The children were the first ones there, when the body fell. That was how it always happened. No one knew how it began, or how long it had been like that. You asked that question, they answered with a shrug. Always and forever, really, was the answer you'd get.
It may not have been true, but it felt like it.
The children came. They crept out of the alleyways, and they took everything of value. They took the rings, they took the necklaces, they took the fancy buttons, and they took the boots.
They always took the boots. You could always sell boots. People needed them.
And then they'd scurry off, like mice, or rats, or some other vermin. And that was the last you saw of them, unless you knew where to look.
And cared to.
They left the body sitting there, though. Usually because it was in no condition to move too far.
And besides, they were children. The bodies were usually too heavy to carry.
So they left them for the Lamplighters. Not that it was the Lamplighters' job, mind you.
Just another thing that the Lamplighters found themselves dealing with.
Nathan glanced around the square, as he arrived on the scene, and then looked at the body.
And then he swore softly to himself.
This one was messy.