Sana Stories

  • A New Year's Resolution
    It was New Years Eve, and the friends gathered at the Fireworks Festival, waiting for the new year to begin.

    Primero knew the tradition- only one can be the first person you kiss at midnight. He had stepped back to watch the three girls stare at the explosions in the sky. Were they waiting in his decision, he wondered. Or were they always this happy?
    He knew what he had to do.

    Miles away, Sana stared through the picture window of the mystic store to a lonely parking lot. The very tops of the fireworks barely cleared the building across the street. She delighted in the few fireworks she could see.
    Suddenly, two headlights filled her line of sight. Her initial thought was fear- could somebody be so cruel as to try to rob her, or worse, in the first moments of the new year?

    Primero closed the car door and walked to the front of the store. She recognized his face in the streetlight and opened the door.
    "What a nice surprise!"
    He wrapped her up in a warm embrace. "I wanted you to be my first kiss this year. Am I too late?"
    She kissed him.
    "No, you're right in time."

  • Art of the Sale: Bonus Scene and recap
    Hope you enjoyed my take on Sana's backstory. Got a few lessons learned out of it- #1 is I need to keep the titles straight. But it was fun nonetheless.

    The scene of Sana waiting during the "kidnapping" was cut out at the last minute. I was going to let the readers in on the surprise that she was in on the last part of Professor Kudo's training, but it just got too unwieldy.
    As a standalone scene, I think you may enjoy it.

    The scene starts just as Snakeman abducts her into the back room in front of Gakusha and the Kudos.

    SimMan closed the door behind him. A display of multiple monitors lined the wall. A man sat at the table. A large mohawked man held Sana across her stomach with one arm, while the other covered her mouth.
    One of the monitors showed Gakusha, Akira, and the professor leaving the front door.
    "Snakeman, release her!"
    Sana felt the hands of the big man relax. She coughed. She looked around at the former storeroom, now transformed into a video control room.
    "Are you all right?" SimMan asked.
    "No not really." Sana looked around. "What is going on here?"
    "Allow me." The other figure stood up. "My name is Mister Saeki. I represent Ecophobia Games. You are a participant in a scenario of ours."
    "I'm in a video game?"
    "Not exactly. A training exercise, designed to test the ethics and decision making skill of a man we value highly."
    "Does my father know about this?"
    "He knows that you are not in danger. He also knows that we plan to compensate both of you handsomely for your time and effort."
    "So, what now?"
    "We have one more task. We need you to be out of touch with everyone for the next 24 hours. Including your boyfriend. We are prepared to compensate you for your time."
    "You want me to sit here for 24 hours?"
    "No. A suite has been prepared for you at the Puremia Hotel. SimMan's team will accompany you to ensure you keep your end of the bargain."
    "I need to talk to my father. Or no deal."
    "Fair enough." SimMan handed Snakeman a phone. "Her father's number is showing. Anytime she wants to call him, she can do so, in front of you. Tell the others when your shift ends."
    "HE is going be there? Who's going to protect me from him?"
    "His relief is Yuki, his girlfriend." SimMan chuckled. "He lays a hand on you, I'd hate to see what she'd do to him."

    The suite was impressive. It had a kitchen, a sectional couch, a large flat screen TV, and a fake fireplace. The bedroom and bathrooms had their own door.
    Even with SimMan's assurances, Sana felt unsafe sleeping with just the Snakeman in the next room over. She also longed to leave her admitted well-guilded cage.
    Snakeman was watching TV when she approached.
    "Have Yuki come up early," Sana suggested.
    "Hiw often can the two of you spend time in a place like this?"
    "I'm going to bed."

