In part one, here, we were left wondering about the child left in the bagging area. Perhaps this may help worried readers.
You can now take your shopping, you can now take your shopping…
‘So what do we do with him?’ Daphne shifted her weight. There knew there had to be a protocol for an abandoned child. ‘Is he lost? If he’s lost we take him to security.’
‘Is it a he? He could be a she.’ Marge leant forward and peered at the child’s eyes. ‘No, a boy. Too blue.’
‘Is that right? I’ve not heard…’
‘What’s your name, sonny?’ Marge moved a little closer.
The child stared back; there was something disquieting at his, or her silent sang-froid.
‘Is you mum about?’
‘Or other carer? We have to say carer, Marge. Mr Speeding says so.’
‘Well, you can’t stay here.’ Marge reached out her arms. ‘Come on. I’ll take him to the customer service desk. They can put out an announcement. Someone will be along soon enough.’
Daphne looked around as if expecting to see a frantically searching carer. The store remained an oasis of dull calm.
The child shifted away from Marge. Daphne said, ‘I suppose he was telling the truth.’
‘Who?’ To the child, Marge said, ‘Come on sonny.’
‘That man. Roger he said. I just thought the woman looked like she might be expecting to take him. I…’
‘Gerrof.’ The child brought a hand from behind his, or her, back clutching a tin of sweetcorn.
Both women jumped back as if they were practicing a formation scare. Marge regained h composure first. ‘Now stop that. Why don’t you climb down and we can go to the desk and wait for you mum.’
The child look set to argue when Daphne said, ‘You can have a drink and chocolate. At the desk.’
At that the boy twisted round and climbed to the floor. He set off in the direction Daphne had pointed.
Please replace the item in the bagging area; please replace..
As Marge lifted her security pass to stop the machine, Daphne caught her arm. ‘You see that?’
Marge half turned and froze. Printed boldly across the back of the child’s trousers there was a large barcode above which the message read: Child, 3-4, White, medium build, inoculated, VGC, Standard English, usual training. RRP £1720.99 inc vat followed by a list of ingredients.
Marge had gone pale. ‘Mr Speeding said we were introducing new product lines… We’re going surprise a few people, he said.’
Daphne had gone green. ‘I think retailing kiddies would do that.’