A/N: Doesn’t seem to fit in the humour category really, so I’ll put it here. I seem to be having something of a splurge of random fanfic at the moment. Perhaps I’m too stoned to stop writing. I don’t actually know… Anyway. Two friends bump into each other and go for coffee.
Starling caught a glimpse of her reflection in the polished sides of the escalator, and was heartily relieved that she did not look as shocked as she felt. By rights, according to the swooping sensation in her stomach, she ought to be swooning like a Disney princess. She clung grimly to the rail as the implacable rise of the escalator carried her effortlessly past the descending pole-axed expression of Ardelia Mapp on the adjacent stair.
All around her, tinny Christmas music blared its commercial clarion call to the thronging multitude eager to spend their cash in the boutiques and department stores. The tinsel was too cheery, the Santas too jolly, and if Starling hadn’t felt trapped by the press of crowds under one roof before, she did now.
The Serengeti had nothing on a major shopping mall at Christmas. She defied even vast herds of wildebeest to prevail against New York shoppers with two days to go.
There was a commotion at the bottom of the escalator. Someone dared to slip out of the mass of one herd and try to join another, stampeding in a different direction.
Stampeding up, in fact. Starling saw the top of a familiar head and swore, causing a family of three behind her to flinch.
The escalator was too slow, the crowds were too thick and Mapp was far too tough to care about what people thought. She was viciously and calculatedly elbowing her way up the escalator, upsetting shopper and shopping alike.
It just wasn’t fair, Starling thought. One little trip to the Big Apple, one little shopping spree and she passes Mapp on the stairs. Just what was the woman doing in New York anyway? Continue reading