3,246 words – approx. 11 minutes
He knows he shouldn’t have shouted. He shouldn’t have shouted, but it had been a long day. He’d started at 8:30 in the back room, with the pile of clothes on their hangers. Sometimes, if he was in early, it was his job to look through the rack for clothes that needed taking off, pushing them along the rail one by one, checking the little tags for today’s date. He’d slide the hangers up his arm then take them into the back, and say “Not many today,” or sometimes “Cor, there’s a lot of them!” so that everyone knew.
But today Alison had been in before him, so the pile was there already. He slid each item from its hanger, paying particular attention to the dresses, with their thin little straps that might snag. These were the clothes that no-one had bought in the two weeks they’d been on display. Their fabric might have been rubbed between fingers, they might have been held up against bodies, or even tried on in the little changing room with the red plastic curtain, but no-one had taken them to the counter to buy. Now they’d be moved on. Martin didn’t know where – maybe to another charity shop, or maybe they would be recycled. All he had to do was take them off the hangers and put them in the big black bag that gaped below the table. He should ask, really.