He eats the other sandwich quickly and rather than look sated, he seems even hungrier than before. He looks at me again with his big mournful eyes. “I feel terrible asking you this,” he says, “but, seeing how you’re not going to eat with me, would you terribly mind if I had the last sandwich?”
“It’s yours,” I say.
He reaches into the back seat and takes the paper bag and then sets it
down on his lap and begins unwrapping the last sandwich. He puts the
first half up to his mouth, leaving the other sitting in its bed of
white paper on his lap. I feel my stomach start to rumble. I could
ask for the other half, but I think I’d rather starve.
“Funny you should say, ‘It’s yours,’” he says. “Isn’t that what
you told that woman when she robbed you?”
“Why is it funny?”
“Well, you didn’t have to say it. By telling her those sandwiches were
hers, you were giving them to her. Technically speaking, after that
she wasn’t stealing them.”
“I’m not really interested in technicalities,” I say.
The young man looks surprised. “You aren’t? Didn’t you get sent to
prison on a technicality?”
“Well, what if I did?”
“Well, it’s a lot easier to get a conviction overturned if it’s on just
a technicality. It’s just a question of having the right
connections; a good lawyer, for example.”
“Good lawyer?” I snort. “I’m not sure such a thing exists, least not
We pass an old church. He stares at it like it’s reminding him of
something he’d completely forgotten about.
(Excerpt from Friend of the Devil, available on Kindle).