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The lift was a small, crammed area. The two girls in it could not wait to be out, and to meet up with the mistress again, ready to carry on with half-term activities.

"Shouldn't be too long," said Theodora, looking at her quivering friend.

"I hope not, Thea," said Odette, shakily. "I do not like being in this space,"

"Never mind, Detta," Ted said. "What have you bought?"

"Me, I have bought this for Connie," said Odette, showing Ted a string of pretty blue and green beads. "And this for Maman," she displayed some rhinestones.

"Connie would really love those beads," Ted observed them. "And I'm sure your mother would love the rhinestones,"

"She will," said Odette. "I'll have a visit not too long after half-term, the doctors say she is doing so well. And what have you bought, Thea?"

"A couple of trinkets," said Ted. "For Lena, Connie, Meg, and cousin May,"

The lights suddenly blinked out, and the lift stopped moving. Odette screamed, almost deafening Ted.

"Odette?" she asked. "Odette, calm down, it's nothing to worry about, please calm down!"

Odette rapidly spoke in French, so fast Ted couldn't understand her.

"Please, calm down, please calm down, please calm down," Ted said, almost to herself.

She couldn't see anything, so she moved by touch. She reached flesh, and Odette screamed more.

"Odette, don't worry, it's me," Ted said. She repeated it in French, Odette's panic large still.

Ted sat down next to Odette's form, and they held hands. Ted could instinctively tell Odette was crying, so she put her arm around Odette.

"What's happening? What's wrong? I don't like this," said Odette.

"It's just a fault," said Ted. "They'll know, they'll get us out shortly,"

"Who's they?" asked Odette.

"The store," said Ted. "They'll put it right, I promise,"

"But what if they don't?" asked Odette. "What if we're trapped here, forever?"

"They will," said Ted. "You have my word, they will,"

However, Odette had spoken the words Ted had been thinking. What if.

"I bet once we're back no-one will have noticed," Ted said.

"If they're not already gone," Odette said.

"Stop worrying about it, it will be fine, I promise," Ted said.

It seemed ages and ages and ages that they were in the dark. Ted comforted Odette as well as she could, but she herself felt scared, she felt sick, when was this going to end? She was getting dizzy, all the blood left her face, she suppressed the scream inside her.

The lighting turned on as instantly as it had turned off, and they started moving again, until they had reached the fifth department.

"Where were you?" half-yelled Miss Charlesworth. However, the white faces of the pair made her decide that this was not the time or place to go through what had happened. "Never mind," she put forward. "Let's get the coach, before they decide to leave without us,"

As soon as the girls were together, and Francie and Ruey joined up with them, they instantly asked "What happened?" in unison.

"It's a long story, and I don't want to talk about it," said Ted.

Francie and Ruey said no more about it, and diverted the conversation.    




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