    Sana couldn't have slept if she wanted to. The couple on the couch had furiously throw off their clothes and torn into each otheralmost immediately. The idea of escaping the room kept popping in her head. She realized it was a bad idea, but she started getting dressed anyway, intending to sneak out.
    She was only a few steps away from the door when she turned to see both Yuki and Snakeman running towards her, both stark naked.
    He looked mad, and appeared to want to strike her.
    Yuki took her wrists. "What are you doing?"
    "I...just wanted to leave."
    Yuki reached over to hold back Snakeman. "You'll ruin everything! Do you know how much we're all getting paid for this? You especially?"
    Sana shook her head.
    "Call your father. Ask him!" Snakeman grunted.
    "Please." Yuki put her face close to Sana's. "Stay. We'll literally do anything to make you happy."
    Out of nowhere, Sana pictured Akira's warm kisses on her lips and her breast. She reached behind Yuki's neck, drawing her into a kiss. Yuki returned the favor, slipping her tongue into Sana's mouth as she put her hands below Sana's shirt.
    Snakeman moved behind Sana and pulled her shirt up. Yuki reached down and pulled her yoga pants down to her shins.
    Sana felt herself being lifted off the floor, with Snakeman's hands under her arms, as Yuki tugged the pants off her ankles. He let her down, and she walked over to the couch and lay down on her back.
    Yuki lay on top of her. She kissed one breast, then the other. She got on all fours as she made a row of kisses down Sana's belly. She paused just before Sana's folds as Snakeman slipped into her from behind. Her licks began, first slowly, then increasing in intensity and depth as her own walls were penetrated by Snakeman's furious rhythm. They collapsed as one, a tangle of nude humanity.
    • Robin Love the standalone scene, thans for sharing.
      And I was right, this was my favourite story so far :)

      By the way, XI means 11 and IX means 9 :p
  • Art of the Sale XI: Showdown!
    A mohawked man opened the door of the mystic shop. Kyoji held the scouter; Akira, Kotomi, and Gakusha followed, passing an old man at the counter.
    They were led to the back room. A series of video screens filled the wall.
    SimMan turned a remote to one. A bound Sana appeared on screen. "As you can see, she is safe."
    He turned to Kyoji. "The scouter fir st. Hand it over!"
    "How about a demo?"
    "Very well."
    Kyoji placed the device on Gakusha's head, and plugged a screen into the back so SimMan could see.
    Gakusha looked at Kotomi. The green heads up display showed statistics on Kotomi. He started reading them out loud.
    "Body dimensions. 84. 53. 83. Height, 155. Weight, 43 kilos."
    "Excellent!" SimMan approached the two men. "Hand me the device, and I free the girl."
    "No." Kyoji pulled the device from Gakusha's head.
    "We had a deal."
    Kyoji pulled the screen cable from the device, and threw the scouter to the ground. He then proceeded to stomp on it.
    "You fool! What have you done?"
    "You asked me to bring one, not hand it to you. Doing so would violate my ethics."
    "But Sana..." Gakusha cried out.
    "I will not compromise myself, Gakusha. I am sorry."
    "Very well, then." SimMan pointed the remote at the picture of Sana. It disappeared.
    Gakusha rushed towards the fuzzy screen. "Noooo!"

    All at once, the lights came on. A stranger stepped forward.
    "Kyoji Kudo, you are a man of honor."
    Kotomi recognized the man as Tomoko's father. "Mr. Saeki?"
    "My stockholders would be proud to know that their investment in technology is safe in your hands." He bowed.
    Kyoji returned the bow.
    Akira was irate. "So this was some sort of weird test?"
    "Which Kyoji passed. This is something we do before offering people more authority."
    He nodded at SimMan. "As did you, sir. We shall be using your security services more often, now that we know what you're capable of."
    SimMan returned his bow. "Thank you, sir."
    "Kotomi, we hope to see you again this summer."
    "I can't, sir. I hope to be in Germany."
    "Well, maybe this young man can join us."
    "But what about Sana?" Gakusha asked.
    "Ask her yourself!"
    Sana emerged from the door they came in, and embraced her lover. He returned the hug, and kissed her.
    "Where have you been?"
    "At the most expensive hotel in town. Free food, free drinks, and pay per view. All I had to do was not call anyone, other than my father. Poor guy had to work the store today."
    She stopped smiling. "Do you forgive me?"
    She held him close, so she could whisper in his ear. "Oh, and the room? We have it tonight, too."
    Gakusha was happy. He did get the best prize.

