The old shopkeep manhandled the packages Fruben had been holding only moments earlier, turned and scanned the table behind him for a place to deposit them, and callously overturned several rare, expensive, and, in a general sense, far more valuable things out of the way so he could put the things out of Fruben’s reach.
The gesture was what bothered Fruben most, the air of “can’t have this.” He resented the pettiness with a passion of dramatic proportion. The bundle had traveled less than five feet, and Fruben secretly fumed at the perfectly irreconcilable nature of the man’s words and actions.
The man barked at Fruben in a manner that he would have liked to compare to a particularly old, crusty, and demented dog, but none were sticking out in his mind, and none of the dogs he thought of were as contemptible. “If you can’t pay, then get out, I’ve other customers to attend to!”
Fruben couldn’t resist looking around the small, dirty shop with a plaintiff look but he managed to quell his pithy arguments that the statement simply wasn’t true, being that there simply were no customers apart from Fruben.
A wicker mask painted to resemble a skull was all Fruben had to sympathize with in the shop. With brief consideration, he reversed the feeling, realizing that the mask had to put up with the old man far more often and for a far greater length of time than Fruben. By simple comparison, Fruben’s frustration was brief.