The scratch of plastic upon wood jerked Tyler's head upright. His nostrils flared as though he were trying to track down the source of the sound, and he froze in place as the corners of his lips jerked up and down.
"Come out!" he roared, hefting that gun. "Whoever you are, come out!"
No answer. But Tyler's level gaze didn't leave the source, and he began to take heavy steps towards the source.
A new flurry of sound, scratching, something moving in the dust, plastic scraping against wood. Tyler's mouth flashed up into a grin and he took several racing steps towards the source of the noise, hefting his gun as he went. The noise went suddenly still, but Tyler had a heading, and his feet led him unerringly towards the source of the sound.
Then he reached the booth where he'd stored his stuff, and the squirrel gnawing on his stored goods went chittering away, bounding from booth to booth until it landed on a barren tree a little ways away.
Tyler stared after it for a moment, his grin flickering away. He examined the remains of his water and rations bars--one of which had been half-chewed away. He grimaced, then broke off a part of that ration bar so there was half left and slipped in his bag, along with his last waters and ration bars.
There was no more food stored here. No reason to come back, and no reason to stay.
He lifted his eyes back to that tree, then shook his head and went walking off into the stormy dusk.
(Tyler Lucas continued in The Crazy Kids