The mall food court was pretty busy, nearly every table was filled with chatty teenagers. Skylar, John, and Emily were at a table in the far corner. A burger, fries, ketchup, and a soda pop, Skylar studied each item before picking up the burger in both hands.
Skylar opened their mouth wide, bringing the savory smelling patty smothered with cheese and ketchup up. Lips parted, tongue stretched out, but before Skylar could take a bite there was a noise which made Skylar pause and tilt their head to look around their burger.
“Gross.” Emily said and pushed on John’s arm. “Why did you burp?”
“Probably the carbonation.” John shrugged.
“Carbonation?” Skylar lowered the burger back down to the red paper wrapper.
“The bubbles,” John picked up his paper cup. “In the pop.” The ice and liquid swished together as he shook the drink.
“Oh.” Skylar pursed their lips. John set the drink down and continued speaking.
“The bubbles are carbon dioxide, swallowing them increases the amount of gas in your body, so it usually comes out one way or another.”
“Do burps hurt?” Skylar asked.
“No.” Emily giggled. “At least, not usually.” She pinched her nose. “But sometimes they smell.”
“Good.” Skylar picked up their burger again. John took a drink of his pop as he watched Skylar take a bite of their meal. Eyes bulged as the meaty flavor burst across their tongue. “Oh ay gaw is is ooo goo!”
“Don’t talk with your mouth full Skylar.” John shook his head. “Also, don’t chew with your mouth open. Both of those are gross.”
Skylar finished chewing with their lips pressed together. And then they swallowed. “Duly noted.” They licked their lips. “Thanks for all this.” They nodded towards the burger in their hands. “So.. after this what are we doing?”
“We’ll get some stuff you can take back with you and take you to the park.” John said.
“Sounds like a plan.” Skylar said before grinning and taking another big bite of their burger.
“John’s the planner all right.” Emily nudged him with her elbow. “And if we hurry, we should still be able to sleep under the stars tonight.”
“We haven’t even set up camp!” John protested. Skylar laughed around their food. Bringing food back to Qwortar should lead to more idyllic times like these.
The burger, salty fries, sweet and bubbly soda pop filled Skylar’s stomach so much they thought they might burst. It had been a long time since they felt their belly full.
“Ready?” John asked.
“Yes.” Skylar said.
“Then let’s go!” Emily stood up and held out her arm. John took it and nodded to Skylar. They three of them left the mall of chatting humans behind.
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