(We take a break from the tale of a 34 year old shut-in, his surrogate mother and a thief to give you a tale of the holiday, on the holidays, Merry Christmas)
“Hey, Hey Hey, What’s in the box mister?” a chirpy voice called out from the cold air.
The mister in question was clothed in fine silvery furs, with a conical fur hat to match and shiny black boots, he was a man neither short nor tall, but with no visible defining characteristics other than bronzed skin, bright blue hair and brown eyes. An alhume, some manner hulf then, a human descended from wolves.
He had on his shoulder a box, the box was red plastic, though with glowing green neon linings on the edges and lock.
He looked about the for the source of the voice amid the boarded over buildings, the ruined sky scrapers(which scraped earth not sky), and shattered offices. He saw her in short order. A small humanoid bird sitting on a long dead lamppost, its’ crystal had been pinched a long while ago.
She was sparrow-like in feathers and even a bit so in shape. She was a tengoah. One of the types of bird people. Tengoah are the most bird-like of their kind. Her arms were currently in their wing form.
She wore a tattered black dress with some manner of boy band plastered across it. Over that she wore a discoloured puffy jacket. A dirty green woollen hat with pom-poms dangling at either side covered her hair feathers. Thick creamy leg warmers were on her scaly bird-legs, though her talons were quite bare, she fidgeted, possibly trying to keep the cold out of them.
“If you follow me, you’ll see!” The man called out.
The girl turned her head side to side, looking at him completely with each eye.
“You tossing me mister? Hey Hey Hey mister, you ain’t planning something rotten are you? The Emerald Blob’ll getcha if you are, so don’t even think about doing some weirdo ecksperiment on us dregs” She warned.
The man continued walking, and the girl followed.
“Do I look that much like a rogue alchemist?” The man asked.
“You look drat fancy, in them furs and all, you aren’t afraid to be in the burrows or nuthin. Rich-looking folks like youse only come here to do nasty stuff” The girl explained.
“I’m always sorry to hear that” The man said.
The girl paused, taken aback. Then she fluttered her way back to behind the man, as he had a brisk pace.
“Watta you mean by that?”
“Well, it’d be better if they didn’t come to do bad things, I mean things are hard enough for the people here without those who are better off coming in and doing direct ill to them”
“Yer weird mister, nobody cares about dregs, much times not even dregs”
The man chuckled.
“Perhaps I am weird”
He reached his destination. He was amid a gathering of the so called dregs, men and women of various races who had hit the bottom of society in Dome, or were born into it. Most of the dregs looked at the man with confusion, some with fear and a few with anger. All were surprised that the man had somehow managed to sneak up on them, even the tengoah girl wasn’t sure how he managed it, and she had been watching.
“Tonight, you shall dine fine. It won’t be as sustaining or nutritious as real food, but it’ll taste the same.” he said.
He put down his box, a few of the dregs had already left, not wanting a part of whatever was coming, so bad was what had happened to them before, or so paranoid they were.
He pulled out a red key with no teeth, and plugged it into the box. The box whined and whirred, then it unfolded into a table, lines of green blazed on the tabletop, and steaming hot food rose from it. Vegetables, meat, combinations thereof. There was many dishes that even the dregs who had once been of a more affluent class had never heard of.
“It isn’t much, but it is what I can offer. Now, though it doesn’t have a lot of the benefits of food, it is really hard to get sick from this stuff. It’ll only work for this night, but you can flog the scrap off tomorrow”
The man pulled a leg of some small mammal off and began eating it. A few dregs cautiously picked at the food, as if expecting something ghastly to happen. Then a few more daring ones ate a bit, then everyone was soon eating. Not long after that, everyone was making merry.
“Yer weird mister, but you might be alright” the birdgirl called out to him later as he was leaving.
All the man could think about however was how much he wished that his research hadn’t hit a dead end, the same dead end alchemists kept hitting with the creation of food.
“People can’t live on it and the cost is too high” he muttered bitterly.