    Akira stood back, trying to look casual by nonchalantly looking around. SimMan approached her.
    "How did you get the pictures?" she demanded.
    "You left the window open."
    "That's theft."
    "And unlawful entry. But not breaking and entering." He put his arms up. "And now you've seen my place."
    "State of the art video systems. Graphic design. Storage. Broadband. All the tools a modern fashion media person needs, except the talent."
    He smiled at her.
    She got it.
    "What do you get out of it?"
    "We share a common interest, you and I." He nodded toward Sana. "When she gets famous, they'll all know who got her there."
    He dangled a key.
    She recoiled. "I don't trust men."
    "Neither do I."
    She took the key. "Then we will get along just fine."
  • Art of the Sale VIII: Scouter's Honor
    Gakusha sat in a lawn chair in Kyoji's garage, wearing a Dragonball Z toy scouter.
    "All this is over a toy?"
    Kyoji walked over. "The one on your head is a toy. It was our inspiration. Try this one."
    He held still as Kyoji placed the new scouter over his eye. Suddenly, he was looking at a green hued three dimensional grid.
    "You haven't seen the best part." Kotomi hooked a smartphone to the back of the scouter.
    He looked back at her. Letter and numbers appeared in front of his eyes.
    Kotomi Takanashi. August 29. B84. W53. H83. 155CM. 43K.
    "What's 43K mean?
    Kotomi giggled. "Kilos. It means l never lie about my weight anymore."
    "How does it work?"
    "At the moment, it doesn't." Kyoji stepped in front of Gakusha's view. Nothing changed. "That's a simulation that responds to Kotomi's bluetooth headset. In order for it to work, I need an infrared receiver. Convenience store cell phones aren't usually equipped with them."
    "But home video games are." Gakusha replied. "Playstation, Xbox, Wii?"
    "My friend, I'm not a gamer."
    "But I am."
    He turned to Kotomi. "Would that work?"
    "It's worth a try."
    "Could you drive me?"

    Gakusha buckled himself into Kotomi's Honda for the trip back. A sack of old gaming pieces sat on his lap. "Sorry about just blurting your weight out earlier."
    She smiled. "A lady is supposed to have secrets. Hope my boyfriend never gets one of those devices."
    "If you don't mind my asking, how does it work?"
    "It's like a denial of service attack on your brain. The system sends a series of questions at a person, supercompressed in a high pitch audio. A True answer has a different brain response than a False one. IR reads the brainwave delta. The person has no idea that their brain answered questions."
    "So to get a birthday, you ask 366 questions?"
    "43. Month and date separate. Plus year. 1918 to 2000, so about 125 total."
    "So the body stats are from the brain?"
    "Yeah, which is a good thing. They had this earlier prototype that tried to do everything by scanning the whole body. They even asked if I'd get naked so they could check their stats."
    "Did you do it?"
    "Hell no. I'm not giving this body to science until I'm dead and done with it."
    He took an IR bar out of the sack. "Will this work?"
    "It may be a bit long. Hold it above your ear."
    He watched her look at his head.
    "If we exaggerate the casing in back, we might get away with it."

    Akira roused Gakusha from the lawn chair he had been sleeping in.
    "We need to get you home. You have school tomorrow."
    "But the scouter..."
    "Works, thanks in part to you. But my brother and I need to finish this."
    "But Sana is there! We have to save her!"
    She sighed. "So you are the reason she gave me the cold shoulder. Fine. Meet us back here at five. I'll tell Kotomi."
  • Art of the Deal VII: It's a Trap!
    Back in her white dress, Sana came out to meet her customer.
    He held out the perfume. "I brought you this. Every time I smell it, I think of you."
    "Oh. How nice." She smiled. Deep inside, she was cringing. She took the bottle from him and sprayed each side of her neck. Then she sprayed the area between her boobs. He made a clumsy attempt not to stare.
    "Respect yourself!" she exclaimed, probably louder than she intended.
    As he mumbled an apology, she turned and saw the closed back door. She still had to keep this going.
    "Oh, you silly thing," she giggled on a high voice. "I'm working. I can't play now. And you've got work to do."
    She turned her phone towards him. "These are brass knuckles. You can find a pair at Club Royal, or probably anywhere. Bring them here by six and I'll close up just for you."
    "Brass knuckles. Okay."
    She turned him towards the door. When she heard the chime of the closed door, she breathed a heavy sigh of relief. The cursed dress was off practically before she entered the dressing room.

