Cold Night

Cold Night

A Story by Havatara

I sat in my little part of the park where no one would think to look for anyone, in a clump of trees near the edge of the park.  I don’t know why no one looked there, but they didn’t and I was relatively safe when I stayed there.  Anyway, I sat there and stared at the sky, hoping something would change for me.  I knew that it wouldn’t, but it was fun to hope every once in a while.

“Bluejay, I have the food you asked for,” my friend Tom said.

I sat up and stared at him, watching him watch my blue eyes twitch.  I always had trouble sleeping, considering my situation, but this was worse than usual, so my tired eyes twitched whenever they were open for more than twenty seconds.

“Thanks, Tom.  It looks delicious.”  He had raided McDonald’s for me.  I was touched.  Not many people would do that when someone else was hurt, especially when both parties lived on the street.

“Girl, you’re like my little sister.  I would never do anything to hurt you.”  I smiled at him as I ate, watching him watching me.  We always did that.  Our entire life was a watching game, and it didn’t matter that it was late at night in a city park that hardly anyone went to because it was too cold.

Shivering, I finished the remains of the burger that had been thrown away and stretched.  “Thanks, Tom.  I really appreciate it.”

“Again, you’re like my sister.  It doesn’t matter to me.”  He wasn’t smiling when he said this.

He left me without saying good-bye, which was strange for him.  Tom always said good-bye, unless there was something important or disturbing on his mind.  I always wondered what he was thinking about, but I never got up the courage to ask.

Curling up in the high branches in my tree, I tried to fall asleep, but no matter what I did I just couldn’t.  Whatever was wrong with me that night, it probably saved my life.

Around midnight, or what I thought was midnight, I heard some people talking under my tree.  Getting my knife out to protect myself if I needed to, I looked down to see three men looking at the trees.

“I don’t see her,” one of them said.  He sounded sort of drunk.

“Shush!  She’s probably up in the branches.  I’ll get her down for you,” said a voice I recognized easily.  What was Tom doing at that time of night?

“Just do it fast.  We have other things to do tonight, you know,” said the last man.

Tom raised his voice and said, “Bluejay?  Can you come down for a second?  I found another cheeseburger for you, and it’s almost the entire thing, too.”

I stayed silent, hoping they would think I was in another one of my spots.  This was my usual spot, but if I felt like it I would go to different parks or alleys to spend the night.  Even if this was safe, it was a ways away from any residential area.  If I screamed, no one would hear me.

“Bluejay?  You up there?”  Tom waited for a minute.  “I don’t think she’s here tonight.  She was here a few hours ago, but maybe she moved.”

“Whatever.  We’ll come back next week, and if she’s not here you’ll have to find another little girl for us,” the drunk one threatened.

“Of course, of course.  I’ve always been able to supply you with girls, haven’t I?  This isn’t any different,” Tom reassured them, but his voice was shaking.  He was getting towards the end of his list of girls, that was my bet.

The men left, and I exhaled a breath that I didn’t know I was holding.  How could Tom do that to me?  Did he know what would happen to me if those men got hold of me?  He probably did, but most likely he didn’t care.

When I thought it was safe I slipped down from my tree and as quietly as I could I ran across the park.  I guess it wasn’t quiet enough, because halfway across the lot someone came at me from behind and grabbed my dirty blonde tangle of hair.  “We thought you were up in that tree of yours.  Thought you could get away, could you?”

Still gripping my knife, I spun it around and stabbed his leg in what I hoped was the artery.  He let out a mangled cry and let go of my hair, and I pulled my knife out and broke out into a sprint, not caring how much noise I made anymore.

One of the other guys caught up to me and grabbed my arm, nearly pulling it out of its socket.  I fell to the ground and lost my knife, but I still had nails and I clawed at him.  It was the drunk guy, and when I scratched his eye he pulled away.  I looked up to find him and the guy I stabbed writhing in pain and Tom holding my knife.

Taking out my spare, I prepared to fight.  Tom said, “You don’t want to do this, Bluejay.”

“This coming from the person who betrayed a life-long street rat,” I spat at him.

“Come on, girl, don’t be like this,” he said, his hands shaking.  He’d only been in a couple fights before, and both times he was beaten up pretty bad.

