Rain and Muddy streets
A draft I played around with a while back. Haven’t worked on this story in a while. The main character is a boy, I know he sounds smart, he was raised by a smart, clever girl.
Heavy rain changed into drizzle, which quickly faded to a glum cloudy day. I hated the rain; despite what I’ve been told, I don’t find anything refreshing about it. It leaves a foul scent of musk in the atmosphere. The frowzy scent of the wet mangy poodle that likes to come around the area each morning, the stench of pigeon shit lingers in the air. A combination of smells that I hated becomes aroused and dawdles around, taunting me, reminding me of who I am, a dirty homeless pauper.
I looked over at Amelia, rushing to the five-dollar shoe store, a shoeshine place where she worked cleaning shoes. The store also did shoe repairs and sold old shoes. All services came at the price of five dollars.
My luck was not that of Amelia’s. No one cared to give me a job, so my only option was to rely on the streets, hoping that a suit may drop a few cents my way.
My life has always been nothing but hard. I was raised by a 17-year-old and, all I’ve known were the streets. Amelia was the closest thing to a parent I had; she found me in a cardboard box late one night. She said I’d somehow just appeared there. She saw no one discarding me and everyone else that lived on the streets, ignored me completely. She proudly admitted she would have done the same had it not been for my annoying noise and screams that drove her crazy. That was the story, as she told me. I don’t know how truthful it is since for as long as I’ve known myself, I’ve always been a mute, despite my many attempts, I’m unable to utter the simplest of words.
Here is where my story started; with the rain and the muddy streets, followed by an urge, a pull, from an old man. As a ten-year-old boy, that compelling feeling to do something beyond my understanding was something I could not grasp.
The street he now threaded was old and damaged. Ever so often, suits such as him would pass by this location, a supposed shortcut to get to Cammie street. A very popular place where suits and those of high social status would visit from time to time. One could even call it a cult or secret organization, but I would never know, someone such as myself was never allowed there. Regardless of my age and my slightly adorable face, I’d be beaten to a pulp and tossed on the busy roads. If a vehicle manages to hit me, it would be of no consequence, for I was without an owner, and they were the wealthiest, with the biggest and most known names in the city: to say the least. Amelia gave me a stern warning to avoid that place, so I always have.
Somehow it seemed like fate when I spotted him walking by. That day I felt lost and desperate; all common feelings I know too well. But this time, there was a push beyond those feelings. This may sound foolish coming from any ten-year-old, but that day, as I watched him pass by, I felt like I knew my purpose, a calling. My life’s existence had somehow become tied to this man, and beyond my understanding, I followed him.
My feet had grown a mind of their own as they scurried along the muddy streets, fetching me behind this man. Who was he? I don’t know, but what I did next was even more surprising as well as embarrassing. I’ll never forget that scorn face he rudely greeted me with as I rushed to grab his muddy shoes, clinging tightly onto them.
It was truly was an honest mistake. My disobedient feet had missed the sight of a rock lying calmly in the middle of the streets. As I tripped, my hands in a panic reached out for the closest standing thing, his feet.
He greeted me with an angry look as he halted before tumbling down with me, face now even more annoyed. As the man raised himself, I remained rooted to the ground, hands still hooked to his foot. He stood there waiting for an apology until impatiently making a fast pull, tugging his foot as they escaped my hands, and with his callous actions, my head came tumbling in one of the muddy puddles in the streets.
Cursing to himself, he quickly walked away. But of course, his attempts to lose me failed. I hurriedly got up, lifting my head from the muddy water, and was speedily on his tail again.
The man now made an abrupt stop, peering down at me.
“There’s no way it could be you,” he said, twitching the stash around his mouth, while lightly passing his hands along his long white beard.
“But if that’s the case,” He went on to say, still lightly pressing his fingers along his beard as he paused. “Ah!, you must be a stubborn fella; feisty little one aren’t you?”
“So stubborn, I won’t even listen to my self,” I thought, annoyed.
Why was I being so difficult? I have never gotten to the point of harassing another person before. Surely Amelia would give me a good scolding if she gets to hear of this.
His annoyed eyes stared back at me while he stopped to think again, changing his annoyed look to an amused one.
The man took a step towards me; his slightly amused face looked down at me. He made a face that was deep in thoughts until finally spinning me around, while he made close observations and a disappointing frown formed on his face as he continued to play with his stash thinking.
“You’re too small, you reek of bad luck, you seem incapable of speech, and you’re far too scrawny to be of any use to me,” he said with a frown, disappointed face.
It’s not as if I was trying to be of use to him; I had no clue what was happening. I was fighting with my frustration at this point, but my body was so quick to deny my request, which made me even more disappointed than him. Sure, I’m desperate. I was born with nothing; I am still without anything. My luck is unlike Amelia’s. I rarely get the chance to have people stop and pity me, but never have I ever gone this far to disturb and annoy anyone by interrupting their freedom; to peacefully pass along the streets. It all seemed new to me. He, however, seemed annoyed, maybe a little surprised, but not too fazed by the current situation, not nearly as much as I was at this point.
“I’m almost out of time,” he warned, before he continued with his complaints. “I sure hope you’re not just a distraction; my issue is one of great consequence, life and death. Do you get that tiny?”
He then raised his head, staring into the dimmed, defeated sun before releasing a long weary sigh.
“Here you go, kid. Now run along, I have important things to do.” He said, resting a piece of gold in my hands.
The shape of a dragon. Surely something of this design would make a great toy, had it not been for the fact that it was real gold. A widened smile now formed on my face, I wasn’t expecting this. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting anything; I just struggled to ignore my compulsion.
I still had a great urge to follow this man, but I gazed over at the five-dollar shoe store in the near distance. No doubt, Amelia was still in there. My first and only thought was of her.
I imagined the grin forming on her face as she notices that for the first time, I’m helping her as well. She had bright plans for the future; she taught herself to read and taught me as well. It felt almost impossible to leave this man alone; I wanted to keep following him... No, my body wanted to keep following him. But it was obvious: he wanted to get rid of me as much as I wanted this madness to end.
Despite my impulse, I mustered the strength and made a complete turn and ran over to the store. My hands quickly wrapped around Amelia. What was I feeling? Could it be grief? It was sad but also happy... No content... or maybe satisfied. A sad; and satisfied feeling. I imagine its what people feel right as they reach the end of their journey. My body was once again controlling me; tears fell from my glum eyes. It felt like this would be the last I would ever see of Amelia. I didn’t even get a final look at her face, I quickly landed the piece of gold in her hands, and my feet had begun racing along the streets again, past the market place where I lived, beyond Cammie road, which I feared and somehow only a few steps behind this strange bearded old man once again.