I still felt off-balance and a little confused, so I asked the clerk, ‘What was all that stuff about human desire? Is this it? An ice cream?’ The clerk chuckled, ‘Oh no. There is an entirely different gift shop for that. I’ve never been inside; it’s more like a bank vault. Very well secured.’

I took another scoop from the sundae, ‘And the death thing? That was all for show? A bit of theatrics?’ The smile on the clerk’s face wavered, ‘Oh no, bad things happen to good people all the time. There is another gift… ' She stopped to correct herself, ‘It’s not a gift shop, but there is another place for that.’

The clerk noticed my hands trembling again. ‘Are you OK?’ she asked. ‘No. Not really,’ I confessed. She leaned in and whispered, ‘I shouldn’t be telling you this, but there is a self-help group.’

Use the comments below; what should we do? Find out about the support group? What about clams? We’re going to need some cyberspace cash at some point.

A portrait of a smiling woman selling ice cream in a cathedral gift shop, framed like a Stanley Kubrick film, digital art.


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