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Patrick Berry's Temporarily Failed Quest For Bread




Rose sat lazily on the old wooden table at the porch of their house. Her lips blew smoke into the cold night air, the curved stem of her father's pipe finding it's way back into her mouth after the gray smoke had melted in the wind. 

A crack could be heard from within the house behind her back. 
A loud thud followed but a moment later. 

The girl's face grew cold and indifferent, her eyes peering vacantly across the dark town as the pipe drooped from between her lips.

Suddenly a hoarse roar filled the air, "ROOSE!"

Her gaze grew only more vacant, her ears refusing to deliver the message echoing across their porch.

The front door of their house opened, "Rhooshe...", a middle-aged man slurred, swaying dangerously from one side to another. His fingers gripping the door knob were the only thing that kept him upright in his condition.  

Rose looked slowly at the man, raising her brow with disinterest, "Yeah?"

"I need fhood. I'm hungry.", the man sobbed, half-angry and half-miserable. Suddenly the door knob refused to support his stance and he fell on his rear, now swaying as he sat on their threshold. The candles inside the house illuminated their disheveled home behind his back, his shadow flickering thin and tall about their porch. 

Rose stared at him, expressionless. 

The old man started to sob louder, "Phlease....Can youh bhuy...us some freshh bread from Tilly, Rohse." Tears welled in his bleary brown eyes, as if his life would have depended on the bread he had described. Most likely it did as he had drank but ale for some days. 

Rose blew some smoke in the air, before replying in a cold tone, "It's midnight... Tilly is sleeping and so should you be. Let's go inside." She emptied and cleaned the pipe, sliding it into the pocket on her hem, before scooping her father up from the floor.

"But...Whill you bring me... some bread, Rose?", the man whimpered with his hoarse voice as they stepped inside.

She turned to close the door behind them, her numb eyes decades older than her body, "Yes, I will buy you some bread tomorrow, father. "