The boy took the long road, but the essentials were exactly that. Running faster than he had, not old enough to carry the weapons his parents used to keep them safe. His side ached with the knife pressed against it, but he pressed on, dwarfing the responsibility.
The items were garbage. A thin veneer hastily applied, yet he paused to offer his creation. Adding to the items, in what he hoped was not more garbage. And then he consumed. The worst items first. The old ladies made to press up out of their chairs, but he held their gaze and his future sight startled them back into sitting.
Soon the fumes were rising, the thick curtains holding the fresh air at bay. The coped joint was cut and the raw dough pressed inside. The old ladies began to panic, offering prices that were surely a loss, even on the garbage. But a last minute rush of air and the dough was sealed.
When the curtains were drawn back, the ashtrays smoldered like evening and the ladies slept. The blue light of their screen not visible in the full light of midday. They had earned their rest.
Relief filled the boy, and he flicked his own screen on and off on the long sit home, reading the kind words the old ladies had offered with their minds again and again. There were always fires, but the praise was unnecessary. He had prevailed over the giants at the market, having lost only the time before.
The cat had returned home, perhaps lured by the `baking of the young. The boy suppressed his anxiety, returning late with his creation, his throat still scratchy from the journey. You got lucky. You got lucky.
With his gloves on, the boy at last grabbed the rope and pulled for the waves. They towered so high, he was sure the clouds were formed from their breaking. He swallowed the sea in preparation, swelling his throat. The sea and he danced until tomorrow came and it was but a muddy walk home. Another week. He had stayed awake for the end.