Looking at the soup kitchen made them feel hungry. A man with long black matted hair that fell in a pool around the frayed and faded jacket that covered his shoulders was next in line. He accepted a steaming paper bowl of tomato soup from the well groomed lady behind the counter, smiled at the lady behind him and moved along.
The lady behind was as petite as she was ancient. She was bent double over a battered walking stick that probably gave her splinters in those shrivelled, arthritic fingers. Her thinning hair was covered with an old paisley patterned headscarf, she beamed as she was given her daily sustenance.
The staff had all plastered fake smiles onto their faces which were obvious in contrast with the true gratitude portrayed by most of the bruised and dirty faces in the queue. Even with her stained and crooked teeth, this old woman’s smile was more appealing than the pretty young lady’s pinched up nose as she avoided the smell. They liked her, but she wasn’t a viable option.
They group across the road were starving. A short girl, no older than ten stood with her mother and two best friends, huddled closely together; eyes transfixed on the food all around them. A fat man passed by eating an apple; his face sunk into the jelly of his neck, arms merged with the round bouncing torso that gave the impression that he was entirely spherical. A block of flesh rather than a human being.
A thinner lady gave him a wide birth on the pavement. She was concentrating on keeping the mayonnaise in her sandwich from meeting her immaculately pressed suit. The followed her. She made them hungry.
Her dark hair was meticulously curled into ringlets that bounced with every step, perfectly in time with the clicking of her brown suede shoes. Perfectly in time with eight muddy trainers making no sound behind her. She took a right turn. Her sandwich was almost finished.
They’d left behind the crowds of snacking commuters and the hungry strays waiting at the soup kitchen. She had finished her sandwich. She paused to pull a phone out of her bag. They struck.
Lunch was ready.
I wrote this for ‘Neptune’s Last Stand’ Creative Writing Group, and was actually under the word count for once! The starter sentence is “Looking at the soup kitchen made them hungry…” and I decided to go along some fairly dark and fantastical lines with this as an experiment.
To find out more about the writing group click here.