By the time he reached the alley, shadows stretched long, the dumpsters and cars filled-in silhouettes. Something scurried against the stone wall of a building. Josh flinched. A rat. He relaxed; he was no longer afraid of rodents, he had eaten them.
He found the back door to the restaurant. Cartons and bags lay strewn in the alley, already picked over. Josh found a half-sandwich of turkey or chicken, a bruised pear, broken cookies of some sort. He shoved a piece in his mouth; it tasted of some exotic yet familiar spice. Cardamom, he realized, and he almost cried remembering the bread his mother made every New Year’s day. Pulla, plump with raisins. Swedish food for good luck in the year. He tried to remember why he was so angry with his parents, something to do with the church and the way they whispered all the time around him. He remembered they had forbidden him to hang with Nikko and Gemma, but now that seemed like such a small sacrifice for a full belly.
The 16th installment of THE RUNAWAY. You can find last week's story HERE. Thank you for reading--much appreciated. Peace...