Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Rystelle
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The best thing about the Krazy Kandy candy shop was not only did they stock already made candy from companies like Hershey's, but they also made their own. Krazy Kandy made lollipops, taffy, chocolate covered rice crispie treats, and assorted flavored and filled chocolates. Oooooooh, the chocolates. There were ones filled with caramel, fudge, orange cream, fruit jellies. Amaretto flavored chocolates and coffee flavored chocolates. During certain seasons they had flavors they made only during that time, certain decorations they used. What Sophia really loved was that you could by boxes of varying sizes and fill them up with assorted chocolates. It was a lot better than the assorted boxes sold in stores.

Sophia was almost drooling.

And Tim agreed to go.

"Yay!" Sophia cried happily as she was completely overcome with excitement. She couldn't wait to see what they might have out at the moment. Maybe they'd have eggnog chocolates, or cinnamon ones, gingerbread flavored, little marshmallow snowmen, chocolate covered pretzels made to look like Christmas trees.

Sophia's face was shining with excitement and she happily squeezed Tim's hand while declaring, "Let's go then!" She tugged Tim toward the town square and Krazy Kandy with a happy spring in her step.
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Tim couldn't help but smile as she tugged him down the street, trudging through the snow in a desperate attempt to make it to the only candy store in town. It was adorable and fantastic and it made him incredibly happy and excited to be hanging around her. He let her lead the way, because god knows she knew exactly where the store was. She had probably been there hundreds of times. Hell, she was probably the best t customer they had at the store. They made their way through the station square area and down into a much more secluded area of the city, one that you had to search around for. It was almost like an alleyway of sorts that you had to go through to find this particular area.

"I've only been here, like, three times..." Tim said softly, looking around a the various strangely decorated stores and buildings. "It always sorta freaked me out."
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Rystelle
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"I think it's cool," Sophia said with a warm smile as she navigated the maze of streets.

The part of town they were currently in was a lot older than the rest of the city, and it showed. The buildings were smaller, the roads were narrow and made of brick, and the shop signs were all hand-painted. There were neat little gardens and climbing ivy carefully tended to in order to make sure it didn't grow too wild. Overall this old shopping district was cleaner and quieter than the rest of the city, which suited Sophia perfectly fine. Most of this area's inhabitants were also older, but they were all polite and patient. To Sophia, stepping into this part of town was like stepping back in time.

There was an antique shop, the candy shop, a small clothing store, a bakery, a toy store, and a general store just to name a few. And the best part? Most of these places continued to make a lot of their products by hand even to this day. The candy store was by far the most modern business in this area, but for as much mass-produced candy that they stocked they made just as much from old family recipes.

"There's Krazy Kandy!" Sophia exclaimed happily as the colorful store came into view.
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While it still fit into the rather rustic look of the rest of the hidden square of shops, Krazy Kandy still stood out from the others, in more ways than just one. While all of the shops were made out of basic red bricks which were dirty and faded after all of the years they stood there, Krazy Kandy's were painted a dull but eye catching pinkish color. It was chipping away practically everywhere, and much like the other shops, it was faded and covered in a layer of dirt and dust, but one could tell that back in the 80's or the 90's, this shop stood out among the others. Hell, it still did. There were small, hanging gardens coming from the apartment windows above the shop, filled with vibrant, blue flowers. There was no sign for the shop, it was simply hand painted onto the brick.

"Never been in there before." Tim said quietly, giving the shop a once over as they got closer. "I never really had a reason too, and, plus, like I said, I dont come here all that much... Is it cool?"
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Rystelle
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"Oh yeah!" Sophia chirruped happily. "It's really cool. They have all sorts of neat candy from all over the world that they sell. American candies like Hersheys, Asian candies, stuff from Europe. They make a ton of stuff themselves though. Chocolates, lollipops and taffy, cotton candy of all flavors." Sophia's mouth was watering just thinking about it. She was always careful not to buy too much at once though because she worried about getting cavities or gaining weight. She drank enough coffee from the shop as it was and reminded herself that she needed to cut back on that and go on walks more often. Maybe she could get Tim to go with her.

