The paper slackens

It’s not quite as cold tonight. Still bloody freezing, but just a bit more bearable.

He steps up onto the bin and reaches up to the top of the wall.


Fingers make contact and he lifts down the package, which crackles like baking parchment.

He untacks the half inch of sticky tape, eager, still standing on the empty bin, and the paper slackens and cradling it in his left hand he parts the sheets.

Two pastries, with spinach or something baked into them.

And underneath a slip of paper, soaked through with grease, all through the handwriting.

He takes hungry bites, his first today, and last.

The same message as always. Always left in the package of pastries (sometimes three, once four), ever since they started collecting the bins early, too soon for him to reach them and dig out leftovers from the bakery.

And now they’re eaten. He’s content.

Good luck!

from Stephanie.


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