Helping Hands

From a young age, Kyla had been taught that on visits to the supermarket she should avoid the stock fillers. Walking down the aisles they could often be seen reaching out from the dark at the back of the shelves to hand products to shoppers, to straighten shelves, or plucking stock from nowhere to stack the display units with.

She’d tightly grip onto the shopping trolley as her father pushed it down each aisle, checking things off his list and stacking them carefully in the wire basket. Every so often she’d gain the courage to try and peek into the black recesses of the shelves. A glimpse of dark hands could be seen, straightening some box or pushing older product to the front.

As Kyla grew, she became less scared of the hands. She’d carefully take items off them and stand on tip-toes to deposit it in the trolley. Sometimes she would see the hands reaching for products that had been knocked off the shelf. Darting down she’d pick it up and pass them over. That seemed the right thing to do. A nice thing to do.

So when she saw one of the hands accidentally knock some canned vegetables off the shelf? Kyla skipped over to pick the tin up and pass it back, a smile on her face. The shadowy limb reached out for it before twisting to reach past. She gasped as she felt the cool digits touch her wrist.

Suddenly she was walking away. She could see herself walking away. Her eyes tracked herself until a tin of sweetcorn hid her from sight. It was the tin she had helped put back on the shelf. It confused her, to see herself walking away. In that confusion in the dark place she found herself, a bright idea came to mind.  She’d lend a helping hand to shoppers. It seemed the right thing to do. A nice thing to do.