43: Big Ball Of String

Katerina is on a string-finding mission. She knows they keep a big ball of string behind the counter. She is not going to use the string instead of rope - it would never take Bob’s weight - but they are going to need string in the very near future. It is Bob’s responsibility to work out how to get down the lift-shaft without actual rope. Katerina is only responsible for procuring the string. She made that very clear.

She walks past the line of borrowers and starts rummaging behind the counter. None of the borrowers speak, but Katerina becomes aware of their eyes following her every move. In the growing darkness, and without the spell of the music, the borrowers have formed themselves into an orderly queue. They seem confused, like they’ve all just opened the fridge door and instantly forgotten what they were looking for. Katerina rummages a bit more quietly. She makes her movements slow, hoping to free herself from their gaze.

The string is behind the stamp tray, which has a big empty space about the size of one of the date stamps. She thinks about Linda and her ‘Everything In Its Right Place’ speech and winces. Holding the string to her chest, she backs away from the counter, stepping in a big pool of red poster paint on her way back to Bob and the lift-shaft. She glances one last time at the borrowers, still swaying in their line, hoping they haven’t seen where she’s gone.

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