The old orange shag carpet was worn. Months of brown mud had been rubbed into its surface by trespasserswho had broken the laws of old: remove your shoes at the door. She sat off to the corner of the old house in theliving room looking at her tablet. During the day they migrated upstairs and spread out, a few of them carefully wandered outside. There were nearly 20 of them, all of their belongings were squeezed into haversacks, backpacks, or even garbage bags. At night, they’d collect their things and shuffle down into the basement where the depth and the cool earth would conceal their presence from infrared goggles.

The house, over a century old, sat on the edge of a woods. The farm land had long been left to weed, a garden lay out back, which was home to a lone volunteer tomato plant. Nothing productive grew; the farmer and his wife were long gone or dead. Much like the infertile land,the power didn’t produce either.

A solar panel sat next to her, propped up in the window, charging the tablet. Hazel eyes flicked down the page, her freckled petite nose twitched as she squinted.

“Sarah,” Joseph sat in the corner opposite her in an old rocking chair, pulling on his gray beard. “You seem
perplexed.”

“It says here from Matthew 6:33 in the King James Version: ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you’but what does it mean?” Sarah removed her ball-cap to reveal chopped-at red hair.

“I don’t know.” Joseph’s eyes twinkled blue andwrinkles appeared at the corners of them. Then he smiled,his teeth were still mostly white even though thetoothpaste ran out two months ago. He ran a handthrough his white hair, then he tapped his nose with his forefinger. His olive skin was still radiant despite his 70 years.

She suspected he knew; she awaited the answer. He’d pulled her leg one too many times, it had taken her a while to figure him out, but she knew that he knew. Two patient souls, one 20 and the other older than dirt, examined each other.

“What do you think it means?” He was being obnoxious again; trying to get her to think for herself…