The Way Home

The Way Home

A Story by Platus
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A person's life described in few words.

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     “I hate my job, and it’s cold as hell.” That’s all that Steven knew. And cold it was, the icy teeth of October cut through his jacket as he walked home from work. The sun had hidden behind the clouds, the city was harsh and miserable, and the roads were black and slippery with virgin ice.

     Walking, Steve Mulligan’s thoughts turned only to his boots, the soles of which had peeled off and were slapping against the pavement on every step. They, however, were merely a part of his ‘drunken slacker’ look. A look he achieved mostly by being a drunken slacker. His job: “inventory management and customer assistance representative”, or so said his nametag. He was a stock-boy at the local superstore. The “customer assistance” bit was mere garnish however. With his shaggy beard and short, greasy hair, he scared more customers than he helped, which was just fine with him.

     He needed something to fix the chill, a hot drink. A connivance store window showed a coffee machine inside, he walked to the door.

     “Sir, please, could you spare a bit of change.” What, from me? “Please sir, I’m hungry.” Steve stared at the old, scraggly man. He fingered the dollar fifty in his pocket, his last dollar fifty.

     “Listen, I don’t have anything-“

     “Oh please, nothing at all?”

     No, not for you! “Listen, I really have nothing on me. Maybe later I’ll have some, but not now.”

     “I understand, thank you sir.” Poison tipped the last few words. Did he feel slighted, perhaps?

     Free, Steve pushed open the door and walked past the leering cashier. He slotted his change into the machine and pressed a few buttons. The mechanism birthed a paper cup, and poured a stream of brown liquid into it. It was odourless, tasteless, and cold.

     Sipping his cup of caffeinated pisswater, Steven left the store. He forced himself not to glance back at the old man, who had wanted money to warm himself on the coffee machine. Perhaps next time, old man. As it is, you’d have better luck with another. Steven was poor and bitter. Then, and now, and from then on, his only thoughts were of himself and home.


© 2010 Platus



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I'd say you did a pretty good job of it--describing this person in only a few words, that is. He doesn't seem likely to have much of a future, as things are going. In fact, he may be the old beggar before long. Nice writing, Platus.

Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on May 3, 2010
Last Updated on May 3, 2010