    He came in at six. The knuckles were in a small box in his hand. There were two other customers at the time, Akira and Gakusha. Sana had vas Kyoji made it to Sana's desk, two men burst through the front door.
    "Everyone on the floor." Said the first.
    The second man slapped the first. "What he meant to say was EVERYONE! HANDS UP" He waved his hands. Akira and Gakusha, surprised, complied, as did Sana and the professor.
    "Everyone in back!"
    They all turned and walked to the back, still with hands up.
    SimMan emerged from the back. He nodded at the first man, who grabbed Sana from behind.
    Gakusha and Akira looked at each other, wondering if the other would make the first move.
    SimMan waited until Sana and her captor were behind the door.
    "Kyoji Kudo. You have something I want. The Scouter. Bring it to me in 24 hours."
    "Or else?"
    "Or else the authorities get pictures of you and your little blonde lover, just as they're pulling her out of the river."
    "You wouldn't dare," seethed Akira.
    "Don't be so sure, sister." SimMan produced a photo of Sana, topless. Akira recognized it as one she took that morning.
    "24 hours. Now, go!"

    Kyoji, Akira, and Gakusha stood out front of the mystic store.
    "I am so sorry." Kyoji said.
    "What can we do now?" Gakusha asked. "Call the cops?"
    "No. And I can't just walk into the facility. So I can only do one thing. Make another."
    "How?" Akira asked.
    He smiled. "One of your students interned for me. She did a lot of the coding. The rest might be attainable by gear I have at home."
    He turned to Gakusha. " Do you have a cellphone?"
    Gakusha handed it to him.
    "We'll need a cellphone for the scouter. If you don't want to use yours, buy one and I'll pay you back. We'll meet at my house in one hour."
    Kyoji dialed a number. "Kotomi Takanashi. This is Professor Kudo. I need to see you."
    • Robin I did not see Kotomi coming :p
      When I heard one of your students I was so sure it was going to be Ami.
  • Art of the Sale VI: Dirty Secrets
    Sana knocked on the door of the address she was given. She was keenly aware that she was at a house and not in a business park or high-rise. Should she be worried, she asked herself.
    Akira answered the door, looking very professional. "You're on time," she stated. "Good."
    The furniture was sparse and utilitarian. The walls were filled with art - photographs, paintings, and framed posters. Akira's face stared back at Sana from a few of the photos, most notably from a striking nude.
    She heard Akira's voice ask, "You like that one?"
    She looked away, embarrassed.The overalls and shirt were on a hanger over her shoulder. "Where should I change?"
    Akira appeared surprised by the question. "There's a screen you can stand behind, over there. Oh, and use this pink shirt instead of the white."
    Sana ducked behind the screen and stripped to her panties. She put on the shirt and buttoned the overalls. She walked over to the wicker chair sat in the middle of a large white tarp, hung from the ceiling.
    "Sign this." Akira directed.
    Sana scanned it quickly. "Who is Gayle Forster?"
    "You are. This way, your American fans will think you're the girl next door. I could also write it up as Russian. How does Tatiana Orlova sound?"
    Sana scribbled her new American name on the form and handed it back.
    "Step away from the chair. Hands down. Left hand on hip."
    Sana heard a click.
    Akira approached her with a farmer's straw hat, and lay it gently on her hair.
    "You're hot."
    "Uh, thanks."
    "No. For the shot, you're hot. Sit. Now lean back just a bit, like you're trying to get cool."
    Sana took a deep breath and heard the camera snap.
    "Arms up, hold the brim."
    "Drop the hat, keep the arms back, close your eyes."
    Clicks. Sana could also feel a button being undone on her blouse. Then a second one."Sit up. Thumbs under the overall straps. Now lean back again."
    The overalls were now being unbuttoned. Akira dabbed a washcloth on Sana's brow and neck. Then she positioned the overall straps farther apart."OK, look this way, eyes open more. Part your lips. Think thirsty. Good."
    Now the shirt and overalls fell to each elbow as Sana's breasts emerged from the fabric. Akira applied a powder puff to each nip, then stepped back. More clicks. Akira freed the shirt from the overall straps, leaving Sana uncovered to the waist.
    "Part your lips a bit more, like you're kissing a lover. Here."
    With that, Akira kissed her on the lips. She stepped back, and caught Sana's quizzical look in her lens. She put a finger on Sana's lips , then drew it down her chin, her neck, and chest, finally stopping between her breasts. She then kissed one, then the other.Sana sat with eyes closed, enjoying the new attention. She opened her eyes as Akira unsnapped her pants and drew the zipper down. It was then that Sana saw the face of Professor Kudo.

