Charles pulls up his turtleneck a bit at a cold gust of wind and runs a hand through his hair, finding it nice to be out of the base even though it was getting colder and colder every day. He already had a bag or two of goodies from the store he’d found, and after setting them back in the company truck, he decides to stop by Palmer’s Drugs to stock up on candy and cigarettes. And probably some cold medicine as well, just in case they couldn’t get shipments in later in the season.
Despite his definitely-not-from-around-here appearance, Charles went relatively unnoticed as he entered the store. He was used to blending in—really all it took was a modification of body language. A slouch and an uninterested glance goes a long way when someone’s not specifically looking for you. But he really was fascinated with everything in the stores. What might have been boring to most was strangely new to him. America was such an interesting place, all the small minute differences he wouldn’t have thought of were fun to find—like how the grocer wasn’t mad when he didn’t have exact change, or just how the street signs look. It wasn’t until now that he realized that he had been in America for quite a few months but hadn’t really gone exploring.
On the way to what looked like the candy section of the store, he spots a book rack and instantly stops. Hmm…most of them looked like dime store novels—generic romantics full of John Does (no pun intended) and Mary Sues. But one novel catches his eye…hmm, he wonders who Patricia Highsmith is…Picking up the novel he looks over the front, which reads: “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” This could be interesting…turning the book over to read the back, he squints his eyes to get them to focus on the small print, not really paying attention to anyone else in the store.