A long, hot bath. That was what Tabitha craved right now. With a liberal slosh of scented oil drizzled under the running tap. She'd been on her feet all day, dealing with customers in the shop. Most charming and happy to spend several quid on quirky greetings cards or little trinkets for beloved nieces/nephews/grandchildren. And a few not so charming. One old crone – who really should only have been let out at Halloween – had spent almost half an hour slathering the 'try me' samples of organically produced hand creams on her wizened claws. Then complained that the smells were 'quite obnoxious'. As she scuttled off back to her broomstick Tabitha resisted shouting after her that six different fragrances mixed together didn't necessarily make for olfactory heaven. Maybe eye of newt and tongue of bat would have been more up her street. Up yours, Endora.
As she waited for the bath to fill, Tabitha perched on the edge to peel off her undies and – ouch! Something sharp pierced her upper thigh and she leapt up and whirled around to identify the culprit. Oh joy. Tom had obviously been tending to his tootsies again. A neatly arranged montage of toenail clippings lined virtually the full length of the tub. Grabbing a wad of toilet paper, an exasperated Tabitha scooped them up and tossed them in the bin. Tom, not known for being particularly artistic, could rival Tracey Emin when it came to displaying the most unsavoury objects. Even his beard trimmings seemed to form impressionistic patterns in the wash hand basin. Clearly incapable of rinsing them away, he would look at her with wounded innocence when she railed against his revolting habits.
'Lighten up, Tabitha. It's only a bit of chin fluff. At least I put the toilet seat down – well, most of the time.' This was true, but today was miraculous insofar as there was actually a roll of toilet paper to hand. Correctly positioned on the holder. Usually it was lying dejectedly on the floor or conspicuous by its total absence. It reminded Tabitha of the old joke, 'How many men does it take to change a loo roll? No-one knows, it's never been done.'
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