Ah the supermarket, where frantic shoppers go to restock the contents of their fridge back at home, and it is here we find the world’s busiest secret agent.
“Let me see…OJ, OJ, OJ…ah, Purple Stuff” said DM as he popped the large container at the front of the trolley besides the boxes of cereal and French loafs.
He reached the frozen foods aisle, and a pang of nostalgia shot through his heart as he stared at the range of Melted licensed offerings.
He reached out to grab the item; he stared at the imagery, thinking back to the obsessions his friends had with the franchise, and reflecting on what this particular character the food was branded on meant to him.
A time where he had given a girl a bedazzling waltz that enabled him to save the world.
Another hand swiftly attempted to grab the item from his hand, their fingers nimbly overlapping over one another as the struggle to attain control of the box began in earnest.
“Hands off you, I called first dibs”
“And I’ll just call you a dib” came a familiar voice.
DM peered down to find the person on the other end clutching the box was Dawn, the girl he had shared magic with under the Northern Lights.
Here they stood now, grasping the box, looking over it to catch the expressions conveyed in their three eyes, two for Dawn, one for Danger Mouse, both wondering if their experience in the chilling cold could stir up warm emotion within them both now.
Surely that experience couldn’t have been for nothing? DM thought.
He could sense there was something more to the timeless child that stood before him, he’d seen her at her most selfish as well as at her most vulnerable, but that day he danced with her, the day they put both of their bodies through a wondrous motion, was the first time he had seen her at her most submissive.
She had learned to let go, to seal the cracks she had admitted to have seen within herself, and reflected that attitude through the pristine reflection of a mind, heart and soul at peace.
Something changed in him that day too, he had waited forever to find something to stir the song within his own soul, after years of falling victim to nerves, and Dawn had brought that courage to the forefront.
It could not have been for nothing, he knew it, and she must have too.
DM sighed, handing her the box.
“Here” he said.
Dawn gave him a sour look and looked for the expiration date, thinking DM was only letting her have the burgers because they’d gone off.
DM tried to provoke some small talk, in the hope he could break through the icy demeanour of the child nemesis and get to know her a bit better in this form, fearing at the same time she could turn to her teenage form and use her powers for destructive ends, bringing the whole of the supermarket crashing down on the teeming shoppers that populated it.
He had to be careful about it.
“I see you’ve changed your mind about Melted” he said, referring to how she never wanted to watch the movie again after their dance.
“These are the only burgers I happen to like in this wretched city, the branding doesn’t mean anything”
“I see, so there’s nothing there then? Maybe a film doesn’t matter all that much as you get older, which would, in your case, only be handled within a matter of seconds”
“No, a movie doesn’t matter” said Dawn, surprising DM with a swift clasp of her one free hand, she pulled at his arm, forcing his face to meet her height, and she clasped one side of his cheek softly
“The experience does” she says, kissing him on the nose.
“You turned that on rather rapidly” DM said, blushing ever so slightly.
“You can’t hide what you mean from me Mouse, you wouldn’t be standing here trying to get me involved in mushy grown-up talk, you’d be alerting your silly side-kick and that plucky back ended Professor to what I was doing looking for a way to stop whatever it is I was doing”
DM gave her a smug glance, he found Dawn’s ability to grasp the obvious a strong compliment to her character, it certainly put her in a league of her own, far beyond his other rivals and enemies, even friends.
Whether or not she was a friend in this instance was another matter entirely.
“Where’s Snuggle?” said DM, knowing Dawn’s friend, protector and caretaker could not be far behind.
“At the arcade machine, a driving simulator, he’s keeping my seat warm” Dawn replied.
“How’s he doing? I’ve never known him to drive”
“Oh he’s not playing the game, he’s just pretending to until I get back with some change to put in the slot”
“Do you have any?”
“No, so if I can’t play before I leave, nobody else is, I’ll have Snuggles smash it to pieces before we go”
“But who’d pay for that?” said DM.
“They all pay eventually” Dawn replied, letting out a cruel giggle.
“I believe in this instance, you can’t hide what you mean to me either” said DM.
“So what do you intend to do about it?”
“Care to flip a coin?” said DM, producing five pence from one of his suit’s pockets.
Dawn gasped, and swiftly grabbed it.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you” she said, giving the mouse another gentle touch on the nose with her gentle lips.
“Good, now hand it over” said DM, his hand outstretched, waiting for her to deposit something in his hand.
“Hand what over?”
“You know what I mean” said DM.
Dawn winked and gave him the hamburgers.
“What did we learn today?” DM said.
“Money can be exchanged for goods and services” she said.
“Run along” said DM.
Dawn relieved Snuggles of his pretend play through, jumped into the simulator, inserted the coin into the slot machine, and set to work on having a good time.
“We heading home after this?” Snuggles said.
“Somehow, I feel like I already was home” Dawn said.
As he watched Dawn play, DM felt that if there had been a mountain to move in this moment, he had just pushed Everest.