Tuesday, 24 May 2011

When Someone Says ‘Duck’, Don’t Say ‘Quack’

There was a flyer proclaiming the second coming of Christ pasted to the outside of the window. Slightly on the slant. This intrigued Cass, who worried away at the peeling corner, giving the finger to an old woman sat at the back of the shop, counting beans and mouthing threats. The flyer covered a hole. A bullet hole. It looked like a small calibre, high velocity hole. Perfectly round with minimal cracking, though which side of the glass was the point of entry was difficult for Cass to discern. Ballistics were not really her forte. More of a hobby.
The old woman had stopped mouthing threats and was now removing a small selection of firearms from some hidden recess behind the counter. Cass sighed. All she had wanted was a pint of milk and some crackers, but had somehow managed to provoke a deranged suburban shopkeeper into starting a shooting match. When will you ever learn Cassandra?
Carefully she spat on the flyer and smoothed it against the glass, raised her hands in that universal gesture and backed slowly away from the window. This appeared to mollify the woman, who methodically stashed her guns away, made a zipping motion across her lips, and returned to counting her beans.
Whoever does that? Thought Cass as she walked up the road. Whoever actually counts beans?

Russell J Turner – May 2011

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