Mina crouched behind a bush, trying to blend in with the foliage as much as possible. Her muscles were aching; she'd been hiding for hours already, but moving around would only cause a ruckus and defeat the whole purpose of today's foray into the forest. So she clenched her jaw and forced herself to stay still; something would happen eventually, she was sure. She only hoped eventually came sooner rather than later.
Mina was still determined to prove to her brother that she could do something besides set the table and ace her literature final. She could do things that actually mattered in their day to day life, even if he didn't see it like that. His refusal to see her side of this whole situation, rather than discouraging her, only made her more eager to find a way to prove her usefulness to him. So foraging around hadn't worked--she would find another way. It had taken her a few days of warring with herself, but she'd finally given in; perhaps the only way she could really show Bastian that she could help him keep their tiny family functional was to bring home something they could barely afford to buy: meat. The only problem was that Mina knew she didn't have it in her to harm an animal, and even if she did, she had absolutely no idea how to wield a hunting-type weapon. And she definitely didn't have any weapons.
It had taken her a week of post-school (for her brother's sake) excursions out in town to finally come up with a plan. She might not be a hunter, but she could certainly trap an animal. She had no idea how to go about making a proper trap or snare, so she had to take the long way around. She'd found herself a wooden box and some wire and had passed the afternoon hours rigging it up so that an animal entering to take a piece of bait would trap itself--alive--inside the box. How the live animal would turn into dinner...well, she would leave that up to Bastian. Her greatest concern was setting the trap. She wasn't brilliant with mechanics, and the whole venture had taken quite a while; she'd even throw the box across the room at one point, in a fit of frustration reminiscent of her older brother's. But eventually she'd gotten it to work consistently; now, she was trying to see if it would work on an actual animal, rather than a rock throw from a few inches away.
She'd gotten up before Bastian this morning--she always did, as she never slept much. But it was Saturday, so he'd actually get to sleep; he might sleep all day, for all she knew, and all the better for her. If he didn't have work to occupy him, he might actually come looking for her, and that would be disastrous. She shifted every so slightly, trying to relieve the cramp in her right leg without making noise, but it was hopeless. Entrenched as she was in the bush, any little movement caused the rustling of leaves. Sure, she could have left and gone home, gone about her business and sneaked back later to check the trap. That would have made more sense, actually. But Mina wanted to see it work. And more than that, sitting still out here at least made her feel like she was doing something; sitting still at home and trying not to wake her brother up only made her feel more useless. Ever since she'd started venturing into the forest, she couldn't stand being in town and having nothing to do; it made her twitchy with longing to be in the woods.
Mina's head turned automatically at a noise coming from behind her. She'd been sitting in the forest for hours and hadn't seen a single animal, save the odd bird or two; she was starting to think they all knew she was here and were telling their friends to avoid the area or something. Suddenly, all the waiting was worth it--something was coming! Her trap might actually be about to work! She held her breath and waited, listening for another sign. A few seconds later, a twig cracked loudly, and Mina's heart skipped a beat. That had been loud. And then there was another one, just a few seconds later. A rabbit didn't break twigs that loudly. Either there was a very large animal coming her way--in which case, she ought to be afraid it was vicious--or there was another person out in her little corner of the forest. Either way, it was best to stay hidden. She pulled her legs in slowly, hugging them to her chest, trying to make herself as small as possible inside the bush and hoping it was just a really, really fat rabbit coming her way.