The heavy, drenching rains of the wet season fall down on the little girl. She is wet through—hardly surprising considering the rags plastered against her dark-skin—but she is standing perfectly still.
She stares longing into the window in front of her: trays laden with seasoned meats of every meat imaginable to the small girl; plates groaning under the weight of rich desserts, drowning in even sweeter sauces; bowls of ripe fruit sitting on the edge—merely decoration.
It was too bad that the rain, bringer of life to the parched earth—couldn’t wash this opulent meal to those who needed it so desperately. One of the decorative fruit bowls—the girl estimated—could probably have fed her entire extended family when they were still around.
Her siblings had once told her stories, fantastical stories—stories of people who had so much food they frivolously played with it to make it look pretty. Or throw it away.
She had thought they were mere children’s stories, created to soothe the familiar ache of an empty stomach.
But it wasn’t. Unless she was hallucinating. A stinging bug chose to feast on her flesh at that moment, alerting her to the fact that she wasn’t dreaming—it was real.
Closing her eyes, she swatted the bug away, silently flitting between the deep shadows to the rubbish, hoping that her siblings were right about finding food in their rubbish.
Her thin arms moved through the rubbish, even spindlier fingers sifting more thoroughly. Finally, she comes across something. Pulling it out with trembling fingers, the girl admired the half-rotten apple before biting into it deeply.
She would survive for another day now.
A short piece to highlight the inequalities of our world, and the appalling condtions that some people live in.
Written November 2006