Character: Ezra, homeless kid in New Orleans. This is only a year after Katrina.
Rating: G - no warnings
Word Count: 383 words
Author's Note: This was the result of a writing jumble exercise as written by akuni who gave several lists of ten possible things to pick from as prompts. I chose 8) a homeless person, 9) in a cemetery, 3) at meal time, and 5) someone has won something. Many thanks to her for the prompts.
When Ezra found himself with his eyes aching and his head hurting from the brightness of the sunlight in the middle of the day, he'd go to the white washed vaults of the cemetery. The stones were cool compared to the humid heat of New Orleans. He'd press himself against the shaded side, and bask in the quietude, without the noise and stink of cars, people, and the leftovers of rot and decay of the destroyed parts of town.
It was ironic, really, to come to a cemetery to escape the scent of death.
Ezra didn't stir as he heard the voices of a man and two women in hushed conversation as they came in through the one gate in the hurricane fencing. But his stomach growled as he smelled bacon cheeseburgers and fries, and heard the rustling of paper and the squeak of straws in plastic lids.
He'd go to the soup kitchen tonight. There's be hot food then, but for now, he simply endured listening to them talking about how stupid working at the book store was, how idiotic the manager was, and how the lights were giving one of the girls headaches.
At five 'til one, they all got up and went away, still grumbling.
Ezra peeked around the corner and saw the floating debris of their impromptu picnic. They were long gone, and he carefully gathered up all the wrappers, only eating the leftover fries, not quite so far gone as to touch one of the mostly eaten burgers.
As he picked up the garbage, he realized there were little game tabs on the big burger wrappers, the drink cups, and the boxes for the fries. He picked them off, more from curiosity than anything else. The street names and utilities on the little tabs made him smile, as he remembered playing that game as a kid back when he had a family.
On the last drink cup, the tab he pulled off was completely different than the others. He blinked at the words a little dizzily. "Free Value Meal!" it read, with lots of other little words underneath.
He laughed. "Thank you," he said to the white-washed graves, the cement angel, the cool pavement, and he walked to the entrance, threw away the trash; and then went to collect his prize.