Minutes later, snow started to fall, and Crispin pulled up the collar of his coat. As he turned into a narrow street, he spotted an odd-looking shop at a T junction ahead. The amount of fairy lights implied it was a Christmas shop, though it was a weird place to have one because this was a district full of legal firms, insurance brokers and accountants.
As he drew closer to the double-fronted shop, sandwiched between plain looking offices, he saw it was only three storeys high compared to the taller buildings either side, but definitely Christmas themed. It was called Kennedy’s Emporium, the name elegantly written in gold letters on a wooden sign above the door.
Crispin stared through one of the windows and his jaw dropped. The window space was dominated by one huge snow dome with snow swirling inside, and inside that glass ball were dozens of others the size of tennis balls with snow tumbling inside them too. Crispin couldn’t figure out how the snow globes were supported. They seemed to be floating in thin air. Nor could he figure out how the snow continued to move when nothing was being shaken. Were there small motors inside them?
He moved to the other window where soft toys were having a Christmas tea party. Crispin smiled. A penguin was pouring tea for a tiger. A cat sat eating cake. A unicorn was daintily nibbling a sandwich. They really looked as though they were eating because the sandwich and cake were getting smaller. The animatronics were amazing.
“Makes you hungry, doesn’t it?”
Crispin turned to see a boy who looked a little older than him. He had untidy straw-coloured hair, grey eyes and a bright smile. A dangerous curl of attraction coiled in Crispin’s stomach. The sort of curl he only wanted to feel when he was alone in bed.
“Yep.” Crispin smiled back. “The cake looks delicious.”
“Are you coming in?”
The boy laughed. “Don’t you have good manners. My name’s Garrett.”
“Come on then.”
Garrett pushed open the door, stepped inside then turned to look at Crispin. Crispin wasn’t sure why he thought Garrett was uncertain as to whether he’d follow him or not, but Crispin walked in.
“You did it!” Garrett gasped.
“One foot in front of the other usually works.” But Crispin had the feeling Garrett was genuinely surprised he’d made it inside.