    A picture that she had not seen before hung on the wall behind Akira's head. It was the Professor, with a woman about his age.Probably, his wife."I have to go."
    Akira watched her scramble to dress. "Let's finish tomorrow then. Same time."
    "Um, sure. Whatever."
    Assuming the world doesn't end.
    Sana would have promised the world at that point, just to leave. She just needed to get to work, to put that dress on. To see him.

    "She's performed admirably." SimMan told the voice on the other line. "My sources tell me he's walking into a store at the beach right now. And we both know where he should be."
    "You do good work, sir."
    "I thank you, sir."
    SimMan closed the call. He opened the door to see an empty store, and a frantic girl attempting to unlock the front door.
    Sana threw open the door to see SimMan in the center of the store.
    "Good morning, Sana. Opening the store late today?"
    "Should your special friend come today, ask him to return by the time you close with his latest gift. Imply that tonight is a special night for you two."
    "Shall he bring his wife?"
    "He could, but wouldn't that be awkward?"He turned to leave. "Tell him not to keep you waiting."
    The back door closed as the front door opened. The chimes announced the arrival of the day's first customer. And the familiar scent of her favorite perfume announced that it was the Professor.
    She wanted to yell at him. Confess. Tell him to run. But she knew Mr. S was just on the other side of the door.
    And she was also out of uniform.
    She moved quickly to the dressing room, grabbing the white dress on the way.
    "Good morning, Kyoju! I'll be out in a minute."
    She stripped. It was then she saw traces of Akira's powder on her breast.
    A naked, scared girl returned her gaze into the mirror.
    What have I done?
    • Robin I've got to ask? Gayle Forster? Is that a common name in America because I totally don't think of the girl next door when I hear that name. I don't live in America though so I could be wrong :)

      Or is it just your neighbourhood crush? :p
  • Art of the Deal V: Prizes and Surprises
    Sana felt her phone vibrate. Gakusha had sent Sana a note: HOW WAS UR FAV CUSTOMER?
    She smiled and sent back a message: GETTING ME 3D GLASSES :)
    Just then, the door that never opened to the back opened. A stern looking SImMan came out.
    "Yes, yes sir?" She quickly realized there was no place to put her phone in the bandage dress, so she sat it on the desk.
    "Has the professor been by today?"
    "Yes. Left not long ago. But he's not going far."
    "You know where he's going?" SimMan looked both alarmed and intrigued. "Where?"
    "The movie theatre in Itaya Point."
    "Has he mentioned where else he goes?"
    "Just the university and his home, I guess."
    "I see. Should he come back today, ask him when he'll be at the university tomorrow. I may call him there."
    "OK, Mr. S."
    The door closed as quickly as it opened.
    Sana was feeling a little bored.
    As she sent it, the door chime alerted her to a customer. She recognized the face.
    "Ma'am, didn't we meet yesterday?"
    "We did," replied Akira. "You work here?"
    "There was an outfit I once saw here...yes." Akira held up what appeared to be denim overalls with lace.
    "Did you want to accessorize it?"
    "No, just put a white shirt with it. In fact, are you busy tomorrow?"
    "I work here."
    "Can you come in to this address at sunrise? Seven AM? It'll just be us. You'll be in and out by eight thirty."
    "Here's the address. Wear this, with a white shirt or blouse. This one. Oh, and keep the change."
    She was gone as quickly as she came.
    Sana texted. G! IM A MODEL!! OMG!!
    Gakusha smiled. He was now dating a model!

