1964-12-16 - Elflight: Bad News in Jersey
Summary: Every kid from 8 to 80 wants an Elflight. Stores that got one get mobbed. Shoppers throw fists and handbags and fireballs to catch the one thing Tommy or Suzie desperately want for Christmas. Well, turns out there's some in a warehouse in Jersey, and there's a profit or a smiling face to be made if you can get one. Don't you want your own sugar-plum fairy? Come on, get it and lord it over all your friends. Make up for the loneliness in your heart. Get your Elflight and bring Santa safely down on Christmas Eve! Not responsible for cavorting with Fae or garden variety crazy parents.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
loki rogue cindy-moon 


7:00 PM. Montclair, New Jersey. Just Kidding Around.

Sun went down on Montclair a long while back. The striped blue and white awning over a children's shop glows in the flashing green, amber, and red traffic signal. On the main drag in town, Just Kidding Around boasts an active storefront display in hopes of luring parents in. Signs declare "Handmade toys" and "Timeless products for your favourite tot!" Santa Claus in his splendid Lincoln log creche creates toys while automated elves trot around their tracks, delivering gifts or completing goods. It's all very charming, very fun.

Good luck finding a parking spot anywhere in the front. In the back, every open space is filled by a land yacht, and uneasy parents crowd in a queue stretching down the block. A few unsavory sorts offer to buy their way in, just in case, promising to get someone too. A poor police officer does his best to maintain order, but it's a lost cause. They're all awaiting the magic moment when the "Back at 7:05 PM" sign flips over and the doors unlock. They already press in.

The busses and subways of New York were confusing to someone who'd never ridden anything like that before. Shin-Hye, or Cindy as she's being called by her new American friends, got on the wrong train and ended up somewhere she didn't plan to be. A second mistaken bus ride got her to Montclair. Not being able to read really did make all of this very difficult in the 'get around and explore' sort of thing. She walks along the line, really not sure why anyone is lining up. So, she comes to stand in the line herself. "Long line." She offers to someone close by, a friendly tone- if heavily accented. "Is line for something good?" she wonders then curiously, still smiling in a friendly way.

|ROLL| Loki +rolls 1d20 for: 7

"Oh, I am certain it is for something good…" The voice comes from behind, and there's a rumbling, rolling undertone beneath a flirting current. The owner of the voice has his green eyes trained upon the Asian woman with a looming interest, though his hands are folded behind his back to seem less intimidating. Who knows why he's here. He might have just been drawn to the chaos, and been encouraging it.

The parents standing in line for the toystore represent every sort: rich, middle class, working class, white, black, a few East Indians, Latinos. Anticipation swells the crowd by the doors, an accordion bunching together, tagalongs squeezing in and finding elbows applied uncomfortably to keep some hint of order and public space. They're here on a mission to collect the most popular Christmas gift in the country.

"What, dear? You didn't hear?" says a well-dressed woman in a long fur coat. Her husband squeezes in a little tighter. See, they're still in front of Cindy. Where did she come from? "They've got Elflights. Not enough for everyone, but we had to try."

The door rattles open as two employees interpose themselves to keep from being plowed over. "Ten at a time!" shouts the young man. "You get a ticket, that's all. Otherwise the fire marshal will shut us down." The cop turns his head. He's listening.

"Good!" Cindy says, as she looks over her shoulder at Loki. She doesn't seem particularly intimidated. "What is.. Erfaright?" She has trouble with the word, frowning a little. "It is hard word." she laments quietly, shaking her head. "Why are lights so important?" she wonders then, "That so many people get in line for lights? I see many lights in stores and on signs and on cars." She looks back to Loki- then over to the two who were speaking to her in the fine fur coats.

For Cindy's part, she's dressed in what could be called solidly middle-class styled clothing, although, a little baggy for her petite form. All of it second hand.

Loki is wearing an elegant suit and has a foreign lilt to his voice and his manner. He smiles subtly at Cindy and the couple that think she's trying to butt in the line. "Ahhh, I mistook you for being from Vanaheim." He waves his hand faintly. "Now I see. You are just new to New York. It is a gift, a toy…that they are craving, for the season where they give gifts to each other. Did you know it is a holiday? They are not normally so aggressive with shopping. You should get in line…and then sell it if you manage to get one."

