Lawrentian Gothic “Money Problems”

After recently earning $7.25, you decide to go into town to see what you can buy. Downtown Appleton is just a hop, skip and a jump from Lawrence, so within a minute you’re in the thick of it. You’re surrounded by a plethora of quirky shops, food venues and rug stores.

The first quirky venue you decide to enter is Blue Moon Emporium. The blue paint job fills you with a sense of calm. You feel as if you could fix the world’s problems just by standing in this shop’s doorway. But instead of standing in the doorway for an inordinate amount of time, you step inside the shop. Immediately you are overwhelmed by a plethora of voices that whisper, “student discount.” Your pockets start to feel very light as all your change leaks from your pockets in an attempt to support the lovely small business. Not wanting to lose all your money, you quickly escape. You check your pockets after you leave and learn you only have $6.50 left.

After that close run in with almost losing all of your money, you decide to see what’s in the city center. After all, it’s such a big establishment—there must be a lot of good stuff in there! You step inside the building to find an advertisement from the 1980s and a tumbleweed. Upon learning you could not purchase the tumbleweed, you head out.

As you start down the street again, you feel a pull to your left. You notice that all the trashcan lids are popped open and you feel the intense desire to climb inside one. You aimlessly wander across the street and stand before them. However, your will is broken by the lights from the fountain in Houdini Plaza. The pull from this delightful array of lights is stronger than any you have ever felt, and you glide towards them mindlessly. Right before you are about to be plunged into the finite depths of the pool, the smell of fresh cooked burgers hooks you in. The smell originates from Appleton’s very own burger bar. You step inside that establishment and pick up a menu. However, you realize that you only have $6.50 after your run-in with Blue Moon Emporium. You can’t properly tip the staff if you order, so you decide not to order and go back on your way.

Having just avoided the most difficult part of your journey, you start towards the Radisson hotel. However, you also know that you can’t even afford to glance at that establishment without having to pay a fine, so you decide to cross the street. You step off the sidewalk and completely stop traffic around you as you make your way across. The pedestrian is always right. This is why Appletownies hate Lawrence Students. You are then faced with the Chase bank and realize that there are no people inside. It appears to be the largest business on the street, yet you’ve never gone inside. What would happen if you were to go inside? You think back to that Lawrence student who mysteriously went missing a month ago. A wave of fear rolls over you and you move on.

You continue for some time. Eventually you come across the Appleton Costume Shop. There are recent cutouts in the window, but no one is in the store. You try the door but it doesn’t open. You look for hours, but there are none. There is only a number to call. You try to call it, but it tells you to head home. You shrug and decide to do just that. The land past Walgreens is but a barren wasteland anyway. You decide that your $6.50 would be best spent at Target on Mac and Cheese, so you start to plan your next outing on your way back.