Maggie’s Treasure

A story by one of my favorite writers, Mary Cathleen Clark.

Southern Highways and Byways

Maggie’s belly gnawed on her backbone. The half-eaten Big Mac and soggy fries the fat man had tossed out his car window into the gutter yesterday afternoon had long since been digested by her scrawny frame. Now, here it was almost midnight a day later and no meal in sight. But she was used to being hungry. Since they’d put her out of the hospital a few years back, her belly had been empty a whole lot more than it’d been full.

“Steak sounds good,” she said to the empty streets. “Think I’ll go by Delmonaco’s.” If she was lucky, maybe she could fish one out of the dumpster in back.

Pushed by a frigid north wind, crackly brown leaves skittered along the sidewalk, danced around Maggie’s feet, then disappeared into the blackness of the alleyway behind her. Ice pellets freckled her face. Beneath four layers of clothing, she shivered…

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