Christmas Shopping by Luke Cremin, 6th Year...

It is dark outside when I push the trolley through the opening doors.  The place is vast and has a high ceiling, lined with an almost blinding white light that reflects off the floor. The only colours are the blue of the hanging signs and the red and green of the pathetic tinsel strewn across the endless line of shelves. I look left and see that there are only two tills in operation. A very bored looking girl sits examining her nails. Behind her is a man scribbling something. They are both wearing a blue t-shirt. Thankfully, the place seems empty. The only sign of life is Mariah Carey singing from above. If I remember correctly, the turkeys should be on a separate shelf in the meat section at the very back next to the dairy aisle.  Wasting no time, I push the rattling trolley deeper into the white maze. I pass sweets, cereals, pyramids, signs, more tinsel and I finally reach the milk aisle. They should be right here. Mariah sings louder. My heart flutters as I turn the corner. “Baby all I want for Christmas . . .” The shelf is empty. ON SALE and BEST VALUE signs point to nothing. “一IS YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU一” Her voice is shrill and it stabs my skull. I cover my ears and grimace my face. I feel an anxious pang in my stomach and my throat dries as the lights start glaring and my temple is about to burst and the room is spinning and I need to steady myself on the trolley so my quivering legs don’t collapse.  I take a deep breath and steady myself. This cannot be happening. I am still trembling and my temple is pulsating. Surely there is another one somewhere? The...