(c) Copyright 2010 Andrew Taraba All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication, montanization or reproduction is punishable by law. Copyright provided via Legal Zoom. Remove this after final publication.
"why do we sometimes ask questions when we already know the answer?"
The sky was tinted light orange. A loud ring scared the creature off. It took flight from among the trash, leaving a trail of feathers behind. From all directions, people swarmed the school yard, and flooded the streets.
There was a huge commotion in the streets, Long tried to get a closer look. A puddle of blood and two men were fighting in the crowded street.
"You still owe me!" The taller man said. "Give me your ring!"
"It's the last thing I have from my wife!" A foot raised in the air and the tall man kicked the other across the face. They both began punching each other. Before long the a police stormed and the crowd died down. Long resumed his walk home.
He paced through a pillow of trash, instantly he felt his hand almost rip off. "Follow me!" Long was being pulled by the tall, yellow haired, long haired, red jacket wearing, Mark. He glanced back, the police were swarming the streets and talking to people on the sidewalks. "Let's get out of here!" Mark shouted. When they landed at Mark's house they stopped.
"What's happening?" Long sat down on a cardboard box in front of Mark's tiny house.
Mark panted, "That man.... Ever since my dad lost his job... we've been stealing food from the market... I guess they finally caught him..."
"What's going to happen?"
"They'll probably try to fine us, or at least take our valuables..." Mark smiled, "Right now this jacket's the nicest thing I got..."
"I want to help." Long replied.
"Then leave... I don't want you to get caught with me... I've handled things like this before.""Are you sure?" Long asked.
Mark looked around, the meow of a cat frightened him, "Hurry!"
Long started to run, he peeked back and watched Mark step in his sheet metal and cardboard covered house.
Under the pink clouds lay a neighborhood that looked identical to Mark's, trash strewn about, flat roofed houses covered top to bottom in wood and sheet metal. stepping on the dieing grass, Long trotted over to an old, cracked, wooden door. He stepped inside an even older, broken down house. "What the?" Long stepped over a trail of ants as he walked in his bedroom. He picked the sleeping cat off his chair and pushed him out the hole in the wall. Long sat down at his desk and rested. Starting to fall asleep, Long fell asleep.
The hands on the clock moved drastically, the sound of a slamming door woke Long. The squeaky knob turned and the old hinges screeched as Luke entered the room. He dived in the bed and sunk in the blankets shortly interrupted by Long's voice, "So how was the first day of work?"
Luke closed his eyes, and curled up in a ball. "You know I think I really like it! This one guy came to the story and I caught him stealing food! Well I guess since the store is right next to the slum town anything can happen... The boss gave me a bonus! Isn't that awesome!" Luke smiled waving money in the air.
Long's jaw dropped. He clenched his fists. "Yeah... that's awesome..."
“He gave me five bucks!" And Luke left the room.
"Don't tell your mother what I did, Mark!"
"She's dead dad..." Mark and his dad were sitting in their tiny house. "It's getting hot, dad, do you want me to open the vent?"
Mark pushed a piece of cardboard. Behind, was a hole in the wall and the cool air was sucked in. Mark turned around and so did his dad when from the front door came several knocks. "Mark go to the grocery store, I'll take care of things."
"Got it!" Mark crawled out the hole and his dad prepared to answer the front door.
"Make sure you get some good food! Don't get caught!"
Mark laughed, "Don't worry I'm an expert! Sushi?"
"They have that?"
Long's head was dripping wet, he turned off the hose and walked back to his over sized box of a house. A fresh, chilled breeze blew and dry leaves whisked across the tiny, weed infested back yard. The full moon shone brightly in the night sky. Everything was peaceful, everything was calm. Long could hear the slight sound of festivities off in the distance. "The moon festival?" He asked him self, he walked inside his room.
The moonlight peeked through the window. Luke was snoring loudly. Long walked beside Luke and whispered, "Don't get too comfortable, Tomorrow I get the bed!" Then Long unfolded a blanket, squished a spider and finally bent down and stretched out on the cold, tough surface of the floor. He closed his eyes, opened them again and stared up at the dark moon lit ceiling. He started daydreaming and his eyes closed. "I wonder what the rich kid's mansion is like..." He started thinking of mansions and beautiful houses and a smile crossed face... And before he knew it, he was fast asleep...