The little old man with the extravagant mustache remained in his elegant, obsolete shop, serving his dwindling customers as best he could. They left with mended shoes and a bounce in their steps that they couldn’t quite explain, a cheerful, joyous, expansive sensation. Panhandlers knew the blocks around the shop as better than average, though they’d never have guessed why.
The only clue was the hand-lettered placard below the shop’s name in the big window. Most chuckled when they read it. He’d expected as much, but he was incapable of deception, even by omission. It read: “Shoes repaired. Souls resurfaced.”