There was a whimper from the back room. Ted turned to look, but the scowling bald man behind the counter let him know that his curiosity was not wanted. Ted swallowed and scanned the shelves of glass for something that might look magical. Perhaps he should get something very old looking and grubby or perhaps something very ornate? Either way he needed to get out of this place. His stomach twisted as the bald man followed his progress through the store. Was that man holding a baseball bat under the counter? Maybe he should just leave, but Ted was running out of time.
He grabbed a blue bottle that caught his eye. It had a glass lid wrapped in cork that looked like it would hold in place. So he grabbed it. His heart pounded in his chest as he set the bottle on the counter and pulled out a wad of cash from his pocket. He threw down a fiver. Ted noticed the man had scabbed knuckles as he scooped up the money and threw it in the till. He slammed the till closed and gripped his bat tighter behind the counter. That’s okay. He didn’t need his change anyway. He nodded to the man, grabbed his bottle and made a bee line for the door. Heavy footsteps trailed after him. Ted’s heart moved into his ears as he gripped the cold door handle and stumbled down the stoop onto the sidewalk. The door was pulled shut forcefully behind him. The lock clicked into place.
Ted ducked his head and walked toward the park appreciating the feel of the cement under his feet and the cool spring air against his face. The sun was out today and had begun drying the rain from the sidewalks, but he could still smell the dampness left between the cracks of the sidewalk. Two blocks later a shiver ran through Ted. It felt good to be alive. The glass bottle in his hands caught the light, casting a blue glow on the sidewalk next to him. He shoved the bottle into his hoodie pocket. Maybe things would be okay. He’d know after he talked to Tina. She always knew how to fix things.
Word Prompt: Whimper
Photo Credit: Robyn Jay