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The Many lives of Joyce Summers

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Summary: A series of short stories and vignettes that reveal glimpses of lives in which Joyce Summers was not a gallery owner. Inspired by Challenge 7316

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Joyce-Centered
Television > Colombo
(Current Donor)vidiconFR131240,934716119,61929 Jan 1321 Aug 13No

Butcher, baker, candlestick maker

For AnnaDruvez


Buffy would never understand Joyce’s love of meat and meat by products. The smell of her mother’s kitchen tended to make her ill. Joyce loved meat. Hard meat, soft meat, ground meat, whole meat. Sausages, hams, beef, pork, veal, Joyce Summers love meat.

So when the opportunity came up to buy a de-luxe butcher’s shop in Sunnydale, Joyce pounced. She’d studied the shop’s books and the sales were tremendous, even of normally unsellable items like bones, gristle and blood.

Joyce was certain she would make a bundle. Even if she had to keep open after sundown to make those sales, and even if the town was filled with Halloween nuts and extras from movies. She wondered if she might get some sales from directly approaching whatever movie companies were active in the town. And in the meantime, she kept raking in the money, hand over fist.

Sorry, this was the best I could do with the butcher-thing…



It had started out when she tasted the pastries and cakes on offer at the Espresso Pump. They were awful. So she’d baked a tray full and taken them to the shop and to her surprise, had been offered the position of baker to Pump. As both the Gallery and her house had an oven, the one in the Gallery having been installed by a previous owner who had run a lunchroom from the location, and that Joyce had slated for removal once she had the money, allowed her to bake in the evenings and in the frequent lulls in business at the Gallery.

The Espresso Pump went back to their old supplier when they offered a discount Joyce could not compete with. And she had a huge batch of cakes and pastry prepared. So she rustled up some extra coffee machines and served it in the Gallery. A lot of people apparently preferred her baked over that of the Espresso Pump’s.

So she started serving coffee and cake in the Gallery, and saw an upswing both in customers and sales. Apparently cakes and art were good together. The extra income was a godsend. But people wanted different types of coffee. And Joyce was not familiar with the things they asked her for. So her sales started slipping again.

A few weeks later, she took a tray to a coffee shop in LA, while she was on a buying trip. They loved them, but the distance was too great for Joyce to easily travel every day. But there was a young woman there, who was at a loose end and did know coffee, having worked in coffeeshops before. She even wanted to open her own, someday, but she needed money to do that. Dora needed a job. Joyce needed someone able to run the coffee side of things.

So Joyce hired Dora Bianchi, and Dora came to Sunnydale with her. And went to UCS, since Joyce felt that the girl was wasting her life by just working in coffeeshops, not matter that they might be fun and all she knew. As Joyce pointed out to her new employee, as the latter explained the use of the newly acquired (second-hand) coffeemaker, there was more to life than coffee and black clothes.

Business picked up. Joyce opened a branch in LA, then another, then one in San Fran. The Art of Coffee remained exclusive, serving good coffee and excellent pastries and sarcasm with every cup, and sold art as well. Then Buffy ran away. And things were never the same again. 

And that’s baker. I do not own Dora Bianchi, she’s the property of Jeph Jacques.


*The advantage of having chosen a profession that nobody else had,*  Joyce Summers thought as she studied the heavy silver candelabra that lay on the wide and heavy table before her, *is that people will seek you out when they need you.*

Joyce was a silversmith, an expert in the restoration of silver and gold plate, as well as the jewellery. But she really, really loved silver candlesticks. Behind the heavy armoured glass in her workshop stood works by Tiffany and Cartier, Blanchard, Adler, Dummer, Davis and Revere.

There were few who could match her delicate touch and none who could match her vision. Her current location, far enough away from big cities to discourage idle browsers, but close enough that her exclusive clientele could find her, was ideal.

The discreet little bell over the door rang and she glanced at the monitor that displayed the images from the camera outside. A well dressed man, smiling and middle aged. He seemed familiar too. Joyce stepped out of her workshop, closing first the armoured door, then the second one, then went to open the heavy front door and let in her customer.

“Ms. Summers? My name is Richard Wilkins. I was wondering if you did commissions? I fear it’s a bit gruesome looking, but I got the design from the Sedlec Ossuary.”

Joyce looked at the design. It was quite outré, but certainly would be a challenge.

“What size are you thinking of, Mister Wilkins?” She asked.

“I was thinking about a fifth or sixth of real size?” Wilkins smiled.

“Well, I can do it. But it won’t be cheap. Might I ask what you want it for?” Joyce asked.

Wilkins grinned. “Ah, a friend of mine loves old horror films. And I owe him, a lot. So I thought, what can I give him that would make him happier than a genuine Summers?”

Joyce smiled. “Well, I hope his wife appreciates it as well.”

“I’m sure she will. She’s a good sport,” Wilkins assured her. *And they’ll appreciate the irony when they receive your chained and broken daughter to carry it as well…*



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