AUTHOR'S NOTE: This flash fiction piece was written for Three Word Wednesday and will be cross-posted later this week at Weekend Writer's Retreat. It is not part of the novel and it contains no spoilers. Be sure to drop by Three Word Wednesday or Weekend Writer's Retreat for more fun!
Danny slipped through the window, dropped into a crouch, and looked around as best he could in the musty, tepid darkness.
Empty, but that came as no surprise. He and his twin, Danica, had staked the place out carefully. One wrong decision could get a person killed in the wreckage of the city, so they were in the habit of planning each move carefully.
He jerked the rope and felt it grow taut. A minute later, Danica appeared at the window, and he helped her in.
“Anyone see us?” he whispered.
Danica shook her head, then turned her attention to the dusty room. “We were right.”
“We’re always right.” He kissed her, then indicated the door with a jerk of his chin.
They went into the hall and moved silently from room to room. In one, several small children slept huddled on a pile of sheets and sofa cushions beneath an open window. Another room smelled faintly of rot, overlaid with the acrid odor of someone’s attempt at cooking. Behind a closed door near the end of the hall were grunts and sighs that suggested a couple members of this ragged gang of survivors had found a little distraction in each others’ arms.
Danny slipped a hand around Danica’s waist, then lower. “They’re giving me ideas.”
She stifled a giggle. “Later.”
Behind the next door they found what they were looking for. It didn’t take long to determine that the boy slumped across the table with a flickering candle stub and an empty bottle by his side wasn’t waking up anytime soon. Danny turned on his flashlight, illuminating metal shelves full of books, tools, and office supplies. Danica examined a few cans of peanuts, then turned away in regret. They had a more important mission here.
While Danny fumbled with a portable CD player, Danica searched bags and boxes until she found what they had come for. She stuffed the small items into her backpack, signaled to Danny, and then they slipped through the dark corridor to the empty room they had entered through. Their rope was still there, and they shimmied to the ground with the ease of many years of practice.
A few minutes later, safely back in their own abandoned brownstone, they examined their takings with pleasure.
“Just let them try it now.”
“Did you make sure to break the lid?”
Danny nodded. The neighbor gang’s wild music had been the bane of their existence. “Disc drive, too. Even if they find more batteries to replace the ones we stole, that boom box will never play another CD.”
“Now we can sleep as late as we want.”
“Who said anything about sleeping?”
Danica let him unbutton her shirt and sighed with pleasure as he ran his hand across her skin. “I just hope they don’t think of some other way to make noise.”
“If they annoy us again, we’ll have to kill them.”
“I guess so. Seems a little extreme, though.” She pulled away from his kiss and frowned.
“Everything’s extreme at the end of the world.” He drew her back to him and this time she didn’t resist. “Now take those pants off, love, or do I have to take them off for you?”
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