The local park--not the state one but the one inside the city--would soon be awash with Christmas lights and decorations. If the snow kept falling it would be perfect for making snowmen and having snowball fights. The ice skating rink was also opening up, though you could also skate on the pond at the park when the ice was thick enough. Just thinking of all the winter activities they could do together made Sophia feel warm inside. For a time she could forget all about the ominous text from David.

Tim's hand still in hers, she smiled at him and said, "Come on, Tim. Let's go in." They headed inside together and it was as if they had stepped into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.
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Tim gave the place a quick once over. He had to admit, the initial entrance was a little...overwhelming, to be completely honest. With the way Sophia had been talking it up, he was sort of expecting an incredibly crazy and complex series of shelving units and overall complete craziness. And yes, the craziness was there, but it was much more than he was mentally prepared for.

He was met with something that seemed to have exploded out of a ten year old's brain and into reality. Bright colors splashed against the walls, the floors, the shelves, everywhere. IT somehow seemed to be futuristic, far too advanced for the world it was currently in, seemingly alien, almost. You couldn't tell where the shelves ended and the candy began, Everything seemed to be one with the other.

The store was sleepy that day. There were no other customers in the store, which Tim thought was a little strange. Maybe everyone was out, busy, etc. Sophia had abandoned Tim by this point. Not on purpose, of course, but in her excitment, she was unable to stop herself from rushing to the oppsite end of the store. And could he really blame her? It was pretty fucking extraordinary. He crossed his arms, breathing in sharply before exhaling loudly. He looked over towards the counter, trying his hardest to fit into the store, blend into his surroundings. The only other person in the store was the clerk, who was a tired looking teenager, leaning on the counter, head resting on his hand as he mindlessly chewed at some sort of licorice rope, scrolling through his phone as he did so. His nametag read:

Hello, my name is JON.

He looked up, made eye contact with him, and gave him a warm, genuine smile.

"Hi there." He said, his voice tired, yet welcoming. "I havent seen you or your friend here before, so I'm guessin' you're new to this place, yeah?"

Tim gave a small nod, trying, and failing, to find the proper words.

"Thats totes fine." Jon said, sliding his phone into his back pocket. "I'.ve only been workin' here for, like, two months. I'm still new, too."

Tim chuckled a little, looking down, then back up. "Um, y-yeah?" He said, trying to converse with the kid. It was uncharted territory. "I, uh, I dont really come to this art of town, really. It's so secluded, y'know? MAkes me, um, uncomfortable."
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Rystelle
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It had been a while since Sophia had come to Krazy Kandy. Just being there made her giddy and already she was having trouble deciding what she wanted to get. She turned to ask Tim his opinion, but he wasn't there with her. She had rushed ahead, she realized, and he was still at the front of the story left alone with the cashier. Quickly she made her way back to Tim, slipping her arm through his and giving it a gentle squeeze of reassurance. "Sorry about that," she apologized to Tim profusely. "I didn't mean to leave you. I just got excited is all."

"Hello, miss," Jon the cashier greeted. "First time here too?"

Sophia shook her head. "No," she replied with a smile. "I've been here several times, but it's been a while. Do y'all have any holiday specialties out yet?" That was what she was really looking for right now.

Perking up, Jon said, "Oh, yeah! We have all sorts of things put out just this morning. If you'll just step this way..." He moved over to his right a bit--their left--to a case filled with all sorts of individual chocolates and chocolate confectioneries. Sophia stepped over to the case, but she kept her arm intertwined with Tim's, not wanting to leave him alone again. All the chocolates were labeled, but since some flavors were year-round and some holiday specials, Jon took the time to point them out. There were peppermint chocolates bites and peppermint bark, chocolates with eggnog cream, chocolate covered gingerbread men, chocolate covered marshmallows that look like snowmen, chocolate covered pretzel rods made to look like Christmas trees, then there was chocolates filled with fruit jellies and flavored creams, peanut butter, caramel, fudge, nuts. It all looked really good.

"Is there anything in particular you want to try, Tim?" Sophia asked, beaming up at him happily. "Or would you like to look through the rest of the store first and then make a decision?'
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Tim listened as Jon listed off the various candies they had in stock in the store. It was sort of blowing his mind. He didnt know there was really...well, this much variety. He always assumed that all candies were just knock offs of each other. He was unprepared to be met with so many choices. Where the hell was he supposed to start with all of this? How could one man be given this much power? He thought for a moment, shrugging his shoulders awkwardly before giving her an answer.

