A flash of turquoise shone at the edges of her vision and dimly illuminated the brick wall in front of her. She spun around and – there it was again, brilliant but brief – a glow from around the sides of a grimy, grey downspout, as if a green-blue sparkler was burning behind it.
Had someone stashed a cellphone back there? She couldn’t imagine why anyone would do that. But were there any other rational explanations for why the back of a downspout would be glowing like that?
She wrapped up her last clean rig in some old shirts in her backpack, already starting to feel the cold again, and so very tired. She shook herself – the youth shelter had a curfew and she didn’t want to end up falling asleep here next to a dumpster again. Too many skeevy rats and dudes around.
Maybe she could get some cash for it. She pulled out her own cellphone and switched on the flashlight, stepping forward to investigate. There was a ridge about three feet up, creating a small ledge along the old stone building’s wall. She caught a glimpse of a silvery chain and a sparkling green pendant.
She grabbed the necklace shoved it in one pocket, and her phone in the other. Looking over to one end of the alley she saw a group of young men. Just leaving the bar, she thought.
“Hey! You need a ride home?”
Backpack swinging from her right shoulder, she ran for the other end of the alley and around the corner. There was a bus picking up passengers a few paces away. As someone stepped out of the back door she pulled herself in.