The first ten shuffle forward, grumbles and a loud protest at someone's spouse left behind cleaving not even a tenth of the line down. Traffic boils as pedestrians skim through cars sharking for a parking spot. The police officer gives up trying to direct them and closes in on the toyshop, one of the few actually still open. Might help keep order.

"The children want them for Christmas," explains that patient mother to Cindy and sort-of to Loki, escorted along by her husband to close up the distance. No cutting! "They're just the loveliest things. They absorb sunlight and at dark, the light glows and throws such wonderful patterns on the walls. They show the way for Santa to deliver presents. Oh, they've been out everywhere for days. Just like that potato-head toy a few years ago. Reselling it… tsk, keep it for yourself."

The rush into the store is something they all watch, a herd of zebra waiting for the lions to show their face. Anticipation is a terrible thing.

"Oh." Cindy states, eyebrows knitting together. "No, am from New York City!" she offers to Loki, "Just not born there, yes." she offers. "Do not need toy, though. More important things." She continues as she reaches into a silk shoulder bag- pulling out a silk napkin. Very fine silk, if one had the eye for that sort of thing. In orange and sky-blue.

She opens the handkerchief and inside is a biscuit. She takes a bite- seemingly happy to just stand in the cold. "Will like to see one, though." She offers some of the biscuit to the kind woman, and over to Loki as well- "Biscuit?"

"They might be out by the time we get there." The helpful shopper is a bit worried, but the expression of concern fades into a softened expression when the petite Korean offers a biscuit. She holds up her hand to her husband, who is pushing forward as one shopper beelines out of the front door with a bag clutched to his chest. "Oh, thank you, dear. You didn't need to do that." But she isn't too rude to say no, taking only the smallest piece.

"Come on, Leslie, we don't have all night. It's a long drive back to Suffolk," hisses her husband. He pulls her up the line.

Another two people squeeze out, right into a hawker stupid enough to say, "Fifty bucks for your Elflight!" It's a product that costs perhaps seven, tops. The shocked looks turn into crumpled irritation from many in line. "C'mon, fifty bucks, you can say they were sold out and get your kid a bike or skates and a trip for you and the missus."

"Is important to share food." Cindy says, with a beaming smile. "Do not know when next food comes. Eat now." She states with a certain sad knowledge. "Back before I come to New York, is many bad things. Always remember to share food." she says next, with a quiet smile. "So no hungry later."

Cindy looks at the hawker, she watches the interaction with all the curiosity of someone who's never seen this kind of behavior before. All of it is brand new to her.

Loki tilts his head at the offer of the biscuit and then flicks a quick smile at the woman. "I think you deserve a trip to the inside of the store…what do you think about that? If you could…would you transport yourself inside?" He arches his dark brows, offering the woman a wish, even though she doesn't know it could possibly come true.

"Inside? But would be not nice to people in line." Cindy notes next, smiling brightly to Loki. She seems a friendly sort. "I do not want to be rude and cut in line." she offers then, "I am Buddhist person, this is not holiday for me. More want to see how America celebrate!" An excited tone coming into her voice as she half hops in place. "See! They very excited to get things for gifts for people they love. America is Land of great love, and apple cake!"

The woman nods and chews on her small bit of biscuit. "Thank you very much. I… Oh, Harold!" He's pulling along Leslie, her fur coat swishing. Time to move up. He has a look of determination, pushing past three people clustering around the hawker. Fifty bucks for him to buy the Elflight? Well, what if they have sixty? Sixty-five? It's a bidding war. The couple approach and the pressing, milling mass of twenty people seem unwilling to listen or wait to the staff. They push into the store, the tight aisles already stuffed. No more waiting!

Pushing? No more waiting? Loki marvels over the splendid chaos that demand outweighing supply can achieve. What a spectacular learning experience. And then, yet, there is a woman before him who refuses her advantage. Such quality! Its something to marvel over. "Lets see how great of love they have." He comments softly before saying loudly, "I am certain the light is worth $1000, to me!"

Cindy's eyebrows knit together again and she looks on with quiet amazement. "Why are?" she's just confused now, "Why are they fighting? This is not like American Joe!" she frowns deeply, taking a step back to watch. She can't just stand by and let someone get hurt, of course- "Why fight? Why push? Light is not food…. "

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d20 for: 19

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d5 for: 2

The second fellow out of the gate, among the five squeezed out there, doesn't hesitate. Too bad, Chuck, you can have some kind of other present! He veers immediately over to Loki. "Cash?" he says, almost immediately. "I'd be willing to make your day with that." The hawker who was offering fifty and the people in the crowd willing to offer up to a hundred are silenced.

