THE GREENMARKET MOVES TO THE COURTYARD
The following morning, Phoebe found Sammy and Chester unloading boxes from an old blue van double-parked in front of the coffee shop. White plastic tables were lined up end to end on the sidewalk, and hanging from the front edge was a long white banner with red letters announcing: THE WORLD TREE GREENMARKET. Two dozen boxes were stacked on the curb, and nearby a pile of bulging burlap bags.
A crowd had already gathered. Phoebe began organizing the tables. Sammy and Chester were weighing and bagging produce for a line of customers. The fruits, grains, and vegetables looked and smelled a little different from supermarket produce, and some were a lot different. ‘The food from Wendy’s seeds!’ thought Phoebe. ‘But now it’s grown on the farms! They’re opening up the game.’
Gilligan met Phoebe and they opened the toy store. “I want to hire that boy, Luis, who’s been helping you with the soccer,” he announced. “We need to keep order in the courtyard. No riding skateboards or scooters, soccer in the back only.”
“But that accident yesterday happened out in the street!”
“I don’t care,” Gilligan said. “We need new rules around here. And I noticed you opened up Sammy’s back yard to enlarge your field. What’s our liability?”
“I spoke to Sammy,” she replied. “A lawyer will visit today.”
“I like that,” Gilligan said with a smile. “Hold the fort here, I’m going outside.”
An hour later, Gilligan ran back and blurted out, “Chief Santiago just ordered Sammy to remove his tables! The crowd is angry, and the Chief is asking for you!” Phoebe had her reply all ready: “I’ve got an idea. Offer Sammy the courtyard for his tables, if he’ll keep good order out front. The customers will come in here, and the Chief won’t have to deal with a bunch of angry citizens. Everyone will thank you…”
Gilligan stared into space. “Phoebe, you’re a genius,” he said, and ran back outside.
Two of the boys from the day before arrived, carrying their skateboards. “How’s Joel?” asked Phoebe, jumping up to meet them. “He’s okay,” the older brother said, “only five stitches, he’ll be back tomorrow.” Phoebe clapped her hands and said, “How would you guys like to pick out helmets for each of you and Joel, as a gift from the store? And don’t forget to wear them!” The boys laughed and said, “Yes!”
Stephanie suddenly walked in dressed in her receptionist dress and high heels. “Phoebe!” she cried. “Isn’t this all so fabulous?”
“Absolutely! But what about you? Did you quit?"
“I just walked out two minutes ago. Sammy offered me a job.”
“I’m so happy,” exclaimed Phoebe. “And I want to thank you for the wonderful advice.” She rushed over and jumped into Stephanie’s arms. Stephanie lowered her voice and replied, “But watch out! George had a falling out with his parents and moved into the gas station with Jeremy. They grounded Ellie, and claim that the coffee shop is dangerous. Can you believe it? Bentley and his brother are telling people the same thing. Somebody’s giving them talking points. I couldn’t stand another minute.”
“We’ve got to talk,” Phoebe told her. “Soon!”
PHOEBE COMES HOME (Book I)
PHOEBE BREAKS THROUGH (Book II)
And The Upcoming...GHOST GIRL (Book III)
by John KixMiller
The Greenmarket Moves To The Court Yard illustration
by Carlos Uribe
Learn More About Phoebe And The Players In Middletown!