AUTHOR'S NOTE: This flash fiction piece about Danny and Danica, otherwise known as the twins, is not part of the novel. This is also a Sunday Scribblings post. It contains no spoilers, and it contains links to relevant supplemental information, where appropriate. Please to go the Sunday Scribblings for more fun!
Danica inhaled deeply and sighed.
"They're even using barbeque sauce," Danny whispered. "Damn them."
The twins peered cautiously over the ledge, but the ragged group below was too entranced by their find to look up. Their attention was fixed on the grill where shanks of goat were roasting over the flames.
"I wish we'd seen it before they did," Danica said.
Danny nodded. "I thought the Zoo Tribe was doing a better job of watching their animals. We'll have to monitor them. Maybe another one will get loose."
"And in the meantime..." Danica looked at the roasting meat below. Since the pandemic, fresh meat had consisted mostly of stray pets, rats and pigeons, causing the badly hacked-off limbs of the petting zoo goat to take on the aura of divine culinary art.
"They're a bunch of nobodies," Danny said, in reference to the group of hungry children waiting for a meal. "We just need a plan."
Silently, they moved away from the ledge to check their weapons and equipment. The hooks and ropes of their rappelling gear might stand them in good stead, if their aim was good, but...
"We'll need a distraction," Danny said. "Otherwise they aren't taking their eyes off that meat until it goes into their stomachs."
"We can't do anything too chaotic. Someone else might come and steal it before we get our share."
Danny drew a lighter from his pocket. "I've got just the thing."
Danica trusted his judgment on these matters and began unwinding a rope. "Where should I meet you? Home?"
"That looted bank on Fourteenth. If I'm not there, keep going."
Danny moved to go, but she called him back. "Hey." She met his eyes, then glanced away. "They don't look like much, but sometimes the ones who don't seem dangerous--"
"Are the worst," he finished for her. "I know." He kissed her hard on the mouth, then slipped into the shadows of the building.
Danica finished getting her hooks and ropes ready. She wouldn't have much time, but she and Danny were used to working fast. All those years of martial arts, sharpshooting, and survival classes had been good fun when they were children, but as orphans of the pandemic, it was the difference between life and death, between preserving their special bond and independence, versus being forced by hunger to join a gang.
She moved to the ledge, picked out a promising piece of meat on the grill below, and waited. She and Danny would eat well tonight.