A Cart Full of Junk
by David Lubar
Turk was in a mood to do some harm. He was hanging out at the corner of 4th
Sreet, where the movies used to be. The place was boarded and shut, like almost
everything else on the block. Gray was with him, along with Mackler, Johnny, and
a couple of others. Across the street, an old guy came around the corner, pushing a
shopping cart stuffed with junk. Bad timing.
Turk stepped away from the wall. "Let's go shopping."
He strolled across the street, angling to end up ahead of the old man. Gray and the
others followed. There was no need to rush. The old guy couldn't run with the cart,
and Turk knew there was no way he'd leave it behind.
The one flickering streetlight behind Turk jabbed his shadow like a spear at the old
man. The rest of the lights had been shot out long ago.
"Hey man," Turk said as the old man got close. "Mind if I look?"
The old man stopped walking, but didn't speak. As Turk stepped toward the side of
the cart, the old man reached under the blanket that draped the shapeless mound of
possessions. Turk froze, ready to dodge if the guy pulled a knife. He'd seen street
people could go crazy without warning, slashing out with a surprising fierceness.
Turk knew how easy it was to end up sprawled across the curb in a puddle of blood
The man removed something soft and small from beneath the blanket.
"A gift." As he rasped the words in a low voice, he flicked his arm. "From all of