The Store by Bentley Little
Off the beaten path, Juniper, Arizona, a quaint and quiet, close knit town has numerous mom and pop stores. Although most needs are met, not everything is available and, on occasion, shopping excursions to distant metropolises are essential.
Built on what was once the most scenic location in town, bland and windowless, The Store, due to its ability to offer nearly everything including jobs, is welcomed by most everyone, except Bill Davis, who views the venture as a despicable invasion.
On an evening jogging excursion past The Store, Bill peers in through the glass double door entrance and spies the almost robot-like evening stockers busy going about with the chore. However, these workers, with their black robes and pale white faces are anything but normal. Convinced of wickedness and to no avail, he addresses the city council, who, on every front, side with The Store.
At his rebuke, his two teenage daughters obtain jobs at The Store anyway and before long, his eldest has deeply fallen under the influence of Mr. Lamb, The Store’s sadistic manager.
Unable to compete, the smaller shops begin closing as The Store indigently streamlines products and offers buyouts to those remaining. Those who oppose mysteriously disappear and before long, The Store is the only merchant in town.
However, The Store has no intentions of stopping there and soon begins to employ the public servants, the city workers and the council too. At wits end, Bill takes drastic measures and embarks on a letter writing campaign aimed at the chain’s owner Newman King.
When King personally invites Bill to corporate headquarters, all expenses paid, Bill, intent on change, accepts. However, Bill is in for a demented and horrifying surprise. For The Store’s influence is strong; change is in order; and The Store is seeking a new manager
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