"Emergency. Police, Fire or Ambulance."
"It's one of them, them," the voice seemed harried, breathless. Carol waited for more, experienced enough to know not to jump to conclusions, or to finish the sentence. Often, no, not often, almost always, the person was flush with adrenaline coursing through their veins. Stringing a coherent sentence isn't part of the fight-or-flight response.
The man took a large breath in. "It's one of them fairy things," he said. He continued, but all his words got mashed together. "Jesus," he seemed to say, as if that explained it all.
"Sir, can you tell me what is happening."
"It's one of them fairies, its inside."
"Me shop, it’s just walked in. A fairy."
It's times like these where Carol wished she could flick a switch and see the vision from the other end of the phone. She imagines a little girl dressed up in her tutu, sparkle make-up and waving a wand. The little wings will flap about with each step.
"Can you describe the fairy?" Carol knows this will get played back later as she keeps the smile from her voice.
Carol needs to be careful. She can't indulge in any racism.
"Who is black?"
"The fairy. He's just prancing around like he owns the place."
Right, Carol thinks. A racist and a homophobe.
"Sir, it is a free country."
"A free country. Everyone has the right to be who they want to be."
"What are you on about? I don't want a penguin wondering around my store knocking things over."
"Wait, you have a penguin walking around your store?"
"Yeah, that's what I've been telling you."