    Gakusha and Sana drove to the pub. She saw a very large man waiting outside a door next to the pub. She smiled sweetly and approached.
    "Good evening, sir. Is this the pub?"
    "Next door. This is the Club Royal, for boxers and athletes."
    Better! "Oh. Could we come, see?"
    Takeo took the couple inside the club. In the back were weights and a boxing ring. A large bag dangled from the ceiling."Everything you see here. Thirty a month. I usually only have male clients, just so you know."
    "Oh, I was looking on behalf of a man."
    "Him?" The former Bloody King smiled broadly and looked at Gakusha. "He could use it!"
    Sana pressed on. "We'll pay double for the first month if you do us a favor. A mutual friend will come here tomorrow and pick up these."She handed the great man the brass knuckles.
    "We don't use those here."
    "But do we have a deal?"
    "If your boyfriend will show me what he's got on the bag, I agree."
    He turned from Sana.
    "Okay, 'Rocky', show us what you've got!"
    How hard could it be, Gakusha thought. He threw the first left punch of his life at the bag.
    It's a good thing I'm right handed, he murmured to himself a moment later.
    "Sixty it is," crowed Takeo. "And we have ice in back."

    Sana took over driving duties. She made a few turns he hadn't seen before, and arrived at a darkened house.She turned on a light as they came inside. In the kitchen, she unwrapped his hand. It really was not that bad, but she fawned over it just the same.
    "You know what this hand needs?" He asked.
    "No, a hot shower."
    She walked over and looked at the bruised hand. "Probably."
    Then she took it and and placed it under her shirt, and let his fingers stroke her breast. "But I've got better plans for it."
    His non-punching hand moved her bra above her breasts as she reached for his belt. She felt the cool metal of the fridge against her back as he lowered her pants to the floor. She knelt in front of him and yanked his pants below his knees. She crawled behind him on all fours. He knelt behind her, clutching her shoulders as he entered her from behind.

    A few miles away, SimMan looked at his colleagues. "I think Professor Kudo is comfortable coming into the mystic shop. Now what we need him to do, is bring the Saiyan Scouter!"
    "But how?" A voice asked.
    "Leave that to me..."
  • Art of the Sale IV: Star Light, Star Bright
    Sana and Gakusha walked through the trees to the shoreline. He had never seen so many stars, not a moon so bright that he could see what he was doing. And what she was doing.
    She lay her towel out next to his. She slipped her sweat pants and panties off in one motion, and rolled them into a pillow at her head. The lower edge of the sweatshirt just covered her modesty.
    She kissed him. "Got the perfume?"
    "Uh huh."
    She removed her top and stood naked before him in the moonlight. There was just enough light to see every curve, every shadow.
    "Wow." Gakusha's lips said.
    She lay down, head on the rolled clothes. She directed as he sprayed each ear, side of the neck, breast and thigh. But when she asked for a spray between her legs, he refused. Instead, he gently kissed her there. She approved and let him do it again. And again.
    Soon, it was his turn to lie down, as she mounted him. Even in shadows, her face and body looked beautiful.
    "Think anybody up there is looking down at us?" He asked.
    "Great. We're making porn for space aliens. They'll all want to come here now."
    "Welcome to Earth. LOVE HOTEL OF THE UNIVERSE."
    She laughed. And then sighed. And then started grinding a lot faster. She let out a cry that might startle alien voyeurs, but that satisfied lovers know all too well. A glorious moment later, she rolled to his side and they both looked up at their twinkling audience.

    She kissed him as she released her seatbelt to leave. "Be back here. Nine sharp!"
    He smiled. Somehow, Biochem class will just have to wait.

    Gakusha expected the beach to be quiet, without the weekend crowds. But there was activity. Girls in bikinis, photographers, and umbrella lights spawned an audience. One of the models brushed past him on her way to the staging area- he recognized her as Tomoko Saeki, a classmate.
    They approached the biker store. She pointed to the brass knuckles in the display. "Get those- I'll meet you at the t-shirt shop."
    Sana was looking forward to modeling a bikini for him. She found the one she wanted, and changed into it. She left the dressing room to see herself ib the three way mirror. As she admired the suit, she saw a woman approach.
    "You should be outside with the others," said the woman. She was not that much older than Sana, and was strikingly attractive.
    "Oh, I'm not a model."
    "Well, if you'd like to be, call me. The sooner the better." She handed Sana a business card.
    Akira Kudo. Professional Model and Manager of Talent.
    "Thanks." Sana suppressed a laugh. Kudo. She wasn't sure how common a name Kudo was. Could her flabby professor be any relation? Before she could ask, the woman was gone.
    She had been replaced by an admiring Gakusha.
    "I'll buy it if you wear it," he offered.
    "Absolutely." She smiled. "And that perfume I like is right there."
    She saw him pick a bottle up to read the price tag.
    "No, you"re not buying that. Let's see if he will."
    Gakusha thankfully put down the bottle. Beautiful women can be expensive!
    • Robin They may be expensive, but they're worth it :)

