Sudden Downpour

downpour rain torrential wet water soak stormWell, with still some time to spare today and the thought of not knowing when I’ll get the time to blog again (It does seem to be in the realm of weeks now and not days. Must sort that out, sharpish) I figured I would have a go at today’s Postaday from The daily Post, which is…

“It was sunny when you left home, so you didn’t take an umbrella. An hour later, you’re caught in a torrential downpour. You run into the first store you can find — it happens to be a dark, slightly shabby antique store, full of old artefacts, books, and dust. The shop’s ancient proprietor walks out of the back room to greet you. Tell us what happens next!”

I look back towards the door, and out into the street wondering if it would be better to run to the next available shop or to risk contracting some form of bronchial mildew from the musty items in the shop.

It’s too late to leave; the proprietor has already seen me. Every core of my being wants me to get out of the shop, not because I am in any risk of physical danger, but because there is a very strong chance that the shop-owner will try to engage me in conversation. My brow starts to get damp, and I look away pretending I’m interested in a small and rather battered carriage clock. The rational side of my brain, drowns under the weight of paranoia and bizarre thoughts over what will happen if he tries to talk to me. What if I don’t know how to answer? What if he thinks I’m stealing? What if? What if? What if?

OK get a grip. He doesn’t care. He’s sat by the till, reading what looks to be an old copy of a Mills & Boon. Hmmm interesting, not a typical male read. Could he be a woman in disguise? No that would be daft why would he be in disguise? Member of the CIA? A terrorist? Maybe he’s a body-swapping alien and this is a test like that scene at the start of Men in Black when Will Smith passes by only shooting the pop-up child because of her upside-down reading material. Am I being tested? No, that’s just stupid. Why would the CIA by testing me? What am I going to do for them? Head up the new Paranoid Debilitation Department?

Cover of "Men in Black (Deluxe Edition)"
Cover of Men in Black (Deluxe Edition)

Well, he’s certainly looking at me now, as I’ve been staring at him with a gormless expression for ages. He must think I’m a psycho? What if he thinks I’m going to hurt him? I’ll buy something to prove that I’m not going to kill him? I can’t afford to buy any antiques; I only have a couple of quid in my wallet. Well, there are some badges by the till. I’ll buy one of them. They’re for charity after all, which must prove I’m a nice guy and that I’m not going to bludgeon him to death with twelve old copies of National Geographic.

I walk over to the till and the man puts his book down. Which on closer inspection wasn’t a Mills and Boon at all, but what looked like a sci-fi novel with a 60’s B-movie cover. The title was The Body-snatchers, which I couldn’t help reveling in the irony and then having a few more seconds worth of ponder about whether it fact was irony or just a coincidence.

“Can I help you?” asked the man eventually, presumably getting bored with all the speechless staring I was doing.

“Yes. Hi, can I buy one of these badges?” I only pointed at the jar in case the removal of one did in fact constitute theft.

“Certainly.” He said picking one out of the jar with his bony fingers and handing it to me. “Anything else?”

“No thanks.” A drip of water made its way down my neck down the cleft of my back.

“That’s a pound then please.”

I handed over the pound and pocketed the badge.

“Thank you, have a good day” responded the shop-owner chirpily before returning to his book.

I smiled back at him, and walked back towards the door. It hadn’t stopped raining, in fact if anything it was raining harder but I couldn’t stay in the shop anymore. After all, I had made my purchase now. I had apparently, risked flooding simply to buy a one pound charity badge from an antiques shop and now that my transaction was complete I had to leave the shop.

As I left the antiques shop I looked down the street and saw a shop I could run to for cover. It was a hardware store. I jogged down the street aware of how galumphish I must have looked, and wondered how many badges, stickers, pens, sweets, and key-rings I would end up buying before I got home, this time.

 

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6 thoughts on “Sudden Downpour”

  1. That was really nice! I get kind of paranoid in shops, so I could totally relate, even though it’s fiction. 😀

    1. I’m glad you liked it.

      There was a lot in there that unfortunately isn’t fictional, though I’ve never actually gone as far as buying things like the story-me.

      In retrospect, It’s more likely that I would have just stayed out in the rain and got completely soaked rather than get into the situation to begin with.

  2. Oh I think you caught that feeling of obligation perfectly. When it comes to small shops in articular, I always feel guilty to browse without purchasing.

    1. I think it’s all down to that irrepressible need most of have to not offend anyone. We’ll go to such mental lengths rather than risk the chance of offending…

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