"Just, y'know, take me to the best stuff." He said, pointing off to a random spot in the store for emphasis. "Im sure theres something in here somewhere that I'll like, right?"

"Oh, I'm sure of it!" Jon said, leaning forewards on the counter with a wide smile. "Seriously, before I started working here, I wasnt even a big fan of candy. I just took the job because I needed money, but like... now I think I can truly consider myself a fanatic, y'know?

He laughed at his own joke. A very unique and stand out laugh of sorts, leaning back, throwing his head into the sky as he did. He was a funny man.

"Just try stuff until you find what you like!" He said, collecting himself. "You're allowed to sample the candies, so dont worry about that kinda thing!"
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"Thanks," Sophia told the store clerk with another smile. She already knew about being allowed to sample the candy, of course, but it was nice of him to let Tim know. From Tim's reaction she could tell he was a bit overwhelmed by everything. Taking him to a quieter part of the store and away from Jon--he was a nice guy, but he was kind of loud--might calm him down a bit she figured. So with his hand still in hers, Sophia picked a spot of the store to check out and led Tim over there.

Together they disappeared around the corner of a shelf so they were out of sight of the counter and Jon. The aisle they were on consisted of various gummy candy on one side, and hard candy on the other. Among the gummies were things like peach rings, gummy worms, and jelly beans sorted by flavor. The hard candy had a large variety of things to be found: lemon drops, jaw breakers, rock candy, mints, and ribbon candy. All around there were small signs saying, 'Feel free to sample!'. Most of these candies were in clear containers with lids to help keep them fresh, and there were tongs that you could use to pick out a single piece or else put what you want in the paper bags that were located nearby. Here you could buy candy by the ounce. To make it easier to find out how much you had there was a whimsical scale on which to weigh your bag of candy. They'd weigh it again at the front counter when you went to pay.

"This looks good," Sophia announced. Then more quietly she added, "You seemed a bit overwhelmed so I thought somewhere quieter and out of sight would be a good place to start. Sorry about that, Tim." If she had known that there would be someone so loud and rambunctious running the store front today, Sophia would have waited for another day when one of the store owners--who were older and quieter--was running the shop to come. Then again, she herself could be a bit loud and rambunctious sometimes. She hoped she didn't wear Tim out too much...
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Tim Smiled a bit as she talked, letting his eyes scan the various candies as he crossed his arms over his chest, letting out a small sigh as his eyes landed on something long, colorful, and glazed with sugar. He reached out, tugging one of the long rope-like candies out of its compartment, turning it over in his hands, observing it for a moment before he put it to his mouth, biting off small piece of it near the end. His tongue was immediately assaulted with a sweet, syrupy, nearly painful amount of sugar. His jaw was actually tingling as he chewed into whatever the hell it was. He pulled a face, one that could easily be read as what the actual fuck? before placing the thing back where it came from.

"Ack... no, I'm fine, actually." Tim said, gritting his teeth for a moment, getting his bearings before continuing. "Um, y'know, usually, I would have been a bit of a wreck in that situation, like, socially and physically. Just, imagine a, like, a brutal train wreck. That would have been me. But, I dunno, lately I've been handling these situations with a bit more... ease, I think. I mean, that guy overwhelmed me, yeah, he was super exciting and, and charismatic and stuff, but I didn't freak out or get scared, like I would have a few months ago. I think I have you to thank for that, taking me out and forcing me to interact with people more often."

He looked over at Sophia for a moment, just to check if she was still listening.

"So, y'know, thanks and stuff."
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Sophia couldn't help but beam happily. Hearing that Tim himself felt as if he could handle other people better now made her less worried about the shy, awkward young man. She wanted him to be able to enjoy going out and being around others without having to worry so much. He needed to make friends other than just her. To be honest, though, Sophia also really looked forward to the day when Tim could be perfectly at ease around her. Maybe then she could tell him how she was feeling for him.

