The Apothecary
Chapter One

The room was dimly lit by the varied shades of moonlight piercing through the windows. The frame of the building creaked as the wind blew through it and all was silent. A loud clunking was heard approaching the front door.

A tall thin teenage boy stepped out of the backroom of the building and up to the counter where he stood awaiting potential customers. The front door blew open and a figure clad in black leather and a hooded cape strode towards the counter.

"Hello," the boy said to the figure, "How may I help you."

"I've come to pick up that human meat I ordered," He said as he pulled back his hood and revealed his face. "How are you today Oz?"

"Grison I'm sorry," apologized Oz, "I didn't recognize you."

"It's quite fine good friend." Grison replied. Grison had short black spiky hair and emerald green eyes that could entrance a lion.

Oz walked into the back room to retrieve the meat Grison ordered. Oz had long electric blue hair which after years of Rastafarian styling had become dreadlocked. Oz sported a black and grey striped shirt, baggy black cargos and some aged sneakers.

Grison looked around the store while Oz was in the back fetching the meat.

"It gets rather dusty in here doesn't it?" Grison called out, "Hope it's not due to lack of customers?"

"No, not at all," Oz called from the backroom, "Dandy's just been lazy of late."

Grison heard a shuffling noise upstairs, and then a figure walked into the room. Their red hair feathered at the ends, their face covered by a theatrical mask, clad in a red t-shirt and white baggy cargos and a pair of industrial boots.

Grison looked towards the person with a quick look of surprise on his face.

"Why Daniel Blake," Grison spoke, "Haven't seen you in a dog's age."

Dandy pulled the mask of his face and revealed his pale skin and his heavily shadowed bright blue eyes.

"Morning Grison," Dandy spoke softly, "And how are you today?"

"I'm fine thank you Daniel," he replied, "Just picking up meat for dinner."

Oz returned from the back room and placed the paper-wrapped meat on the counter.

"Is that all today?" asked Oz as Grison stepped over to the counter.

"Yes thank you Oz," replied Grison going into his pocket for his wallet.

"That's fifty dollars as usual." Oz said while Grison handed over the money.

They shared a brief nod and Grison left the shop. Outside the once bustling streets of London are now only humming with few cars and some pedestrians sharing small talk.

"So what we're a human butcher store now?" asked Dandy as he glanced at the door.

"You know we have to cater to everybody in this world," replied Oz, "Even cannibals Dandy."

"I suppose," Dandy spoke softly now, "So where's Billy?"

"She's out clubbing," said Oz with a very disgruntled face, "That girl is always out, leaving the shop just to us two, who does she think she is?"

"She's the owner of the shop." Replied Dandy, he knew his place, he knew Oz didn't. It was Billy's decision to go gallivanting about London at night while Dandy and Oz ran the shop, and Dandy just played into it.

"Damn it Dandy," shouted Oz, "Must you really side with her every time I bring up the fact she doesn't do her job properly? I know you love her and all but could you not let that sway your opinion."

Oz had a sneaking suspicion Dandy only stuck up for Billy because he had feelings for her. Even if this was correct Dandy would surely fail seeing as Billy isn't interested in men.

"You know that's not true," Dandy spoke now staring at the floor, "I can't like Billy, I don't like anyone."

"Oh here we go," Oz folded his arms, "You and your zombie feelings."

"I need to sleep." Dandy's face turned sombre as he walked over to the front door and placed his right hand on the glass.

"No, what you need is some bloody caffeine," proclaimed Oz, "So you don't look like some sort of zo... oh right."

Dandy blankly stared at Oz, and then retreated to the backroom. Oz picked up a rag off the counter and began to wipe the counter down. The front door creaked open and a teenage girl stepped in. She wore a short denim skirt and a black low cut midriff bearing shirt. Her big black military boots clunked over the wooden floor as she walked up to the counter.

"Billy," Oz spoke as he looked up from the counter, "Glad to see you could join us."

Billy scoffed and looked at Oz, with a shrug of her shoulders her long wispy black hair fell out of its fancy hairstyle that seemed to defy gravity and began to shimmer and float like it was suspended in water for a moment then dropped onto her shoulders.

"Thanks for watching the shop," She said as she looked around to see the condition of the shop, "Well I'm showering then I'm off to bed."

Billy gave a little wave then walked into the backroom. The backroom itself was actually a house that seemed to echo a lot. Billy walked into her room and dropped her wallet and mobile then began to undress.

Oz glanced at the clock which read 2:45 AM, this suddenly made him realise how tired he was. So he walked over to the front door and locked it then retreated to the backroom.

Dandy was lying down in his bed and staring blankly at the ceiling. His room was very small and rather simple. There was a bed and a cupboard full of clothes, which was it. The only thing that made this room seem a little bit fuller was the writing all over the walls. Whenever Dandy had a thought that he was sure he'd forget he would write it on the walls. The thoughts weren't useless either; they were sudden realisations of himself that he seemed to pay a lot more attention to now than when he was alive.

As Oz headed down the hallway to his room he stopped by Billy's room and peered in due to the door being left slightly ajar. He saw an empty room; he looked all around then decided she wasn't there. Oz turned to go to his room when he bumped right into Billy who was watching him.

"Go to bed," said Billy with a very unimpressed stare, "Next time I'll thump you til you bleed."

Oz chuckled then continued up the hallway into his room. Inside his room was a king sized bed, a small television, a large wardrobe, a computer desk with some sort of tricked out personal computer and walls that were scattered with various rock bands.

"My god it's messy in here," said Billy as she stood in the doorway, "Oh hello, don't mind me."

Oz was sitting on his bed looking at Billy wondering what the bloody hell she wanted.

"What's all this then?" he said staring at her. Billy was leaning up against the door frame staring at Oz; in a manner he thought was seductive. Oz thought in his mind this was the night he's been waiting for.

"Did you pay the hot water bill?" asked Billy annoyed as usual. Oz's hopes had just been shattered.

"Uh yea I did," Replied Oz with a disgruntled tone, "Whys that?"

"Why is the shower cold then?" Billy snapped back now glaring at Oz.

"Sure you turned on the hot?" said Oz with a sarcastic tone as he stared up and down at her body.

"Oh fuck you." She hurled at him and stalked off.

Oz looked at his feet then kicked off his shoes. He reached around on to his bedside table looking for the remote to his stereo. Upon finding the remote Oz turned on the stereo and enjoyed the alternative rock spewing from the speakers.

Dandy sat upright in his bed and looked as though he was staring through the wall at Oz. He was very unnerved by the music as it penetrated the walls almost physically.

Billy wasn't bothered because she had fallen asleep with her headphones on as she laid in her king sized four poster bed.