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in the shop on the left.

‘Scarlett, please buy me the new raspberry swirls, you know how

much I’ve been wanting them!!’ Axel pulled out his bottom lip again

and made his puppy dog eyes. Scarlett giggled.

‘Of course Axel. I have five dollars anyway.’ Jumping up and down,

he clapped his hands silently and smiled with glee.

A familiar chime hummed in the air, as Meredith, the shop

keeper, whizzed the door open. A small mountain of grey hair sat on

the top of her head in a tight bun.

‘Good morning children? How are you this fine moooorning?’

Meredith sings, as her mouth moves in an almost creepy smile. It

looked like her blue eyes almost stared into your soul.

‘Good,’ Axel replied, ‘did you get any raspberry swirls in?’ You

could tell how eager he was when he asked in this way.

‘Oh but of course! We have at least ten jars in the store now…’

Meredith turned her head suddenly to peek in the window. She

placed her flat hand on top of her eyebrows so she could see through.

‘Yep. Around ten I would say.’ Meredith turned into the doorway

and yelled, ‘Shut the door behind you! It’s chilly out there.’ Following

close behind Meredith, Scarlett and Axel moved into the sweetly

scented room. Scarlett noticed a blackboard on the back wall with

the number ‘five’ on it. ‘Weird,’ she whispered to herself. Picking up

a jar of the raspberry swirls, Meredith grinned and said, ‘You can try

a sample now if you would like.’ Axel screeched. He opened the stiff

jar and plucked one out. Slowly, he shut his eyes and placed the sugar

coated candy on his tongue and closed his mouth. But something

peculiar happened at that moment. Axel just stood there

expressionless, but then, he started to sway.

‘What’s he doing?!’ Scarlett’s eyes widened as she started to worry.

Meredith watched and smiled. ‘Oh, he’s fine. I’m sure of it.’

Scarlett snatched the jar of raspberry lollies and read out the label.

‘Poison!’ She yelled, ‘Poison!!!!’ She yanked her head in Axel’s

direction, and in horror, she watched him drop to the floor. She had

witnessed the death of her own seven year old brother.

‘My work here is done,’ smirked Meredith, as she turned and

erased the ‘five’ off of the blackboard.

She wrote something else, but Scarlett couldn’t see properly as

she had been crying. When her blurred vision sharpened, she read a

‘six’ on the blackboard and heard Meredith ask:

‘Would you like to try one too Scarlett?’