There’s another family out there, two families blended, I think, because the adults pass in one cluster, and then three blobs of children trail after them, the last group walking in a row with arms linked.
‘Hey, this place is open.’
‘Book shop book shop bookshop.’ This shout gets louder and louder and then gradually fades away.
‘Oh that’s all right, I’ve got plenty of…’ I didn’t see this speaker. They crossed the road fast, one telling the other what she had plenty of.
‘Hey, this place is open.’ A person stopped at the door and looked through at me, but their friend was not having it. ‘I can’t hear a damn thing you’re saying.’ They moved on.
Other people pause and look in:
‘Yes, but there’s no new release yet. Not as far as I can see.’
‘I don’t need it. I absolutely do not need it, Marjory.’
Two old ladies have stopped at the kerb. ‘For heaven’s sake do up your shoelaces. I don’t like those kind of shoelaces. They never stay secure. Can you get down that far?’
The next group stop, apparently delighted!
‘Oh my, it’s a bookshop! Do you mind if I go in?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Here, give me your bag, Jack.’
‘God, don’t let him go in there.’
But they all came in, Jack leading the way, and then they all stopped and stood there motionless. Jack disappeared into the back room.
‘We’ll never get him out.’
‘I’ll go and get the car.’
‘I’ll stay with him.’
They depart seriously, as in an emergency.