I slot the key into the lock and turn it. With my foot on the bottom of the rotten door frame, I push open the door, and step into the shop. The post under my feet crunches. I shut the door and crouch down to scoop them up. Tentatively I weave my way through Betty Boop statues, and Bamboo side tables to the back of the room, where I place the post on the till, which leaves my fingers coated in grime.
My phone bings. I swipe up the screen. Name: Dani. I put the phone to my ear. ‘Hello.’ I say.
‘Hi’ Dani says. ‘Can you see me?’
‘Now, later, tonight. Whenever.’
‘I can’t, really. I have a doctor’s appointment, then I go to the council, and the Jobcentre. Then I have to do some shopping.’
‘OK. See ya when I see ya then.’
I scratch my shoulder, pulling the vodka out of the plastic bag I bought in with me. I take out the plastic cups, and rip off the wrapping, slipping a cup from the bottom of the tube. My hand shakes as I pour the vodka into the cup, and put the bottle down on the till, sliding a small bottle of lemonade from the bag, and topping it up.
A carriage clock ticks. Ominous. I can’t stand the ticking of a clock. I will have to find a way to silence them. All of them. My eyes run along the shelves of clocks: glinting silver, and gold soldiers.
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