For lunch most of the adults went back to their children's homes, getting as far away from the school as they could. But Angles didn't have a home as such– he was one of the few adults who hadn't been assigned a child, and was looked after in a large building instead. As a result he had nowhere he wanted to go that lunchtime, and he sat by the school wall with Chris as they munched down their sugar sandwiches.
“The thing you have to understand,” he was saying, “is that all us adults felt bad about what we’d done to the city. When we came to, the few kids who’d survived were furious at the few of us who’d survived, and we found it hard to think of a reason why they shouldn't be. Why shouldn't they be in charge, after all? It wasn't them that made such a mess of things. So now we learn, us adults. The things we need to know, so we can rebuild the city. I mean, I was a commodities broker before everything got eaten! I don't know the first thing about how to get things going again.”
A loud hum blared out of the school, which could be heard through the makeshift village. The adults coming back from their houses started to run, afraid they wouldn't make it before afternoon lessons began.
“What I don't think the children realise,” Angles said, “is that the lessons aren't enough. Right enough, we’ll learn what we need to know to get the city running again. But the day we manage that– well, it's still a very long way away.”
They started to walk towards an emerging line of adults, queuing up ready to file into school.
“We had a saying back before we ate the city. That a person needs sugar, or a person needs hope. Sweetness and light. You can't live without them both.” He laughed through his rotten teeth. “And we’ve all had our share of sweetness by now! So we found something that gives us hope, us adults. Something precious and something secret. And I’ll tell you all about it—” he smiled “—as soon as we’ve finished school.”