The Face of Hunger

Kiriko’s stomach growled.Lighting another cigarette, she took a drag and hoped the nicotine would stave off hunger for a little while longer. Rain pelted the over hang. She shivered.

Across the street Ari, squatter and more peasant-like, stood on the corner of the curb, dark umbrella in hand.

“Hey, Ari!”

Ari looked around as if bewildered by the sound of her own name. Eventually, her gaze came to rest on Kiriko. “Kiri-chan?”

“Yes, it is I, the humble fiddler-ina.”

Ari’s grimaced at Kiriko’s clothes. “Times are hard, neh?”

Kiriko shrugged. “No more or less than any other.”

“I’m glad you’re doing well for yourself.”

“Of course I am. How else would I be doing?”

Ari gave her head a tiny shake that made her bangs dance. “It’s been nice to see you but I have to go.”

Kiriko’s hand shot out and grabbed Ari’s wrist. “Please, do you have a few bucks or maybe an apple?”

Gently, Ari unwrapped Kiriko’s fingers. “I seem to recall you making fun of me for working all summer. Where are all your other friends now?”

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