Instead of replying, I lunged at him and faked to aim for his eye but instead cut him across the stomach.  He bent down coughing and I stomped on his back, making him fall down.  Using my foot, I rolled him over.

“I didn’t know it would be over that fast,” he coughed.

I snorted.  “I did tell you that I’ve been a street rat my entire life, right?  This kind of stuff is common for me.”

He laughed.  “I guess I should have guessed.  It was fun while it lasted though.”

That was my breaking point.  I started crying.  “Why did you do it, Tom?  Why did you betray me?”

“Because I have fun doing it.”  I looked at him, and he had this wild, insane look in his eyes, and even though he was bleeding a lot from the cut I gave him he was smiling from ear to ear.  “Because when I do, and I see looks like that in your eyes, I feel so happy.  Do you want to try?”

“No!  Who would want to!” I yelled.  Taking my knife I stabbed him in the head, making sure that he would die right away.  Looking at the other two coldly, watching them watching me, I cleaned the blood off of my blade and used Tom’s sweatshirt to bandage my wounds and used his sweatshirt to stay warm.

As I was walking away, the drunk guy asked, “Well, what are we going to do with the body?”

“Like I care,” I snorted.  I was angry at them, and not just for what they made me do to Tom or what they did to young girls like me.  I was mad at them for ruining my favorite spot to sleep.

Walking, walking, walking.  I just kept walking through the city, not really paying attention to where I was going, except for when I was going towards a construction area.  I didn’t even go there, what with the type of people who hung out there during the day.  I shuddered at the thought of who stayed there at night.

“Hey, little girl, you shouldn’t be here,” someone called.  “It isn’t safe for people like you.”

I turned around and saw another drunk guy standing there.  He was staring at me and smiling.  “Maybe I can give you a ride home.”

Smiling back at him, I replied, “No thanks.  It’s not too far from here.  I’ll be fine.”  Turning by back to the man, I continued walking down the street.

It wasn’t too long before I came to the busy part of the city, even though it was nearly three in the morning.  People stared at me, obviously aware of my situation in life, and I didn’t care.  I just wanted to become numb, forget everything and just sit down somewhere and not get up.

The more I thought of it, the more the idea appealed to me.  So I found a McDonald’s and sat down in front of it, ignoring people as they stared at me.  Soon I was shivering, as it was fall and it usually frosted at night, but I usually survived.  My clump of trees had been a perfect hiding place, and I could line it with cardboard or whatever else I found to keep warm.  But there was no warmth on this street.  At least none that I could feel.

“Oh look, there’s a little girl.  She looks tired.  Should we help her?”

I looked up to see who was talking about me.  It was two high school girls, maybe about three or four years older than me, so sixteen or seventeen, as I guessed that I was about thirteen then.

“No, I’m sure she’s just a runaway.  There are so many of those lately.  Let’s just get a burger.”

The other one smiled.  “Burger.  I haven’t had one in forever.  But is it safe?  I mean, I just got over being bulimic.”  I stopped listening then and there.  I would never understand how people could be bulimic when there were so many other people starving.  It was a waste of food.

I waited another half an hour, and just when the frost was starting to sting a little bit, someone tapped me on the shoulder.  I looked up and found a young couple staring down at me.  They looked like they were in college, so just dating or maybe even just married.  The girl, a pretty woman with long auburn hair, said, “You look cold.  Do you want anything?”

“I’m fine,” I insisted.  I just wanted to get this done with, without any interruptions, because without realizing it, I had begun to rely on Tom to get me food.  I didn’t remember how to get it anymore, and now Tom was gone.

The man laughed, his black hair flying in the wind.  “You don’t look fine.  Why don’t you come inside McDonald’s with us and we can get you a burger, and we’ll talk for a bit.”

I weighed my chances, but the adrenaline from the fight had made me hungry so I nodded and got up.  The woman helped me up since I was stiff from sitting for two hours.  “What time is it?”

“Four-thirty.  We were just about to go to work.  Why were you sitting there?  I’m Casey, by the way.  What’s your name?” the man said.

“I’m Bluejay,” I replied.  “I just wanted to sit there, since I can’t go back to where I was.”

