"People around me are carrying on with 'the silly game'," Kitty told us over tea in the shop two days later eyeing up Phyliss dubiously. "Aren't you one of them girls in that club?" she asked her coldly.
"I was," admitted Phyliss putting the tea cup down on the side in the kitchen. "I told them I had too. much to do here, and gave up. I was sick of it all. Hardly fair is it?"
"What is the club like?" she asked hesitantly, "I mean, I knew what it was like, and then they kicked all the over 45's..."
I began to giggle.
Phyliss struggled not to laugh.
"What have I said?" she said puzzled. She wasn't all that sure we were really friendly.
Phyliss pointed at me, "She joined regardless of the rules. Over 45 and gets off with a younger man!"
"Wow!" she said, "How did you do it?"
"I wear leggings," I told her pointing at my leggings proudly. "Little minds! Easily confused!"
Phyliss leaned over the table. "I think they are all lesbians!" she said with a wink at our new friend. "That's why the leggings did it!"
"Huh!" I said coldly, this joke was going far to far. "I'll wash up." I left them to it.
"What are you going to do about it all?" she said to Kitty. "You have to watch your post as well. Check what you expect arrives - arrives. They up to all sorts of tricks. They'll say their name is similiar, they'll swear that you pinch their post and don't give it back. They wait for the post all over the place, and say you are a relative and they'll take it over, course they don't."
Kitty nodded. "I know, I realised that when I saw someone else was worried about their post disappearing!"
"What's the game right now?" Phyliss asked, "Is it the worry you to death game?"
"I suppose it might be, some man in a car stops outside and yells, has she changed yet!"
"Is that it?" asked Phyliss. "Are yotu sure its for you? All this harrassment?"
"I'm not sure of anything right now," said Kitty, looking at me, worried lines meeting over her eyes. "I think he means is she dead yet. Perhaps I ought to go home."
I watched as she practically ran out of the shop door.
Phyllis looked at me silently. A tear ran down her face. "At first I thought it was all over that man - they all slept with. They all took turns, had a list in one of the shops. It isn't is it?"
I shook my head. "Its about money! The man is a red herring!"
Phyliss swore loudly and left the room.
A customer came in so I jumped up ready to serve her. We got into a conversation about a dance dress, possibly red with diamonante and ruffles, by the time she came back. She dragged out the design book, and I explained how she was the owner and designer and left them to it.
After the customer had left an order for a dance dress, made to her exact requirement for a dance competition Phyliss turned to me, "How do we tell Kitty the rest?"
"What rest?" I asked innocently, "I think she knows that everyone slept with him so she's put off for ever."
"Its more than that," she answered slowly, "I think they are after him too, I heard its so he can't say he hasn't had women! Perhaps even..."
"The insurance scam. They insure people they don't agree with, and wait for them to die. They saying it won't be long. Everyone pays in, plays the horrid game and gets a pay out in two years time. That's so their own insurance pays out too... they'd intercept that given the chance. God knows who started that one... I just heard the people in the street grumbling that it was taking way too long. They'd paid in enough!"
"Hell! Does she know?" I was beginning to feel sick.
"Possibly," said Phyliss reflectively, "She's got a pokerface that one. Isn't going to give anything away. She's scared stiff. I would be too!"
"If she says too much about them - its back to the hospital." Sometimes life was very unfair. I mean who was going to believe all this happens down in rural Norfolk?
"They've never been got for that one," remarked Phyliss, "Nor most of the other stuff, no-one can prove anything. It's
I nodded. "Its safer to be poor around here."
"Yes," she agreed, "Never tell anyone how much you got, or you won't last long."