six fifteen on monday morning and he’s on his feet, stretching tight muscles, running a comb through his greasy dark hair.
he slides his feet into socks and his socks into shoes. he straightens his tie. forest green is the color du jour and he wears it with certainty and pride. it brings out the flecks of gold in his eyes.
he grabs his briefcase, battered but dignified, and gathers his wares for the day. some men sell steaks. others preach the word of The Lord.
Eddie Flynn sells knives.
having the the thin sharp blades always in such close proximity makes the hairs on the back of Eddie’s neck stand up. the glint of hard metal as he takes each prize from its protective sleeve—
"this one’s ripe for slicin’ and dicin’, ma’am, while this one here could rightly butcher a whole hog should the mood strike!"
they look at him incredulously, these women in their hairnets, as they warily open the door. Eddie has a foot in the foyer before they can so much as think to protest and before they know it, they’ve purchased three shiny sets and are placing a down payment on a window treatment from a partnering company.
Eddie collects his money, scratches the family dog behind the ears, and is on his way, barreling down the sidewalk to charm the sucker in the house next door.
he’s been the top salesman in Arkansas for eighteen straight weeks, since the untimely and and unsightly death of Max Patashnik, a doughy gentleman who traded car parts and had questionable morals.
Dick Baker, founder of Baker’s Bearings and Eddie’s boss, has expanded his business by seven counties since hiring wily, cunning Flynn. his top salesman is patched through from post offices and telephone boots all around Arkansas with news of sale after sale, including some poor sap’s purchase of a Hoover 2100 Multifunctional Steam-Vac— a product that doesn’t exist.
"where the blazin’ hell am I gonna come up with somethin like that?" roared Baker, upon hearing the news.
"for 100 clams? you’ll come up with something," came the cheeky response, followed closely by the unmistakable click of the receiver.
and just as they’ve settled, as business is starting to boom and there are fewer housewives without a set of Baker knives than there are with them, Eddie stops returning calls.
on a Tuesday at the end of the month, Dick Baker walks into his shop to find his cash register empty, the safe in his office neatly and expertly cleared, all cash, checks, bonds, and evidence of sales tendered removed without so much as a fingerprint left behind.
Dick finds Eddie’s small home unlocked and gutted, all evidence of human inhabitance erased, while already a thousand miles away,
navy blue is the color du jour. it too illuminates the flecks of gold in his eyes and he wears it with certainty and pride.
some men sell steaks. others preach the word of The Lord.
Lonny Hammill sells knives.