" How did she know that", he said out loud to himself.
He paused a second, shrugged his shoulders and went on his merry way. It was the 4th of October, the day of a new stamp issue and he did not want to be late at the post Office.
London was surprisingly summer like. A light breeze, nice sunshine with just the odd cloud to break heat of the day.
The middle aged man had made his way to the big Post Office in Central London. He had been there many times before that year and even knew some of the Postal clerks by name. Indeed, he had often commented to others that he could have found his way there with his eyes closed. Doubtless they did not believe him, this being one of the busier parts of the capital !
It was early and for a new issue day, eerily quiet. Where were all those collectors he had seen and chatted to so many times in the recent past. Could they have forgotten about today; Could they have missed something. He thought it strange but nonetheless continued on to the Philatelic Counter. No queue !
He peered through the protective glass and there was a man with his head down, as if in half-sleep. He was a balding man in his forties, at a guess, and did not notice the Middle aged man.
"Huh Hum, excuse me but I would like the new Smilers stamps please".
The postal worker looked up, opened his eyes fully, and said apologetically, " Er, sorry I was just ...er, well it's been quiet today and er.............."
" That's OK. I would like the new Smilers Stamps please"
The Postal worker opened the small drawer in front of him and handed him 1 booklet. " One pound eighty pence please sir"
" Also the Smilers sheet please because the stamps are not the same and I collect all the varieties"
" Sorry Sir, but the sheets are only available in Customized form"
He handed the man a form to fill in.
" If you would like to fill this in and pay fourteen pounds ninety nine pence then I can order it for you. I will of course need a photograph "
The middle aged man stopped admiring his booklet and looked at the man. " WHAAAAAAAAAT ! You want me to pay 14.99 pounds for stamps with a face value of 6 pounds. Do you think I'm stupid or WHAAAAAT !" His voiced reached a higher level. "I have been coming here all year, week in week out, spending my good money and now you want to cheat me into paying more than double for stamps...NO,NO,NO,NO,......."
" NO,NO,NO,NO,". The middle aged man woke up in a Cold Sweat, shaking. He was relieved to see it was morning and noticed the sun shining through the window.
" Are you alright dear". His wife came in the room with laundry and noticed her pale looking husband. " Yes, bit of a nightmare that's all"
He dressed quickly and went downstairs for breakfast. His wife noticed that he was quiet as they ate their Eggs and Bacon. He was usually quite chatty.
" I am going out for a while", he said to his wife after the meal was over. He went to get his coat.
" I don't think you will need that today", she said. "It's quite hot for October. And don't forget the new Smilers stamps are out today".
The door closed behind as he stepped into the warm sunshine. Then he stopped, a sudden chill came over him and he was goose-pimply from head to toe.
"How did she know that"