Snakes and Pills

093 - rescue

Kelly put her head down on the counter. It was hard to not feel sad, as much as she hated to let that feeling come into her. She wasn't the type of person who was easily brought down by the weight of anything--but lately the immensity of her problems had built up into such a weight that even she couldn't escape it.

The bright lights beaming onto the walls, which were painted in cheerful, bright colors. It was supposed to give her shop a happy feel, but Kelly could only think about how much energy those light bulbs must be consuming. How much the paint had cost in the first place. All of that was money that she did not have.

But the lights were not the worst. She could avoid them by simply closing her eyes. That was an activity Kelly found herself engaging in increasingly often, these days. Usually accompanied by kneading her fingers into her temples. It was an escape that lasted all too briefly, but it was an escape nonetheless.

The thing that bothered her the most was the sound. The incessant sound of kittens crying, of puppies whimpering and soiling their newspapers. The animals had no idea of the situation she was in. They simply were concerned for their own plight: being shoved in boxes behind the front window, on display for a passerby who might ultimately decide to take them home.

A passerby who never came.

Kelly had been certain that it was a good idea to open a pet shop. As a teenager, she had worked at one for a few years, and she had a massive love for animals of all shapes and sizes. When she finished with university, she was looking for some kind of business opportunity, and this seemed like a wise one. After all, people love pets, don't they?

When she first opened up the shop a few months ago, she knew things were not quite booming. But that was to be expected. She had definitely opted for a soft opening, not really promoting or advertising her presence. Kelly figured people would just realize that there was a new pet shop in town, and eventually they would make their way in for a gander.

Her store was well-stocked with everything that any pet owner or potential pet owner may have wanted. She didn't really know what to specialize in, so she had gone with a very wide approach, and she was amazed how much money buying up all that initial inventory had cost. The vast majority of which was still sitting on the shelves, collecting dust and ticking towards expiration dates.

That, combined with the cost of the building itself and its refurbishment, had tapped all of Kelly's lines of credit to their limits. She could count the number of sales she had made on two hands, and word of mouth simply wasn't going to save her. She was already competitively priced and had good selection, but the customers simply were not there.

Kelly knew she had to advertise or do something to get the word out, but she simply didn't have the means. So she sat there, at the counter, as she had for so many days before, and wondered for how much longer this enterprise may be able to carry on.

She hoped to drift off to sleep. It wouldn't make a difference, no customers would come in. The cacophony of the animals was hard to drown out, but she was getting better at it.


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