back again.

So, been in every shop in town, eh? Must be looking for something pretty special. Again, if you can give me some idea of your price range, I could direct you to something special that will fit into your budg—

Money not the issue, you say? Well, I just feel certain that you’ve come to the right shop. I will help you find something suitable—no, not just suitable—something extraordinarily special.

Payment plan? Oh heavens no, sir. I’m sorry; perhaps I misunderstood your statement about money not being the issue. I see. Well no, we don’t sell on credit for the same reason we don’t accept returns. Used merchandise, you understand. I absolutely stand by my work, but they are not my dreams to start with. I just fix them up.

Why yes, I did hear about that accident last week. Just terrible. Seventeen-year old girl lost her legs trying to jump aboard a moving train. Tragic, just tragic. Why do you ask? Yes actually; I was there, not that anybody would really want to be, and at the risk of sounding somewhat mercenary, I did pick up a rather large cache of broken dreams that day. Poor child.

Sold them already? Oh no. Of course not. I still have them all in my workshop; it was quite a load and special, very special. She was a girl with a lot of hopes and dreams. I wish my own son was so full of life.

I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you? No! Ohmygoodness, no. Oh, please excuse me, I have tissues around here somewhere. I—I—

Sir? Sir, please wait right here. I’ll be right back. Can you wait?

Sir? This is my tentative list of the dreams I picked up that day. Will these do? Please sir, please don’t cry. I know this must be terrible. As a father myself, I can imagine what you are going through. I will tell you what I will do. I will fix them up, best I can. You come back next week.

No, I do not want to hear about the money. I will give them to you, beautiful as they are, as much money as I would bring in selling them.

Why, you ask? Here, take another tissue.

Because this is the first time I have been able to keep a dream from shattering. Your dream. Your dream for your daughter. That, sir, that is high art.

©Davyne DeSye
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Davyne DeSye
Davyne (pronounced “DAH-vee-ANN”) was born to foreign royalty and spent her youth traveling among various countries assisting in her parents’ efforts to acquire and refurbish old world castles. Davyne left her parents and their lives forever upon learning that she was born an orphan and was merely the subject of a nurture vs. nature experiment. She still loves to travel, although she tends to avoid visiting castles. She now lives in Colorado with her husband and five children.

Davyne’s short stories have been published in, or will soon be appearing in Tomorrow, Daily Science Fiction, Penumbra, On Spec Magazine, MindFlights, and Tales of the Talisman, among others.
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