The Shop at the End of the High Street
Jason Prince, a Maxim Wells, d
The Shop at the End of the High Street.
Vayana and Mr. Hans lived above an office on the High Street and could make as much noise as they liked without bothering the neighbours. "We had to move twice," expained Vayana. "The first time we moved, it was because the neighbours didn't like it when Mr. Hans played Dinosaur at 6:30 in the morning, on Saturdays." Mr. Hans grunted. "The second time we moved, it was because of the horrible smells coming from the basement." "Now, we live in a huge apartment where we can play Dinosaur any time we like!" Mr. Hans snorted like a Triceratops. ***
One day, as Mummy was making supper, she cried aloud. “Oh me, oh my! What is to be done? I cannot make supper without it!” She whispered into Daddy’s ear, a secret secret. “Ahhhh,” said Daddy. “I know where we can buy that! There is only one store that sells it. The Shop at the End of the High Street!” “Candy!” shouted the tots with one voice.
“C’mon, little tots!” Daddy said. “It's high time we made a trip to the last shop on the High Street, don't you think?" It was nearly Hallowe’en, and the wind was picking up. Vayana and Mr. Hans put on their coats and waited patiently at the bottom of the stairs, for Daddy to find his hat and keys. "Off we go!"
The three of them headed up the street towards the mountain, to find the Shop at the End of the High Street. "What do you think they sell there?" asked Daddy, as they passed le Parc des companions, near their favourite cafĂŠ. Mr. Hans stopped and stared up into the leaves of the cottonwoods, rattling in the autumn wind. We all looked up. "Winter is coming soon," Daddy explained. "I want to go to the candy store!" Vayana announced. Mr. Hans echoed: "the Candy Stoooore!" He made the round mouth of joy. "No, not until we have found the Last Shop on the High Street! Then, maybe we can go to the Candy Store."
They passed several stores on the High Street. The store where they sell fruits and vegetables. The shoe store. The store that fixes watches. The huge store where they sell mittens and socks and shirts and underpants. The store where they sell bras and panties for ladies. "Here is a store where they sell medicines for sick monsters," Daddy explained. Vayana and Mr. Hans pushed their noses against the
glass to get a closer look at the jars of coloured liquids in strange shaped bottles. "Look at those big pills," said Vayana, pointing at a jar full of banana sized lozenges. The label said: For Sore Throats, and included a helpful list of monsters that might benefit from this size of pills: Snuffleuffagus, H R PuffnStuff and the Vaccum Cleaner from Teletubbies.
Daddy announced that we would never get to the end of the street at this rate, so the three of them jumped the number 97 bus. The bus driver was wearing a very strange hat and had a smaller, second head coming out of his arm just above the shoulder. Mr. Hans said "Thank You" to both faces as Daddy paid the fare.
Vayana took a seat near the middle of the bus. "Wow, look at the stores we are passing!" Daddy cried out. A store that sold bubblebath liquid that made bubbles that would never pop! A store that made pills that would make you a baby for day. A real baby! A store that sold turtleneck sweatersâ€Śfor giraffes. A store that sold everything everybody else sold, only in pink! Pink dominos. Pink fridges. Pink telephones. Pink lights. Pink : pink cars, pink houses, pink nail polish, pink milk, pink black. A store that sold manacles. Suddenly, the bus seemed empty. It was empty! Mr. Hans looked at Daddy and Daddy looked
at Vayana. There was no one else on the bus, as it started to accelerate. “Here we go!” Daddy said. We are going to the Last Shop on the High Street!! The bus accelerated and headed up the street, driving past shops too innumerable to imagine, zooming past busy streets filled with people and monsters, rhoooming past street lights red yellow and green…blurring past a smear of shopfronts and pedestrians and neon lights… And then Stopping…. Short….at the very end of the High Street, where the pavement ends and the sidewalks from either side of the street, meet in
the middle. There, right in front of the last dot of the dotted line that runs down the middle of Avenue Mont Royal…was the Shop at the End of the High Street. What did they sell in there?
Mr. Hans and Vayana pulled at Daddy's arms trying keep him from going forward, as the bus hastily turned around in a three point turn and headed back down the street, back to normal. Indeed, here was not normal. The bus had climbed to the top of Mont Royal Avenue, nested at the foot of the mountain, where the trees are dwarfed from the lack of soil and heavy winters. Looking down the Avenue, the road seemed to stretch out and from this secluded spot, you could see all the details of the entire length of the street, all the way back to De Lorimier. "Look," said Daddy. "I can see your mother, making herself a tomato sandwich!" And sure enough, far down the street, we could just make out Mummy cutting a tomato with her large sharp knife, through a wood-framed window. "Câ€™mon, lets find out what they sell in the Last Shop on the High Street!"
Daddy turned to look at the shop, and moved to open the small door. It creaked and set off a tiny bell. Daddy had to crouch to get through the cramped doorway, which seemed to be just the right size for Mr. Hans and Vayana. Suddenly, a tiny man with short legs and a heavy coat stepped under the only light in the shop. “What can I get you?” he asked. Vayana and Mr. Hans looked up into Daddy’s face. What magic thing are we shopping for, they wondered. Daddy leaned forward and cocked his head, conspiratorially: “Do you have any soya milk?” Vayana guffawed and Mr. Hans sat down on the floor heavily. “Soya milk! We can all this way for Soya milk?!” said Vayana. Daddy winked at the man and thanked him very much, and they left the store to find the return bus home.
“Did you get the soya milk, Daddy?” Mummy asked. “Oh yes,” Daddy said. “And I also got the .....” He whispered in her ear. Now what do you suppose Daddy bought, at the Shop at the End of the High Street?
The End. ...and did they ever get to the candy store?
Copyleft 2011. Creative Commons. Written in 22 minutes and illustrated in a week-end. Half Baked Books
Published on Apr 9, 2011