He set the plate before her. It was barely covered, a thin, fatty slice of what looked like baloney slapped alongside hard, molding bread. It had been arranged carelessly, lazily, and the boy snarled at her before he left, sliding the table back with his exit as he walked away, back into the kitchen. Sighing, Alina pulled the plate towards her chest, her elbows banging against the table as she slid the meat off the plate and diligently placed it on the bread, bracing herself for the stale taste as she chewed purposefully. The apartment was empty, the walls barren and peeling, the cheery, yellow paint long gone. Pictures and memorabilia had long since been sold, given off in exchange for the odd loaf of bread or molded cheese. They had begun eating the rotting flour left under the cabinet, brown and stinking as they scooped up handfuls, never wasting a speck. It tasted like plaster to her, but the ache in her stomach overruled her taste, and the flour had slowly dwindled.

She knew they would fight over the rest. The boy was not kind, and she was not a pushover, however much she wanted to be. Hunger had a way of doing that to you, grabbing it in thinned fingertips and whispering cruel nothings in your ear, convincing you it was most important, not the shadows under her eyes, or the war, or the dark boy that lived under her mother's dressing table. It was selfish, and unyielding, but yet, Alina loved it.

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cmacduval (joined about 6 years ago)

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