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The scavenger’s daughter saves out the honey from a broken crock and the copper from insulated wires. She saves out pearled buttons and the flints from lighters, compass needles, the lenses of little round eyeglasses. She keeps them in the cage of her chest.

She gives almost all of it to her father for bartering days, but this time he isn’t waiting to collect the day’s catch. She finds him at the back door, clutching his chest.

“Lunette,” he whispers. “Lunette, I’m so cold, my darling, so–”

She saves out his eyes and teeth, and the rings on his little fingers.


The daughter of Lester Scavenger has blonde curls and a blue dress, with which she’s careful as she picks her way over rusting Kelvinators and sloughs of compost. She’s lucky; they made a new drop during the night. She gathers watch cogs and batteries, a silk kerchief, most of a cake still in the box. It’s all treasure, and she holds it close.

When she comes home at dusk her father is stoking the blue fire. “What have you got today, my darling?” asks Lester.

The scavenger’s daughter clicks her mandibles happily, and opens wide the brass cage of her heart.