Friends

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Friends

Rounding the corner a small bobbing figure comes into view. Their hair pulled into small tails on either side of their head, hands clutched around the straps of their backpack. The steps are small, and occasionally she stops to look at something on the ground or to stare upwards at a passing cloud. Her way home is made slower by her frequent stops, but an open sky appeals to her more than an empty house, and so she walks slowly.

A jingling noise grabs her attention, gaze turned towards a small wooden table perched on the edge of a yard. Behind a group of people standing in front of a self cranking lottery machine. The tables occupants gesture to her from across the street, and she dutifully comes over. Each of the three behind the table wears a halloween mask. But their voices give themselves away to the girl.

Denying their identities, they ask her to spin the lottery wheel. After an initial hesistance, the gears are turning and a small white ball comes out. Its number matching the winning one pictured on a small slip of paper next to the machine. Happily shouting, the three fish into their pockets and pull out small vouchers. Each handing the girl one, they then tell her to get going. Staring at her until she begins walking again.

Looking at the bundle of paper in her hand, she reads the hastily and hand written text:

Voucher for life long friendship

Perhaps the house won't be so empty after all.

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