5: Night Eyes

Rosalyn lives in the basement. She's almost certain that kind of thing isn't allowed. But it's been a long time since she's thought about that. It's been a long time since she's thought about her other life. Before. She thinks it's because she lives in the dark. She knows it has affected her skin. Probably her eyes too. She used to struggle with seeing in the dark. She considered buying a helmet with a fitted torch. But after a while, she got better. It's all all right now. Everything is. Everything is all right. It's fine.

The basement is a nice place to be. There are electric lights, but she prefers to leave them off. The red and green LEDs from her machines and the glow from the 'observation monitors' is more than enough illumination for her.

Rosalyn is Night Staff. The only person who knows she exists is The Boss. Sometimes, when she is watching the borrowers come and go and counting the beeps on the People Counter Console, she thinks that if she died down here she'd rest on the concrete floor, either dissolving into dust, or becoming a kind of moss for flowers to grow in. She likes that idea. The moss and the flowers. No-one knowing. A kind of secret garden, just below their feet. They'd never know. She's the only one that doesn't get a box of Turkish Delight at Christmas. She likes secrets. She likes the idea of becoming a secret.

No-one would ever know. Not until the bins needed emptying, that is.

Bins. What curious things these people throw away! What strange objects end up in Lost Property! What unexpected surprises and treats. She has quite a collection now.


Rosalyn goes over to the first rack of shelves and starts taking out objects, holding them in her hands and smelling them. Each one is a memory. Each one has a story attached to it.

1. One pair of red leather gloves.
2. Postcard to 'everyone' from Malta, from Bob.
3. Toe-nail clippers.
4. A lemon.
5. A toy penguin riding a plastic skateboard.
6. Cactus seeds in a brown envelope.
7. Spare keys.
8. A green hair ribbon.

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