“Are you sure about this Cass?” Dave says, craning his neck as he keeps watch, his hands stuffed deep into his pockets.
I sigh. He isn’t being much help. I almost wish I hadn’t brought him, but then again, I haven’t the brass neck to do this alone.
“It’s fine,” I say, daring to lean further into the skip, trying not to drop my torch. It smells in here, but it isn’t as bad as I’d expected. There is an underlying sourness as though someone was sick in here last week, but nothing like the rancid stench I’d imagined.
“On the telly they found all sorts of stuff,” I say, prodding the black bags with my gloved hand. The woman on the programme said she could tell what was in each bag by touch: all I can feel are sharp corners and soft, unidentifiable squidginess. “There’s people around the world getting their food like this, they’re making a stand against consumerism.”
“I don’t like it Cass,” Dave says, shuffling his feet. “What if we get caught? Doesn’t seem worth getting an ASBO for nicking stuff out of rubbish bins.”
“It’s not ‘nicking’,” I say. “It’s legal.” Although what my Dad, the local plod, would say if he caught me rummaging through the skip at the back of the village shop isn’t a pleasant thought.
Dave continues to grumble. He’s getting on my nerves, but actually, he’s right. It doesn’t seem worth the risk of getting into trouble when I can’t find anything in here. But then my fingers feel something, and my heart skips. I tear open the bin bag and find my prize. Bread!
“Look!” I pull myself out of the skip, and hold up my prize, triumphant.
Dave takes one look at the squashed milk loaf, and turns away with a snort.