The Shop

This is the opening chapter from Seb Duncan’s novella Headcase: A Post-truth ghost story.
Fright Night by James Stave
This is the opening chapter from Seb Duncan’s novella Novák.

The warrens of tourist shops on Nerudova Street were starting to open for the day. Svetlana yawned as she pulled up the heavy metal shutter covering her small gift shop. She was proud of the business she had built up. It was considered the go-to destination for all things ghoulish and kitsch in the city; Trump and Putin masks jostled for space with gorilla suits and naughty nurse outfits. Everything one would need for a stag or hen weekend was there.

The horror masks were the real draw though, and they took pride of place in a long horizontal line above the front desk of the shop that faced onto the street.

However, something was different this morning. Svetlana couldn’t exactly place it. An almost imperceptible change. Air pressure? temperature? something. She looked up and shook her head. Probably too many Becherovkas last night. Hangovers were becoming more and more intolerable, and she put the feeling of unease down to the fact she had drunk far too much the previous night. She wiped a bead of sweat from her brow and decided to press on with her day.

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