Sunday, 14 October 2012


Stepping down from the raised dais of the cash desk she smoothed the skirt of her uniform, feeing a warm surge of pride. She stood a little taller, striking a pose of puff-chested responsibility. Only sixteen and promoted to supervisor for her Saturday job in Woolworths. It was a pity that the uniform upgrade was so unglamorous. She looked down at the Crimplene two-piece ensemble. It was hardly exquisite, and combined with American tan tights and sensible shoes it was positively frumpy. Still, it was worth it to earn her pocket money and tonight the small brown pay envelope would be thicker. Tonight the Christmas bonus would be there, plumping up the banknotes and coins like weights on the scale dragging her waistcoat pocket down as she signed for her money.

She took her pride for a walk around the shop floor, smiling generously at the girls on the make-up counter, their pancaked faces cracking in response. Over to the sweets next, you had to keep a close eye on those girls, and that’s where she saw him. Her heart sank as she sighed his name, “Grandad”. He had promised never to come here. Never to bring his uncontrollable urge to her place of work. He had sworn he would not. She could see that a certain look of excited pleasure was already suffusing his features, filling him with an exhilarating satisfaction triggered by the thrill of temptation. She was a supervisor. It was her duty to report shoplifting and failure to do so could lose her this job, but rigor mortis had hold of her, painfully locking her knees as she remembered that his name for this counter was Pick and Nix. She turned, and walked away. Stationery was bound to need a tidy.