With the top half of his body in the “Deli-bar”, a contorted Dean Thomas was obsessively cleaning the inside of the sloping glass front of the cabinet when Sky Crystal entered the Deli.
“You should be careful rubbing the glass so hard Mr Thomas. It may melt.” Sky said.
Taking the comment as a joke, Dean chuckled as he extricated himself. “Hard work and elbow grease is all it takes to make you healthy, wealthy and wise,” he said with a smile.
“No I’m serious!” Sky replied. “One of my suppliers told me glass was a liquid. Sort of held together like ice, I suppose”.
On the other side of the shop, Madge Thomas, in her best suit and expensive Italian shoes, worked silently as she carefully stacked the shelves with cans of tomatoes. In her own quiet world of repetitive action, she paid only scant attention to Sky, their neighbour and first customer of the day.
Sky’s inevitable and relentless song of praise for crystals finally caused Madge to glance across to her husband. He had stopped working and was listening intently, but whether out of politeness or a genuine interest, Madge couldn’t quite decide.
“You know what would be real neat?” Sky asked, not expecting an answer. “If instead of glass we used crystals. It’d be stronger and we’d always be surrounded by a protective aura.”
“Would you still be able to look through it?” Dean inquired. “I mean you couldn’t with the ones in your shop.”
“Don’t be silly Mr Thomas; they’d have to be artificial.” Sky said with a gentle laugh that melted into a voice of serious concern. “But you’d have to make them carefully so that they didn’t become radioactive. And, it’d be a downer if they turned out to be double-terminated.” Sky added as though this problem had to be obvious to absolutely everyone.
But clearly not to Dean, who wanted to ask why without asking why. His anxious search for an appropriate response was soon relieved by Sky. “Double-terminated crystals can’t connect with the forces from the spiritual realm, and that’d be pretty useless, wouldn’t it?” This time Sky waited for an answer.
Dean was poleaxed. Stunned into silence, he looked down at the damp sponge in his hand trying to come to terms with the whole notion. Cabinet fronts made of crystal rather than glass, sure why not; But the spiritual realm? What’s that got to do with the price of salami or cheese?
Madge came to her husband’s rescue, “Sky, I’ve managed to find a supplier of those Burmese red bean sprouts you were after.” She announced.
“That’s astral Mrs T.” Sky said as she picked up a brown bread roll from the wicker-work bread basket on the counter. “I’ll take some today, if that’s okay?”
“Sure. I’ll get you a packet from the coolroom out the back.”
As Madge started to walk towards the rear of the shop, the backdoor, which led to the family residence behind, swung open and her daughter Jane entered. She was dressed in the uniform of her new school, Lusher’s College for Ladies.
In the next episode, “Liquid or fluid, it’s all the same”, Sky’s enthusiasm for her old school, Lusher’s, fails to impress Jane.