The Tale of Nathan Crisp (Tales of Riverdale fan-fiction)


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Preamble: This time, we're taking a look at a previously untold tale from the gang's senior year at Riverdale High, the story of a blind shoe salesman dealing with discrimination, depression, and despair, all at once. All characters copyright Archie Comics, save for new characters created for this story.

Chapter 1:

When Fashionably Smart Shoes opened in downtown Riverdale in the winter of 2014, it served as a complement to New Dimensions Fashions just down the street. Owner Jonathan Thurman employed three salesmen, his sons Jon, Jr. & Nick, and Nathan Crisp, 38, who at the time of the store's opening was married to Thurman's daughter, Muriel.

On February 16, the Crisps were on their way home from a dinner date when their car skidded off the road, and crashed into a pair of trees in a nearby wooded area. Muriel was pronounced dead at the scene. Nathan survived, but fate was exceptionally cruel. He went blind as a result of the accident. Jonathan Thurman, Sr. hired an investigator to look into the accident, and discovered that there had been an oil spill that had not been cleaned up, the result of neglect on the part of county employees. After two months of rehabilitation, Nathan returned to work, usually assisted by Nick or JJ. The girls of New Dimensions, with the notable exceptions of Midge Klump and Veronica Lodge, were regular customers. Midge couldn't take a chance on poor Nathan drawing the anger of her beau, Marmaduke "Moose" Mason, while Veronica preferred custom designed shoes & sneakers the Thurmans couldn't afford to import from overseas.
In November, after Veronica and Betty Cooper had left for a foreign exchange program in Europe, Nathan ran into a problem he wasn't prepared for.

On Veteran's Day, November 11, Nick waited on Lesley & Linda Ellis, the twin daughters of Lucinda Ellis, the influential president of the ladies auxillary of the First Reformed Church of Riverdale. At the same time, Nathan & JJ were attending to Sabrina Spellman, who was buying a new pair of shoes for a pending holiday dance at Riverdale High, scheduled for December 20. As Nathan palmed the soles of Sabrina's nylon-covered feet, she reached out to him, and put his hand in hers.

"There is no need for that right now.", she whispered. "We have some unfriendly company on the other side.", referring to the Ellis twins.

"S-s-s-s-sorry.", Nathan stammered. "But thank you. You are so kind."

Sabrina paid for her purchase, and departed 10 minutes later, leaving Nathan a business card for the Victory Garden, the vegetarian restaurant her aunts owned. Aunt Zelda was interested in helping Nathan get over his loss after 9 months of mourning. The card was printed in braille, especially for Nathan. As she left, she warned Jonathan, Sr., who was at the counter, about the twins.

"Nate's been kinda uncomfortable waiting on certain customers since Muriel died.", he said. "The Ellis sisters and their mother are nothing but trouble. Always trying to dig up dirt on me and on my boys, but so far, they haven't been able to make anything stick."

"Maybe next time, Mr. Crisp can use one of the fitting rooms to work with me or any of my co-workers, out of danger.", Sabrina suggested.

"Hmm, there's plenty of room in those kiosks, Sabrina. You might have something there."
Zelda, with Sabrina's help, had arranged for Nathan to be her date for the Riverdale High Christmas Pageant on December 21, while Hilda would be with her steady, assistant principal Thomas Kraft. However, when they reached Nathan's house, Sabrina noticed it'd been boarded up.

"This is the address, right, Aunt Hilda?", she asked.

"Yes, it is, but why is it boarded? He couldn't have moved out."

"He didn't. He was forced out earlier today."

The speaker was Lucius Malone, a neighbor.

"Poor Nate was carted out of here in handcuffs. City's coming to empty the apartment tomorrow. Poor guy's going to have a lonely Christmas in jail."

"Jail?" Zelda repeated. "What did he do?"

"Inappropriate sexual contact with a minor. Swears up and down he didn't do anything, but the cops ain't buying."

"Was this an anonymous tip?", Tom asked.

"Yes, according to the arresting officer. Seems the building owner was in a mad hurry to get him outta here."

"The owner wouldn't happen to be Lucy Ellis, would it?"

"Why, that's right! How did you know?"

"Her daughters are habitual liars.", Kraft replied. "Their mom was unsuccessful in gaining a seat on the school board, so they're running a smear campaign against the Thurmans and anyone associated with them. JJ Thurman beat her in a run-off election two weeks ago. I'd like to see those two girls serve time in detention or a suspension, but their mom would raise a fuss."
With Riverdale High starting a two week Christmas vacation, Sabrina was back at work the next day at New Dimensions. Around 2 pm, Nick Thurman rushed in.

"Sabrina? You've got to come over. We've got a problem!"

"What sort of problem?", she asked.

"Lucy Ellis and her brats have struck again. Now, they're taking my dad to jail!"
To be continued.


Well-Known Member
Chapter 2:

After her shift ended an hour later, Sabrina paid a call on police chief Robert Bolling.