That's the only person willing to part with their hard-earned prize. "It's mine," hisses another of the departing patrons. Chaos in the shop is something more easily named as the shoppers squeeze in, trying to find the box of Elflights. As soon as they have one, it's a mad beeline to the register where harried employees can barely ring up people fast enough. Customers get one, not two, and a scuffle breaks out at the inevitable twit willing to break the rule.

Loki arches his brows as the chaos continues and his eyes twinkle. He swirls his hand through the air and produces a pair of Asgardian gold coins. Loki may need to learn about American cash eventually. Its Kai that bothers with the bills. "I suppose its cash." he offers the set of coins to the man for the light. "They are fighting for their children, I suppose…to give them the best gift. Its endearing when you think about it that way."

It's all going so different from how Cindy imagined it would. She figured there'd be a lot of peace on Earth and goodwill towards man! "Oh dear." she whispers softly, shaking her head, "This is bad. Oh.." she takes a quick, deep breath, waving her hands. "Stop! Stop! Friend tells me about Christmas time! Is supposed to be best time! Time of love and peace and kindness!" she seems genuinely bothered that things are working out like she imagined they would- and her voice carries spectacularly.

There may be goodwill, especially as gold coins falling into someone's hands are an excellent way for delivering some bright spirit this year. The bemused fellow looks in his hand and extends his package, the brown paper-bag about as exciting as one can hope to find this side of a liquor store. Inside is a small box, large enough to contain something like an alarm clock or a snow globe.

Several of the shoppers who have their elflights in the latest round of things run out the door, more taking their place. Cindy's request isn't lost on them, much less the policeman, but something just isn't right about all that madness.

Loki takes the package from the man and peers inside, but he hasn't the chance to explore the gift before he has to swirl it away into his little pocket dimension with a casual gesture of both hands. Though he's enjoying the chaos, he can tell when something is being influenced extra in that regard. The hairs at the back of his neck prickle and he becomes more alert. He reaches out to try and take Cindy by the forearm and draw her backwards from the frenzied crowd. "Hold a moment…something else is happening."

Cindy gives a yelp as she's tugged back and away from the crowd. "Why are these people like this?" She looks up at Loki with wide eyes, then back towards the crowd- frowning. "What is happening?" she wonders, taking a slow breath. A quiet breath. A calming breath.

She speaks to herself in Korean, "This is why some people dislike capitalists, maybe…" A quiet, off the cuff remark to herself.

The rising weird flits out of existence with Loki's mindful storage of his newfound acquisition in his personal bank, of a sort. Troubling remnants remain, like the spreading foul scent of a backed up pipe, but not so immediate as originally experienced seconds prior.

The crowd melts back, those unable to get in forlorn in their dejection or simply giving up as the clock strikes closer to eight than before. Those inside leave the toystore in a shambles, some running out the back to avoid the unlucky shoppers who couldn't get their hands on an Elflight. Anger boils in their veins, frustration in their eyes, and they aren't going to be deterred from throwing a few punches if anyone gets in their way.

"A ruling King is always a better choice, with controlling nobility over a working mass. Every opportunity to rise up in glory, of course, but I whole-heartedly support a system wherein the worthy few are in control and the rest fall to their place." Loki would have that sort of opinion, of course. He may also be seeing just how ruffled he can make poor Cindy. He makes a low hum in his throat. "There's something afoot. Not even these mortals are capable of…descending this low in a mass like this. One or two, perhaps, but so many…"

"Oh boy." Cindy says, looking up and over to Loki, then back to the crowd. "I'm not going to coat this in butter. I think this is going over like a lead brick." she states, with an ever deepening scowl. "People will be hurt!" She's beside herself, then, "Like nice lady-friend!" she gasps then, suddenly remembering the lady from the line. "I have to help Lady-Friend!"

In the Chaos, Cindy suddenly hurries off into the crowd, with an inhuman alacrity and grace- dodging between people and fists, dodging and dancing between bodies- her every movement poetry. Looking for that nice lady.

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