"Just trying to help out," Sophia said, giving her friend a smile. Having noticed Tim had picked one of the more sweeter candies just a bit ago, the young woman turned to the rows of candy in search of something not as potent. She came across some gummies that were round and shape and varied in color of the fruit they were flavored for. Inside of the round gummies were a bit of juice that would burst out when it was bitten into. It was refreshing, really.

After staring at the various colors for a minute, she picked up an orange colored, orange flavored one and turned to Tim with it. "Here," she offered kindly. "These gummies aren't as sweet as that candy rope you had. You might like it better."
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Tim turned the small, gummy candy over in his hands a few times before biting down on it It was alright at first. Consistency was good, the taste was perfectly adequate, and chewing into it wasn't all that bad. However, when his canines hit the center of the candy, a sticky, gooey substance leaked out of the center, coating his tongue, assaulting it yet again with an incredible amount of sugary attacks. Tim, again, made a face before forcing himself to swallow the candy, shaking his head a bit as a shiver radiated up his spine. Does everything in this place have to be so damn sweet all the time, cant they mute the flavors or something like that?

"Oh, gosh, wow." He said, composing himself some. "That, um, that is... yeah."

He noticed the look sophia was giving him.

"Yeah, sorry. I cant handle sweet things too well. Well, sweet things I can handle but sugary things are in a whole different ballpark. Ever since I was a kid, y'know? Sugar just hurts me in large quantities, to be honest with you. There aren't many candies out there for me."

He thought for a moment.

"Well, there arent many good ones, anyway." He added, chuckling a bit. "Guess I shoulda mentioned that before we, y'know, went to the candy shop, right?"
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Sophia felt her heart drop into her stomach, and at the same time her face drained of all its color. "Oh," she mumbled as she stuffed her hands in her jacket pockets and stared down at her feet--something she usually did when she was embarrassed. In her pockets where Tim couldn't see, she clenched her hands into tight fists until she felt her nails digging into the skin on her palms. How could she have been so stupid? Tim had eaten dessert at her house on Thanksgiving Day and he had seemed excited to come to the candy store, so she had assumed he liked sweet things. But, as it turned out, he didn't like extremely sugary things and Sophia had managed to take him to the one place filled with them. She felt so stupid.

"I-I'm sorry, Tim," the young woman stammered out her apology. She finally managed to look at him and give him a weak smile, but on the inside she felt like screaming. Color had finally returned to her cheeks only it was in the form of a deep blush. "Let's get out of here then." Without waiting for a response she headed for the door. The clerk called after her, asking if she was going to get anything, but she brushed him off, replying quickly, "Not today, thanks." Despite that, he still told them to have a nice day and to come back again. Sophia wasn't really sure if she would. At least not if Tim was with her.

Once outside the candy shop the cold hit her full-force. At least now her entire face would be red so it would be harder to tell if she was blushing. When Tim was at her side again, Sophia said, "We'll, um... we'll go wherever you want to go this time. Hobby shop, book store, toy store, home. Whatever." They had left his apartment not that long ago, but she didn't want to make the same mistake of bringing Tim somewhere he didn't care for again. If he wanted to go home then that was fine, but if he did then maybe afterwards she'd just take her stack of the books from the library, head back to her own apartment, and work on trying to figure out more about the mysterious tunnels that kept popping up and the strange world they lead to.
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Tim, who had been hit by a total curve ball with Sophia's emotions, was trying his hardest to keep up with what exactly had just happened. That, combined with the cold, was a very discombobulating thing for him to experience. He rushed to her side, listening hard, zipping up his jacket as she quietly mumbled about other things that the two of them could do, suddenly distant and flustered. He pushed his hands into his pocket, trying to keep pace, eyes scanning the horizon as they walked. Had he said something weird in the store? Was it wrong? He really just wanted to hang out, he didnt necessarily have any problems going where she wanted to go.

"Uh, we could... I dunno. Did I say something? I-In the store?" Tim said, timidly, moving in front of her now, walking backwards, keeping pace with her pretty evenly. "I just dont really eat too much sugary candies. Normal gummies are more my speed. I went because you wanted to go, thats all."

He watched her face, looking for a reaction, something to read. He also silently applauded himself for, for the first time in quite some time, actually being able to confront a situation rather than let it fester for too long, unspoken. He spent a moment with that, then brought himself back to the situation at hand.

"I just like hangin' out, thats all."
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