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They walked out of Greenwoods, it was still early. Only the people that had to be to work before the rest of the working world were up. They walked past a hot dog vendor setting up his cart. The radio blasted the news.
Teodor kept one ear on the news as they passed. The hot dog vendor gave them a strange look. Teodor looked down, neither him or Amanda were wearing shoes.
“Left in a hurry, this morning?” The vendor asked.
Teodor smiled. “Something like that.”
Amanda leaned close to Teodor and whispered. “Should we ask the dogs to find us some shoes?”
Teodor turned to the hot dog vendor. “Is there a pawn shop near by?”
The vendor gave them vague directions. Teodor thanked him. He took Amanda's hand and they walked to the pawn shop. Teodor breathed a sigh of relief finding it open. The man behind the counter, wore a bandanna and a denim jacket with marine patches on it. He glanced at Teodor and Amanda, but their appearance didn't seem to surprise him.
Amanda put the albums on the counter. Teodor gave the man a large smile. “We have some records to sell.”
“Lets see them,” he said. He rolled his seat closer to the counter and pick up the first album with a sigh.
About ten minutes later, they had sold all of Chaser's albums, walked out with fifteen dollars, and a two pairs of shoes. Teodor and her walked to the library. It seemed that everyone there was in the same boat they were. No place to go, and all day to do nothing.
Amanda looked through the fiction racks as Teodor picked through the newspapers. He wondered if the police had even been called to the party the night before. A small news article did catch his eye, about another missing child. He read the article. The young girl that had been a runaway. She disappeared outside the shelter she had stayed at. The staff insisted that the young girl had not run away again, because a couple of the other residents at the shelter saw the young girl walk away with a person.
The reporter mentioned two other missing children. The other ones had also been run aways. If he had been back at his home village, he would have thought one of his brothers was having fun. Teodor took the paper back to the table, where Amanda had a small pile of books in front of her.
He looked over the want ads and the apartment listings. Nothing jumped out at him. Amanda heard his sigh and took his hand. “If nothing else turns up, I will try to visit Steopa,” she said.
Teodor squeezed her hand. That was progress. He looked up the clock. “Lets take a walk.”
Amanda agreed. They wandered around the small shopping area on the other side of the university. Teodor knew the shops here, he had gone with Chaser a couple of time to go shopping in the head shops on this street.
Teodor spied a familiar face just ahead. It was the album stealing kid from the day before. The kid looked up, for a moment a flash of recognition, but then he went back to what ever it was he was doing.
Amanda clutched her makeshift bag closer. Teodor smirked. The kid lived on the streets, and he seemed to not care that Teodor and Amanda had found him.
Teodor got closer. “Aren't you in school?”
The kid didn't look up. He dug through the bag he had in front of him. Teodor could smell the yeast and baked goods. Stale baked goods.. It looked like it was garbage from one of the area bakeries.
“You okay, kid?” Teodor asked.
“Screw you,” The kid said. “I gave you, your stupid albums back.”
Amanda leaned close to Teodor. “He's eating garbage.”
Teodor nodded. He had seen worse. During the siege, eating garbage would have been a blessing. Teodor squatted down. “Do you want something better?”
“I don't need your charity,” The kid said.
“We don't have much to give, right now."
The kid looked up, disgusted by his search. He studied Teodor's face. Teodor didn't know what to make of the intense studying the kid gave him. Finally, the kid tilted his head. “Pizza would be awesome.”
“Okay, I'll get you a slice.”
“Two slices, but, I need you to help us out.”
The kid jumped up. “Hell no! You said pizza, nothing about helping you.”
An old lady walked slowly up the street. She stopped at a bench not far from where Teodor and the kid were talking. The kid glanced at the old lady and suddenly gave Teodor a smile. It would a been a beautiful smile, except for the filthy face it belonged to.
“Okay what ever, let's go to Mario's,” The kid said, suddenly taking Teodor's hand. “They just got their first pies out.”
They went to Mario's and bought the kid three pieces. Teodor put the plate in front of the kid. He seemed to eat the first piece in just a few bites.
“I'm Teodor and this is Amanda,” Teodor said. “What's your name?”
“Trucker,” Trucker said, with a mouth full of sausage and pepperoni.
“Cool name. Look, Trucker, you live on the street, right.”
“Damn right. I don't have any parents pushing me around anymore.”
“You must miss your parents,” Amanda said.
“Not mine,” Trucker said, starting on his second slice.
“Have you heard of any place that will hire anyone, no questions asked?” Teodor asked. There was a good chance that Trucker would not care about working. But kids like Trucker didn't survive on the streets without learning to use their ears.
“Yeah, there's a place,” Trucker said. “The owner lets me take the bottles in for money. You two in trouble?”
“We just lost our place to live,” Amanda said.
Trucker polished off the last piece. “I'll take you there.” He jumped off his seat. “And if you need a place to sleep, I know a few.”
“If you show us, I will buy you lunch every chance I get,” Teodor said.
Teodor could tell that Trucker didn't believe him, but probably because yesterday, Teodor didn't lay a hand on him, and didn't call the police. Trucker seemed to want to help them. Teodor and Amanda followed Trucker down a couple of alleys.
He stopped in front of a black building. The windows had been blacked out, and the door had a large sign, “No one under 19.” There was the lingering smell of beer and smoke. Trucker knocked on the door.