It was like finding treasure, even if it was a pork bun covered in sand. The three kids who found it carefully brushed it off and shared it with a kind of nervous excitement, a “we-actually-got-away-with-this” grin on each of their faces.
“It’s still warm!” The eldest, Ban Fo, wolfed down her portion in one bite.
“I wish we could eat like this every day.” Leave it to Pen-ki to be morose during a happy moment.
Ban Fo and Pen-ki turned and faced the youngest, Vic, with skeptical faces.
“We can. Haven’t you heard the stories? There are so many people in Nexus who eat like this, or better, every single day.”
“Those stories are about our betters,” Pen-ki sighed.
“No. We can be better.”
Ban Fo laughed. “Maybe we shouldn’t have eaten the bun. Meat might have been bad; Vic’s gone crazy!”
“We can! The stories are true. The Solar—”
Ban Fo just laughed even louder, and Pen-ki joined in. Vic just shrugged.
“I met her, you know.”
The laughter stopped.
“She told me that everything was going to be all right. And I believe her. I’m gonna be a member of the Council one day.”
Vic swallowed the last of her pork bun and got up. “Are we gonna play?”
The three did play, a little more energized, a little more hopeful. There was a lot of laughter, but Vic laughed last, laughed best.