"Jon Thurman & Nate Crisp have both been released, charges dropped.", he said. "Witnesses came forward to debunk Lesley Ellis' lies about them from the other day."

"What sort of lies?"

"Lesley claimed that when she was in the store the other day, Nathan ran his hands up her legs, almost under her skirt. However, witnesses said he was only palming the feet of another customer on the other side of the store."

"So why would she lie so blantantly?"

"Lucy's not content with being the president of the Ladies' Auxillary at the church. She wants what Jon Thurman has, a seat on the school board, even though she was beaten fair & square. She's drunk with power, and will smear anyone she opposes to get her way. I'm on the board myself, and I have seen what kind of shrew we're dealing with."
Nathan was given his apartment and personal belongings back by the end of the day. His landlady, Mrs. Ellen Keyes, apologized for Lucy Ellis' actions.

"She owns the building, and has me here as manager, but it's not enough for her anymore.", she said. "I wish there was something that could be done to put a stop to her harrassment."

"It has to do with the Thurmans.", Nathan said. "They're so kind and generous, unlike Mrs. Ellis, who sent her daughters to spy on me, that's what they did."

" it true what they were saying?"

"No. I simply palmed the feet of one young lady, who was very kind, and called my attention to the Ellis twins. I went no further than the soles."
On Christmas Eve, Nathan was a guest of the Thurmans at church. Lucy and her daughters were on the other side of the pews, plotting again.

"When they collect the offering," she said, "take the money and put it in that blind fool's pocket."

"Do we want to risk that?", Linda asked. "Chief Bolling is here with his family."

"Blast the luck."

What was worse for the Ellis women was the fact that Tom Kraft brought Hilda along as his "date", and brought Sabrina along, too, although her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle, was home. They took their seats behind Nathan and the Thurmans.

"Look at those three, huddling like rats.", Tom said. "Nothing good can come of this."

"No, but it is Christmas.", Hilda cautioned.

"Lucy's heart is made of ice.", Sabrina whispered. "Black ice, but still, ice."

Tom stifled a chuckle as the service began. About halfway, he was called up to the pulpit to read from the gospel of St. Luke, which had been planned in advance, as several Riverdale students, aside from Sabrina, were in attendance. But, just before the service ended, Lucy made her move. She claimed to have gotten a vision from God Himself, claiming the presence of "unholy" witches, which would blow Hilda & Sabrina's cover, if it was not for the fact that Sabrina sensed something else.

"She wants to out us to hide her own truth.", she whispered to Hilda. "Excuse me. I'll be right back."

Sabrina stepped out into the empty foyer, concentrated, and transformed into Mystyk, then teleported back into the sanctuary. Her sudden presence caught Lucy by surprise.

"If you claim to be bearing the Word of God, Lucy Ellis, then why don't you show the congregation you can heal a man of his affliction!", she called, referring to Nathan.

"I will do no such thing, you faceless demon!", Lucy shrieked in response. "Begone, foul thing!"

With a wave of her hand, Lucy sent Mystyk out of the sanctuary. Fortunately, Pureheart the Powerful happened by, and caught his friend.

"You could use some help, I take it?", he asked.

"Yes, I could, Pureheart. But be on your guard. Lucy Ellis is a witch!"

Seconds later, the pair flew into the sanctuary, only to be rebuffed again by Lucy. Knowing who was under Mystyk's mask, Hilda took action.

"Sabrina was right.", she whispered. "Lucy is a witch, and needs to be stopped."

"Any ideas?", Tom asked.

"Just one."

But before either one could make a move, Nick Thurman slipped behind Lucy.

"No, Lucy, you are foul within. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, begone from this vessel, demon spirit!"

At that very moment, Lucy collapsed, and the demons emerged, seeking new hosts. Mystyk and Pureheart, having recovered, drove them out, then disappeared into the night, their work done. Minutes later, Sabrina returned to the sanctuary, just in time to see Nick perform the healing that Mystyk had challenged Lucy to perform a short time prior. Nathan fell on his knees, and dropped his cane. A few moments later, he rose to his feet. Jon, Jr. offered him his cane, but he waved it away.

Nathan then stepped to the pulpit.

"I came here tonight, blind and discouraged, but as God is my Witness, I am healed!!"
The following Sunday, Lucy returned, and confessed that she'd let her anger over losing the school board election overcome her, and she'd been possessed by a demon these last few weeks. Lesley admitted she filed a false report because her mother wanted the Fashionably Smart Shoes building for herself, or, more specifically, the demon controlling her wanted it.

The next day, the twins met with Kraft in his office, apologetic for their actions not only toward other students, but to Kraft and Nathan, and other adults. They wondered how Sabrina had discerned their mother's secret.

"She's an amateur detective.", Kraft explained, covering for Sabrina's powers in both of her identities.
In chapter 3, we'll see why the shoe store is so coveted.


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