      By the way, I really like those small references to the game (Tomoko's bikini shoot was a nice detail).
  • Art of the Sale III: Sana's Date
    Sana always kept a couple of outfits, like gym sweats, around the shop. But she had nothing appropriate for a date. The store had many dresses and other outfits, and so Sana closed the store a few minutes early to pore over them.
    She grabbed a few of the less gaudy selections, locked the front door, and headed to the dressing room. She stripped to her panties and put on a pink dress. It was nice. She found a red dress that was also ...nice.
    The black dress almost dared her to put it on. She did, and marveled at what she saw. Suddenly the right shoes and stockings seemed to be right there.
    She was done, just in time.

    Gakusha could not believe his luck when she opened the door. He followed her progtess as shr locked the door and slowl lowered herself into the car seat. Instinctively, he opened her car door when they got there.
    "How do I look?" She leaned against a pole, and took a model pose.

    "Two please."
    Behind the counter, Ami was friendly, as she cheerfully handed them their tickets. "Enjoy the show."
    She seemed a little less friendly when Gakusha asked for 3D. "They are five more, and you don't need them for that movie."
    "They're not for me. A friend will pick them tomorrow."
    "This friend have a name?"
    Sana had walked back to the booth. "Professor Kudo."

    The car was quiet on the way back.
    "Do you still need other object ideas?"
    "One normally associates glasses with smart people. He had a Men's Health on him. Maybe he has barbells lying around?"
    She laughed. "And where should I put them?"
    "A knife or a sword?"
    "We have plenty of those."
    "How about brass knuckles?"
    "We don't sell those."
    "So buy one."
    "Where's HE going to get one?
    "There's a shop at the beach. We send him there. Or, we buy them and leave them somewhere like the way we left the glasses."
    "The beach? Hmm." Sana seemed lost in thought.
    Gakusha pulled up to the mystic shop. Sana got out.
    "I want you to tell me good night now."
    "OK." He seemed a little sad. "Good night."
    "So this is the end of our first date, yes?"
    "Uh, yes."
    "Don't move."
    Sana moved the best she could in the fancy shoes she was wearing. He saw the door open and close and hr waited.
    A few minutes later, she returned, in sweats, with a couple of towels. "Up that road is the Blue Mountain park. I know a maintenance entrance that takes you all the way to the lake. And you see this?"
    She held up a jar of perfume. "I know the biker shop you are talking about at the beach. It's a couple of doors down from my favorite t-shirt shop. And they sell my favorite perfume. That's our third object."
    "So what do we do with the perfume you have there?"
    She leaned over and kissed him. "I was thinking we could go to the lake and lay our towels out under the stars. Then you could spray this on my naked body."
    "Let's go."
  • Art of the Sale II: Sana's Story
    Sana sipped her tea, then looked at Gakusha.
    "My parents started the store many years ago. At first, it was your typical clothing and gift shop, and we did quite well. My mother was the consummate saleswoman, always wanting to not only sell items to people, but to encourage them to come back. The shop was their little secret. Women would get tips on how beguiling the sheer scarves would be to their man; a husband could buy a cheap perfume, but wouldn't he rather show his wife this pretty bottle of it?
    Business thrived for a while. I was even sent to private schools, like Fukoma. Then one afternoon, she came into the shop dressed in a strange costume. She said that she was a Majokko witch, and her name was Hasu-Ko, the lily. My father and I laughed and played along. We hardly noticed a difference until the monthly shipments came in. Incense. Tapestries. Big brass figurines. Oils and unguents. Father was furious and put all the items in the back room.
    Being young, I turned the new entries into my friends. I had tea with the lion and the dragon. My friends and I draped ourselves in the new textiles. Little did I know the transformation was mother's attempt to drum up a little magic. But it did not work. One morning, there was no Hasu-Ko. And no Mother."
    She dried a tear.
