A soft sounding bell rings quietly in the distance. It is barely audible to Frankie and the shopkeeper, but instantly Edmund’s ears stand on end, each individual hair reaching towards the sky like grass growing towards the sun. The shopkeeper reaches out his hand as if to say to Edmund, “It is time.”
As Edmund begins his ascent towards plain view, the shaft of light that will hold his countenance becomes more prominent. A noticeable look of apprehension comes across Frankie’s face in less than an instant. The sight of a face so inhuman, yet showing the pangs of much suffering, has changed the scene entirely.
The shopkeeper begins to spread his lips and out flows his voice in a soft, innocuous tone. “When you are ready to make your sacrifice, we will be here.” Frankie’s previous composure vanishes. “Have a nice day, and please close the door on your way out.”
Calm returns to the scene and slow, grinding footsteps are followed by the sound of a door opening and closing. The shopkeeper grabs his broom and continues his previous work of sweeping away the remnants of the day.