“Bluejay.  What a lovely name.  What would you like?” the woman asked.

I thought for a bit.  “A Big Mac?”

She smiled.  “Three Big Macs it is then!  That’s what we always get.”

I smiled back at her.  A few minutes later we were sitting in a booth, and Casey said, “You never did tell Samantha and I why you can’t go back to where you were.”

“I don’t think I can tell you that yet,” I replied, biting my lip.

“That’s fine.  So, tell us about yourself.  How old are you?” Samantha asked.

“I think I’m thirteen.”

Casey nodded.  “Where were you staying?”

“In a park in Brooklyn.”

“That’s a long way from the Bronx,” Samantha commented.

I shrugged.  “I guess I was just walking for longer than I thought I was.”  Using it as an excuse for not talking, I took a huge bight out of my fresh Big Mac.  It was the best thing I had ever eaten!

The guy behind the counter decided to turn the TV on just then to the news.  The first words I heard were, “A body found in a Brooklyn park, stabbed in the head and in the stomach.  Two witnesses say they didn’t see the killer, but said that it was someone small, maybe a child.”

I fidgeted in my chair, and Casey and Samantha looked at me.  Samantha said, “Casey, can you tell the boss I’m sick?  I just remembered something I had to do at home.”

“Sure thing, honey.  Should I tell him that you’ve caught the flu?”

“Why not?”  Finishing up her burger she told me, “Come on, Bluejay.  Let’s get a cab and go to our apartment.  I’ll get you cleaned up and then we’ll go down to the courthouse.”

Nervously I asked, “Why would we go to the courthouse?”

“Oh, we like to help kids like you find a nice new home,” she replied, smiling sweetly.

Smiling back, I asked, “Really?  You can do that?”

“Of course!  We know lots of families who want to help little children who don’t have parents anymore,” Casey reassured me.

I quickly ate the rest of my burger and followed Samantha out of the fast food restaurant, watching in awe as she hailed a cab.  The art was always a mystery to me, as I could never get in one.  They looked at me once and drove right past me.

Samantha gave the man directions and we drove off.  I watched the sides of the buildings as they changed colors and glinted from the sun rise shining on them.  I almost didn’t even realize it when the cab stopped and Samantha got out of the car.  Scrambling out after her, I watched her as she payed the driver and walked down an alley.

“Don’t we go through the front of the building?” I asked.

“No, the doors broke a little while ago.  My husband and I don’t really have well paying jobs, so we had to find a place with cheap rent.  The problem with cheap rent is that there are a lot of things wrong with the building.”  I nodded.  It made sense.

She was leading me around the side of the building and fumbling for her keys.  I was looking around the alley and looking for a place that would be nice to sleep in, as was my long-time habit.  I didn’t even realize it when she stopped looking for her keys.

Before I even realized what was happening, Samantha had taken a knife out of her bag and stabbed me in the back from behind.  I turned around to see her sneering at me.  “We give lots of murdering little rats new homes.  It’s called Hell.  Who was the man you murdered?”

“A friend,” I replied, smiling.

“Some friend,” she laughed.

That’s the last thing I heard before I slipped into the sweet oblivion I had been looking for in the first place.

© 2010 Havatara

Author's Note

I hope you enjoyed reading it and remember: Don't believe everything that you're told! =)

My Review

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Well that was a quick turn! I really liked this piece, the rhythm and speed of this was perfectly executed, and the characters were developed just right. Well done!

Posted 8 Years Ago

WOW!!! That was surprising! very unexpected...Very good!

Posted 10 Years Ago

Oh. My. God. So morbid! But really good. I have shivers just thinking about the end part. I guess I'm just a bit of a wimp. LOL.

Great job, apart from a few sentence structures, but overall great!

Posted 11 Years Ago

It was good, I don't see why you don't like it. you should make it into a book =)

Posted 11 Years Ago

I did enjoy it! Fast-paced and awesome!

Posted 11 Years Ago

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5 Reviews
Added on March 2, 2010
Last Updated on March 4, 2010
Tags: Brooklyn, Bronx, New York, homeless, betrayal, revenge, back stab, murder



The Town That Moved, St. Louis County, MN (aka Hicksville), MN

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