    "Father did the best he could, but he was no salesperson. I left school to help, but customers did not come in the way they did. Then a man came in and offered to rent our back room. I call him Mr. S. His payment covered our mortgage.
    We moved the exotic items to the front and remade the shop as a mystic shop. But business was still slow. One day, Mr. S came out front holding a white dress and asked me to wear it that day for work, and that he would pay me if I did I told myself this is what models do, so I pocketed his money and did it. And when the professor came in, I was to encourage him to return. Early this week, a man in a lab coat comes in. He did not seem to want to buy anything, so instead, I bought a magazine I saw sticking out of his pocket. Men's Health, of all things! It worked. He came back."
    "I see. "
    "I'm sorry. I just unloaded on you, a perfect stranger."
    "No, a friend." Gakusha reached gently for her hand. "What happens next?"
    "I'm not sure. I can't just keep buying magazines."
    "Would he be up to a scavenger hunt? Maybe he could bring you 3-D glasses from the cinema."
    "Do they have them there?"
    "Let's go tonight and find out. When do you close?"
    "Did you want to change first?"
    "I'll pick out something from the shop."
    "Nine it is. And I can't guarantee any Kurosawa movies, but maybe we can find something good to see while we are there."
    Sana was beaming now. She was going on a date!
  • Art of the Sale I: Buying Time
    Gakusha was fond of the path less taken. Normally, his nose was likely to be in a book, quietly sipping tea while reading literature both old and new.
    He had been seeking an old bookstore when he stumbled upon a mystic shop. Chimes rattled as he opened the door. The air smelt of incense. Brass lions and dragons started back at him from the tables as ancient tapestries depicting old battles and young lovers.
    "May I help you?" A young woman with unusually golden hair startled him. She was clothed in an unusual white dress of linen strips that seemed to flow in all directions.
    "I-I'm good. Thanks." He retreated a step. 
    She turned her back and headed to the counter. "OK, then."
    He headed to the front door. Another man entered the shop; Gakusha held the door, but did not leave. 
    The girl smiled at the second man. "Good Morning, Kyoju! What can I help you with today?"
    The man produced a rolled magazine from his pocket. The girl behind the counter smiled broadly.
    "Why, thank you!" The girl fished some money from the register and handed it to the man. "Now bring another tomorrow. See you then!"
    She reached over and kissed the man's hand. Gakusha saw that the magazine was a Time magazine. He waited for the man to leave, then followed him out. 

    Gakusha returned a few minutes later with a Time magazine. He walked directly to the counter. "I hear you are looking for this."
    The blond girl looked mortified. "Um, sure, we collect magazines. We usually want them to be older than this month."
    He looked back at the girl, and was immediately struck by how pretty they were. Especially because she was still smiling.
    "I am Gakusha. And you are..."
    "Would you like to go to lunch? When do you have your break?"
    He watched as she left the counter. "Give me a minute."
    She disappeared into the back. She reemerged a few minutes later in a blue top and jeans.
    "Let's go!" She walked past Gakusha and flipped the sign to CLOSED. " I know just the place."

    The incense store at the mall had a little cafe in front. The smell of brewed coffee mixed with the incense from inside the store gave the whole place a unique, otherworldly feeling.
    Gakusha thought the kid behind the counter looked familiar, and concluded he must have seen him in the hallways of Fukoma.
    "I don't think I've ever been here."
    Sana looked inside. The guy at the counter waved back. "We have done some trading with them before."
    They both sat down.
    "First question." Sana addressed him. "What do you think of Haruki Murakami?"
    "I know of him, but I haven't read his books."
    "Have you ever heard of Raicho Hiratsuka?"
    "The feminist author?"
    "Final question. Favorite Kurosawa film."
    "Seven Samurai."
    She seemed pleased with that answer. "Why all the questions?"
    "I wanted to make sure our conversation would go farther than where I worked and how great a rack I have."
    "Well, why does your shop buy magazines?"
    "That's one reason we are here. Let me start from the beginning..."