The automatic doors opened like a sideways mouth and swallowed the two brothers into the belly of the local Walmart. Standing as tall as his 12-year-old frame could hold him, he smiled nervously at the ancient greeter, pulling his younger brother by the arm. Everything they had ever longed for, ever imagined, was held hostage between these four walls.
As they turned the corner toward the food section, they were stopped by a giant toothy-grin asking if they needed help. “We’re meeting our parents …” they responded in unison and kept moving. Stay focused. Move deliberately but without hurry.
He grabbed the rotisserie chicken from its warm cradle and walked towards the Home and Garden section. Finding blind spots behind bed frames, patio sets, and grills, the two brothers ate their one meal of the day as quickly as they could, turning on their heels when an employee came in their direction.