Pick and Mix

Image provided by Airborne Lens

I pull the door. The jingle announces me to the wee man in the kilt behind the counter.

"Hello, dear. Back again?" He reaches for a paper bag and his wee scoop. Seabirds screech in the blue sky outside. A fresh breeze whips the marram grass and the machair.

"You bet. Can't keep me away." I smile. His eyes crinkle in response.

"What are you having then, dear?" His voice is low. I breathe deep - I adore the smell of the shop: the scent of the centuries.

Letting my glance glide along the display jars, I take in the colours: swirling sea-greens, blues and brightest turquoise. Sunset, stone and sky. "Erm, I'll have a scoop of the Crumbling Castles please. And the Monks & Monsters Mix, I like that. Can I have a couple of scoops Clans and Queens, too?"

The bag rustles. He shakes it down and waits.

"And erm, a scoop each of the Gaels and of the Picts. I love the patterns on the Picts, so decorative!"

He nods appreciatively and mumbles approval into his beard. "Everyone says that, right enough."

"And a scoop of the Saints & Selkies. I love them."

"They were my favourite when I was your age too. You've room for one more."

I furrow my forehead.

"Something with a bit of bite? A half-scoop of the Vicious Vikings, maybe?"

I beam. "Yes, they sound just the thing. Thank you, I'll try them."

Reaching for my purse, there is a fleeting flash of regret. What about the Storm-Sentries and the Sea-Witch's Wheels, the Stone Circles and the silver-sharp Claymores? I ache with the craving for more.

"I'll be open tomorrow" he grins, gap toothed, and holds the jingling door open for me.


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