Mommy had said to follow the arrows on the floor if he got lost. Once the showroom’s lights dimmed, Tad did. He ignored the shifting in a bin the brimmed with stuffed animals and a clattering in the ventilation tubing. The scent of Swedish meatballs nauseated him, but he walked until he rounded into housewares -- and saw the arrows were gone.
Tad stopped. He thought. He said, loudly, “Fine then.”
They came, hunched and ragged, hope lighting their hollowed eyes. They wanted to play.
Tad hoped they’d like his games. And he hoped that, eventually, they’d let him leave.
Midnight in the Halls of Branch #23 (West Chester, Ohio) by I Saw Lightning Fall
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