Chapter 2

“BE QUICK NOW, AUDREY, it's Mrs Applegate.” As Audrey hurried past, ducking through into the shop's back room, Mme Moreau flicked her silver lorgnette in her direction. Juliette Moreau was a woman of some bearing and Audrey found her a little intimidating, even after all these months.
“Hurry, girls, she'll be here any minute now. We do not keep our customers waiting.” This declaration was her mantra, repeated several times each day as though it were a celestial command. Audrey couldn't bring herself to care. The phrase had become a joke among “the girls”; they gave themselves the giggiles, trying to see who could do the best imitation.
Audrey had never been so fatigued. Typically, she was tireless––the others marveled at so much stamina in her small frame and joked that she must be using something illicit. She prided herself on her ability to handle all the physical demands of her job, whether sorting and stacking bolts of fabric on the shelves, redressing the display windows, or racing "Upstairs", to the sewing room and back, carrying armfuls of ...

Copyright 2012

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