"Nearly everybody gets twitterpatted in the spring time." ~Owl, Walt Disney's Bambi
Prez, only thirteen, examined the small McDonald's hamburger she had pulled out of the dumpster. It was barely soiled by the trash that had surrounded it, and - being from McDonald's - hadn't gone bad and was bound to be delicious. A pure gold find.
But... there was only a quarter left. Not enough to split.
She looked down at her too-flat-to-be-healthy stomach hidden under the baggy t-shirt she had swiped from a laundry line, then over to her younger sister.
"I'm hungry." The six-year-old said bluntly.
It had been a long winter. Prez had barely eaten more than a couple little scraps a week the last four months. Her first period had been in the fall, only three days long, and she hadn't seen any sign of menstruating since. She guessed she needed to eat to bring it back, to gain some weight if she ever wanted to be fertile.
But there was the only thing she cared about, her last reminder of before the wreck, her baby sister. Hungry enough to complain about it.
The teen sighed and handed her sister the hamburger before diving back into the dumpster to see if she could find anything else.
It wasn't long before she touched the dark green metal. Another day without food. She sighed and wiped as much of the grime as she could off her face and arms, jumping out and landing lithely on her feet.
"Aren't you gonna eat?" The first grader asked her.
"Food is overrated." Prez replied as her stomach growled. She winced a little and held out her hand, letting the younger girl take it. "C'mon, let's go find a hose. You've got school tomorrow and it's not that cold anymore."
"Can we just go to the gym again?" Girlie made a face.
"No. People were starting to get suspicious. You don't want to get separated, do you?"
The six-year-old's hazel eyes widened and she shook her head viciously.
"That's what I thought. It's getting late too, we gotta find somewhere to slee -"
"You look like you need help."
The voice had come from an alley. Prez hid her sister behind her back and began to edge away from the dark valley between buildings slowly. She was desperate, but not that desperate.
"Oh, I'm not going to hurt you."
A boy with bright yellow hair and an eye patch stepped out from the alleyway. He wore an oversized yellow t-shirt and worn grey jeans. He didn't look much older than her, maybe fourteen or fifteen. Prez felt herself relax - he was half-blind and not much older, what could he do?
"We don't need help, thanks anyway."
"Oh, come on, I've been homeless the past week and you're obviously experienced. You can help me.
"No. We can't."
"I can help you get food. I'm working age. Fifteen."
Prez found herself approaching the tall boy. "And what, exactly, is your name?"
"William Cipher, but you can call me Bill." He held out a hand. "Do we have a deal, Miss...?"
"Prez Appleshine." She shook his hand. "And I think we do."