Keith and Madelyn were strolling along the back way to Henry Hall, which they favored more for its light traffic and lack of freshmen than its scenic view of dumpsters in semi-decorative brick enclosures. Madelyn was complaining loudly about Dr. Wojtecki’s grading practices when Keith interrupted her.

“Look at that,” he said. “That pile of Nerds and pink Tootsie Rolls as been on that ledge since Halloween.” The candy was sitting in one of the brick “windows” that semi-decorated a dumpster alcove.

“You’d think a campus full of starving freshman working on their fifteen would’ve finished it off even dumpster candy long ago,” said Madelyn. “Like ‘Halloween night’ long ago.”

“Well everyone was too busy getting falling-down drunk while dressed as a skimpy nurse on All Hallows itself,” said Keith. “And probably hung over with a volatile mix of candy and cognac swirling in an otherwise empty stomach.”

“That explains a day, maybe. But over a month?”

“Think about it. After a few days hungry people notice it but they’re like ‘why hasn’t anyone eaten that yet?'” Keith said in a bad falsetto. “They conclude there’s something wrong with it. And the odd little kid that comes by who wouldn’t care is helicoptered by parents still fretting over the latest razor-blades-in-candy-apples urban legend moral panic.”

“Well, I’m going to give it a good home,” Madelyn said. She reached for the small pink pile.

“Are…are you sure about that?” Keith said, suddenly anxious. “It has been out in the elements for a long time. And despite my jokey tone a minute ago, some of that stuff could have a basis in fact.”

“Oh, it’s not for me,” Madelyn grinned. “It’s for Dr. Wojtecki. Never saw a piece of candy he didn’t like. And never met a substitute he does.”

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