Sitting on the cold, damp, concrete beneath an old, tattered umbrella Timothy watched the hordes of
pedestrians pass by him. Most turned up their noses at him or shook their heads.

Only a select few smiled, reaching deep into their pockets and withdrawing a few nickels and dimes to
throw at his feet.

He did not beg.

That was not his way.

He had no cup before him with a weathered note on it pleading for change so he could eat. Even though
his life was not as affluent as most, he could not complain. At least he ate three square meals a day -
unlike most of his street colleagues.

The other homeless wondered how he never seemed to be hungry. His belly was as bloated as a rich
man who spoils himself with fried chicken and cold beer. Yet, Timothy had none of these luxuries.

“Why is dat Timody?” asked an older man known only as DJ.

DJ had been on the streets longer than anyone Timothy had known. DJ's clothes were torn and muddy,
his hair dirty and falling out in chunks. With no teeth left in his mouth, he slurred his words in a barely
audible voice. DJ was exactly what Timothy expected a homeless person to look and sound like.

Timothy did not know how to respond to the old man’s inquiry. He did not want his secret revealed. That
would be foolish - like a rich man throwing his money out a second story bedroom window just for fun.

Timothy was homeless, not stupid.

“I guess I just luck out on finding the decent stuff?” Timothy said.

DJ shook his head.

“Dat not right Timody. I been here so long. I look in dis hole and dat barrel and never find nothin good. I
go sleep hungry more than not. You been here one month and you seem fuller than when you come.”

Timothy tried to hide his smile, but he knew the old man saw it.

Disgusted with Timothy’s frequent strokes of luck, DJ turned and stumbled off.

Not a day had gone by since their conversation where Timothy did not meet the curious eyes of DJ. DJ
kept him close now. He hoped to discover the big secret.

Timothy knew what the old man was doing and refused to allow DJ even one hint that would lead the old
man to his stash.

Watching DJ stare at him from 20 feet down the rain drenched street, Timothy could not help but glare.
After months of being stalked, Timothy was losing his cool and his mind. He was afraid to nod off for
fear DJ would kill him. Timothy knew how dangerous the streets had become, especially when food was
involved.

He had once watched two homeless men exchange punches in the middle of an alley over a partially
eaten chocolate bar. The fight ended with one man dead while the other, blood gushing down his face,
shoved the prize in his mouth.

Timothy would do the same if provoked to protect his food. He had worked hard to get it. He rarely slept
anymore. The need to fill his hunger and protect his treasure controlled his mind and body.

Timothy eyed DJ keenly. The sun had long set and the old man would no longer be able to fight his
drooping lids. Then Timothy would rise from the cold concrete and get to work. He had lots to do in very
little time.

Minutes passed. Heavy rain soaked the two homeless men. DJ succumbed to exhaustion. Timothy stood
up quietly, one hand hidden behind his back. He inched his way closer to DJ’s snoring body. It would not
be long before Timothy added more food to his secret stockpile.

Closing in on DJ, Timothy began his transformation. His mind darkened. His eyes took on a devilish glint.

Pulling his hand from behind his back, Timothy held out the large shard of bloodstained glass. Pieces of
his last victim's dried flesh still clung to the jagged edges.

“I am doing nothing wrong,” he said in a voice that even he did not recognize. It was then that Timothy
knew the transformation was complete. He was stronger, bolder and unstoppable. His mind was free of
guilt and reasoning, leaving him with only the raw power of his survival instincts. “All I am doing is
dwindling down the homeless population.”

Timothy lunged towards the old man, shoving the sharp glass deep into his chest. DJ’s eyes sprung
open as his hands reached towards the glass. His mouth opened but no sound escaped other than a
gasp.

Timothy held tightly to his weapon, as the old man struggled to pull away. As his strength ebbed from
his body, DJ stared at his assailant with pleading eyes. Timothy leaned towards his victim, his lips mere
inches from the man’s dirt-stained ear.

“You wanted to know how I always seemed to find food, didn’t you old man?” he said. “Didn't you notice
the streets getting emptier and emptier? Didn’t you wonder what happened to all your old friends?”

Timothy paused and chuckled. Memories of all his prior victims flooded through his mind. “The streets
are a bit cleaner now and food is much easier to come by,” he said, pushing the glass deeper into the
man’s chest.

Timothy listened as DJ gulped his last breath. The old man's body went limp, and his hands fell to the
ground by his side.

Timothy wiped the sweat from his forehead. After hours of chopping, bagging and hauling, the last bag
had finally been lifted into place. Climbing back down the broken rungs of an abandoned tree house,
Timothy smiled to himself. He had done what many other homeless people had not — secured food for
years as well as a perfect hiding place. When the weather was harsh, he had a place that would keep him
reasonably dry and warm.

However, he knew not to become arrogant about his scheme. It was not fool proof. Nothing was.

Walking back from his tree house hidden in the city’s surrounding forest, he could not help but laugh.
Some might find him insane. Timothy told himself he was just smart.

His belly let out a grumble that startled him. He had worked up quite an appetite from his hard day's
work. He stopped for a moment, reached into his pocket and fished around for the treasure he had
stashed for later.

Grasping it, he pulled his hand from his pocket and smiled. The index finger looked delicious. His mouth
began to water and drool escaped the corner of his mouth. His eyes danced at the temptation. Without
wasting another moment, he popped the finger into his mouth and continued down the road.

The only sounds Timothy heard were his own content humming and the bones crunching between his
teeth.
Starved
by Roxanne Sackville