At The Refuge For The Brokenhearted

The smell of burnt toast made its way through the corridors, bringing out the residents in small packs, each of them eager to see what was happening.  I pushed through them, barking instructions and telling them not to panic and in the kitchen found a small crowd watching a piece of toast cremate before them.  I reached over, pressed the eject button and the toast popped up from the machine – a charred black rectangle and some more smoke, like a magician emerging from a trick gone wrong.  I wafted the smoke away and shooed the residents back to their rooms, watching them as they went – each of them lost, unable to fully function under the crushing burden of their own misery.  Some of them with one sock on, one sock off, some with hair tied back with sellotape, some looking at their own feet like they were strangers they had met in a lift.  I binned the burnt toast and headed back to my office to get on with my day’s work, continued with the photocopying which is one of the services we provided at the refuge.  I had a pile of one hundred things which I had to photocopy before the end of the day when the courier would come to collect.  The items ranged from shoes to shoelaces and things of all sizes inbetween.  I photocopied them one by one and filed the photocopies away and when the courier came he took with him the physical evidence of the past.  We would keep the photocopies and reintroduce the residents to their past when the time was right.


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