One like = one fact about the run down strip mall at the corner of Never and Was

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Let's try that without the typo (And there were two likes, so I'll get em)

The little ice cream shop has 52 flavors and no vanilla, all served in paper cups and sprinkles are not optional.

There's a chunk broken out of the sidewalk where a tall but otherwise unmemorable visitor dropped his sledgehammer after being surprised by an angry plague of grackles.

The shop that was once a mattress store and once a home electronics store and once a mattress store before that stands empty, its windows covered with red tape because red keeps ghosts out and in.

The costume shop is open all year round, not just at Halloween, and has a massive selection of carnivale masks that are never sold for money.

A shrub grows upside down with its roots climbing higher and higher up the fire lane sign, which it will one day consume.

All of the other shrubs on that side a burnt, black sticks that haven't ever been removed after the fire that destroyed the old candy shop from within.

The candy shop has since been replaced by a thrift store. The smell of burnt caramel squeezes up from under the foundations on hot days and makes everything faintly sticky.

The payday lender stands empty with its door an open hollow. That's where the grackles live, after they declared paper and electronic money anathema and peanuts the only currency.

The little gas station has only two pumps, and one of them is always broken. No one buys gas anyway. They throw their peanuts in the parking lot and walk away with coffee that tastes like burnt metal and cigarettes that trail green smoke.

In the winter, the parking lot turns into one massive sheet of ice that the ice cream shop owner keeps smooth. No one skates on it, but it's cut like filigree each morning.

The clerk at the gas station owns rolls and rolls of red masking tape and duct tape and keeps them stored in the fridge behind the cases of energy drinks.

A single chain dangles from the ceiling of the old mattress store. It showed up after the windows and doors were trapped, and sways gently even though not even the dust moves inside.

Cell phones work in the costume shop, but they will only text one number, which returns answers no one wants.

The best selling flavor of the ice cream shop is cherry, which is the color of peptoand dotted with black fleshy fruit, and they always run out before you can get there to ask for it.

An elderly person sells burritos out of a cooler in the parking lot, and watermelons on Saturday. The watermelons spoons like drums when you tap them, each a different pitch.

A permanent shadow is burned into the sidewalk outside the mattress store, tall and thin with no head and too many fingers.

The grackles hold weekly meetings in the old payday lender. They're halfway through writing a new constitution, peeked in delicate Morse code on receipts.

The grackles remember everything that has ever happened here; the humans are too afraid to ask them.

The least expensive item in the costume skip that isn't a mask is a cloak of iridescent blue-black feathers. No one buys it because they are afraid to wear it.

Now and then a person with their face covered will go to the costume shop and purchase a mask. They leave through the back door, their bones as light as air, and fly away.

Someone stole the manhole cover to the storm sewer that sits in the center of the cracked parking lot. A net of red duct tape covers the opening now.

The person who stole the manhole cover was short and stout and needed the money in trade for the iron, though not enough to be worth having a watery whisper always on their shoulder.

The day the mattress store emptied out of everything, a delivery truck has been at its dock for 48 hours, quaking faintly on its shocks.

The convenience store is open 24 hours, but between midnight and three AM, the clerk has a nose like a beak and angry yellow eyes, and does not speak.

The night of the delivery truck, the costume shop was open late to outfit an opera that would perform for only one night.

The woman who runs the thrift store is the most beautiful in the world. She has crooked teeth and brown eyes and is soft and round and impeccably dressed. She never has any coats for sale because she gives them away.

The least popular flavor in the ice cream shop is butter pecan, which no one has bought since the tall man left his job at the mattress store.

The man who runs the thrift store is the most beautiful in the world. He has crooked teeth and brown eyes and is soft and round and impeccably dressed. He never has any coats for sale because he gives them away.

No children are allowed in the costume shop, because once they disappear between its racks, they emerge only years later as puzzled adults who cannot speak, only croak and click.

No matter how hot it is in the summer, frost forms on the windows of the old mattress store, until the sun dares to burn it off.

Only one tree has survived ask the years at the strip mall, a green elm whose bark is strange and bubbly where it's entombed the beetles that once tried to eat it.

The grackles sleep in the green elm when they aren't passing laws. The pavement under it is white and chalky thanks to them.

Sometimes white, chalky footprints lead from the elm to the mattress store and stop at the windows, blurred and overlaid a hundred times.

The night the delivery truck sat at the mattress store, the ice cream shop was open late because the thrift store owner wanted to treat everyone to cold ice cream on a hot night.

There were delivery trucks at the mattress store all the time. What was different that night when emptiness came? Nothing. Everything.

If you peer through the lines of red tape on the windows, you can see shards of layered paper on the floor of the old mattress store, brightly colored with paint.

There is a single blank space on the carnivale mask wall of the costume shop, an empty peg to let you know that something was once here and you should remember that.

The person who runs the thrift store never has clothes in your size, because someone who needed them far more has already gotten them.

Dots of blood used to show up on the loading docks, hanks of hair no bird would touch, the broken white shards of fingernails.

The person who runs the thrift shop wore a mask once, and the owner of the ice cream shop and the convenience store night clerk volunteered to pay the price for them. The costume shop proprietor found a discount was possible, but only a small one.

At three AM the night clerk with angry yellow eyes sits on the curb of the convenience store and drinks a coke, watching the ghostly handprints in the windows of the mattress store appear and fade away.

Concrete is thirsty and grackles never forget.

The thin, terrible carpet of the mattress store used to be replaced once a month. The store owner claimed it was the caramel from the candy shop seeping through, but the mattress store only ever smelled like metal.

The sledgehammer that once got dropped on the sidewalk lives in the back of the ice cream shop now, hung wth additions and towels.

Once upon a time, the evil dark of a mattress store that wasn't really a mattress store shredded into a thousand shards that became grackles and whirled around a soft, round person who believes in coats for the cold and justice for the living.

Grackles believe in justice for the dead. It's the first law they passed from their green elm parliament, and it's written over the mattress store a thousand times in scratches and pecks.

But the best flavor at the ice cream shop is actually white pepper and chocolate, and you ought to try it.