Corner Store



I heard the bell jingle as He come in the door. My spine tingled. I refused to look around. I knew that it would be Him, but I would not give in. I made my hands busy as though it was really difficult to pick up a packet of chips. Not easy when there are only three packets there. Why the hell didn't they have more stock in this god-forsaken shop.

The floor creaked as he moved from the doorway. My heart beat was now resounding throughout the entire shop. I could no longer swallow as my heart had somehow crept up into my throat. Great. I was now going to die here. Right here. Right now. This dirty creepy old shop. I still refused to look around. My fingers were getting colder and my tongue had swollen to the size of a footy oval. I really was about to die. I tried to remember if I had actually signed that Will, or if it was still just filled out in pencil.

The floor creaked again.

My heart did one enormous beat. Is it possible for a heart to do this? Beat fast in a throat, then do one enormous beat? Or was this what did happen just before people had their sudden heart attack and died?

No saliva left.

My feet couldn't move. Where the hell was Luigi? I took very shallow breaths so that my air did not make any effect on the space. I decided not to touch anything any more. I just stood there. Still. As a statue.

Another creak. This time it came from upstairs. Luigi. Thank goodness for that. He must have heard the bell jingle. Why did it take him so long? Am I in a time warp?

My neck was starting to ache from holding my head up. I felt dizzy. I could feel the presence behind me, creeping around, creaking the old wooden floor boards.

I could hear Him picking up dusty produce off the shelves and throwing them in a basket. What was He up to? I daren't turn. If I didn't move, I wasn't here. I could hear Him getting closer.

My heart seemed to be creeping into my mouth. What would it do then? Would it actually sit in my mouth? My whole heart, throbbing in my mouth, blood and all pumping out of it? What if I accidentally spat it out on the floor here in this quiet, gentle corner store. My heart for all to see. Bare my heart, on the floor. Beating it's pathetic little irregular beats, budump, burdump, dudump, du, du, dudump, burdump. Luigi would see. He would see. Anyone could see.

I reached out with my freezing cold hand to the chip shelf and missed. I accidentally hit one of the three bags of chips, BBQ, yuk. I felt sick now.

I had to move. He was getting too close. Luigi's steps were getting heavier as he came down the narrow dark staircase, I tried to will him down faster. I lifted my first foot that was now seemed to be made of concrete, and then the other, pulled my hat down over my eyes with my whitish-yellow finger that resembled icicles, and tried to creep down the window side of the aisle.

"Celina," Luigi called, as he came out of the bottom of the staircase as I felt Him turn towards me. I reached for the door with the bell and as quickly as I could, fled into the sunshine.

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