Week in the life of a monster shopkeeper
What’s it like to volunteer at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies? We asked fearless shopkeeper Simon Moriarty to keep a diary to find out.
Oh dear, the week gets off to a bad start. One of the Werewolves, who guards the premises on Sundays and Mondays, had a little accident. Before any customers can come in, the whole shop floor needs thoroughly scrubbing with our trusty witch’s broom (which is also useful as transport to avoid the tube in rush hour). Luckily the smell doesn’t last for long, and soon enough the shop is back to its normal welcoming odour of decaying flesh and regret. Happily there is a rush on fang floss as the Monster Dental Association (MDA) has been busy warning monsters of the dangers of fang decay.
Ah, time for a visit from one of our regulars, Elgon. At nearly nine feet tall, he struggles to get in the front door and we always have to sweep up broken lightbulbs once he’s left, but it’s a pleasure to see him nonetheless. Today he’s less morose than normal, and is looking for some lollies to cheer-up his grandkids Elgon Jnr Jnr and Elgoretta (the twins). Their baby neck bolts have come out and their adult ones have started to come through. Hopefully, a couple of Bloodsucker Lollies will take the edge off.
A busy day, helped by the terrible morning weather. The gloomier it is, the more monsters are out and about in Hoxton. We had an invisible family in – mum, dad and two kids I think – although hard to tell. At lunchtime a paranormal investigator came in to purchase one of Detective Flatley’s Mysterious and Monstrous Map of Hoxton. He was a bit shifty but told us he was on the hunt for a particularly noxious sewer dweller and needed to know all the possible escape routes. He wasn’t planning on harming the monster, just giving it a good hosing down as some Hoxton residents have been complaining about a strange smell in the area.
That Friday feeling meant we had more humans visiting than usual. They like to stock-up on gifts for other humans before the weekend and the Cubed Earwax was flying off the shelves. We just tell them it’s fudge.
The local gang of sorcerers has been practising their spells again, and it seems their levitation curse got in through the air conditioning system. It’s not the worst curse we’ve had in the shop – we were made invisible for an entire century once – but it kept us on our toes. One minute I was chatting to a customer about our range of salt made from human tears, the next a jar of human snot hit him in the head.
The last and weirdest day of the week , which is saying something. We opened as normal and helped a group of local children use the secret entrance to attend a Ministry of Stories workshop.
In all the excitement Wells, the shop’s invisible cat, got out into the street and started terrorising dogs and their owners. All the barking encouraged the banshee upstairs to join in. She popped down for an emergency supply of Banshee Balls soon after; we could barely hear the poor thing, she’d screamed so much.
The afternoon was calmer, as we had a coach load of ghosts in from somewhere up north. They don’t say much, but they enjoyed scaring tourists who came in to take photos.
End of the day and after the normal locking-up – and making sure the jar of human farts was properly sealed – it’s time to count the money. We made £666.