Prompt: May 9, 2012 - Worthless http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/worthless?s=t. . . . . Behind number eight Foxfield Lane, Gilneas City, there was a monumental crisis. This just would not do! If someone were to catch her out here with this distasteful mess, there would be all manner of unseemly fuss... But it was a back alley, the rear entrance of the townhomes so upper crust that to get higher one would be licking off the whipped cream, and so there was no one here to see the well-dressed noblewoman and her heavy burden.
. . . . . With quite the unladylike grunt, she heaved the onerous load off her shoulder and into the trash-can. The noblewoman looked left and right warily, still expecting someone to spy her. But it just had to be done! Someone had to take care of the unfortunate incident before the night watch was called in. The dinner party had been going so swimmingly until her reprobate younger son had showed up at the door with a pistol in hand, and her hot-headed elder son had started with the name-calling and oh, it was such a disaster!
. . . . . She wrung her hands and stared down at the abominable failure resting in her garbage bin. Someone would see. Biting back a sob of panic, she shoved her bare hands into the bin and pushed the evidence down farther. That would do. Dusting her hands on the edge of the cloth shrouding her calamity, the noblewoman squared her shoulders and went back inside to calm her guests.
. . . . . Someone had seen. Two muddy green eyes set in a round, cherubic face blinked from the shadows of the retaining wall on the far side of the back alley. From here, she could see a leg still peeking out of the top of the trash-can. Something dark and viscous pooled on the ground at the bottom of it, the color indeterminate now that the lady's lantern was gone. Fear tasted acrid in the back of her mouth, but avarice was sweeter. She wanted to go through that bin. There might be something good still in those pockets!
. . . . . Tiny child's feet wrapped in rags carried her across the alley as fast and noiseless as one of the fat rats which occasionally ended up as her dinner. The liquid pooling on the ground outside the bin stained her foot rags, but she didn't care - new ones weren't hard to find. This shroud might actually serve, once it was pulled free and cut up; it was what was wrapped in the shroud she was after. It was heavy for so small a girl, too heavy for her to lift. Cautiously, using her own little frame to counterbalance it and muffle sound, she laid the bin on its side so she could pull the lady's disaster free and go through the pockets.
. . . . . Sadly, there was nothing of use in them. But even stained with wine and olive oil, it looked like seven-year-old Ilva Swift had her very first pair of pants. And a broken toy pistol to play with! There were even the remains of a cake of some kind wrapped up in the smeared tablecloth.
. . . . . "Mooom," came a wail from the backyard of the fancy townhome, "this birthday party is worthless!"
. . . . . Perhaps for some! Ilva Swift made like her chosen namesake and hurried off with her treasures.