Author Note: I'm hungry.

Disclaimer: None.


Mai reached out, dipped her hand in the bowl, and withdrew a single fireflake pinched between the tips of thumb and index fingers. She brought the morsel up to eye level, squinted, saw the tear-inducing red chili powder staining her fingertips and felt the grease loosen her tenuous grip. She pursed her mouth in disgust, nose wrinkling, and flicked the flake away, reaching down to wipe her hand on the wooden bench where her fingertips left fat, dark trails. She saw it and felt her stomach turn in on itself, felt the nausea rise in her throat and her head swim.

That one flake could have cost her her whole week's work.