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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The Little Vagabonds

by Scott

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a piece of a longer writing project. You can view the entire project here: The Little Vagabonds

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Scott on December 8, 2010
"It says that I took over 30 minutes to write this, but it was actually less (you can't pause the clock!). This is the third installment of Charlie and Mira's story. Hope you enjoy!"

Breakfast at The Better Baguette

"Hi, welcome to The Better Baguette. How can I help you?"

"Yes, I'd like two sausage burritos, two ham bagels, a blueberry muffin, two coffees with cream and sugar, and two medium orange juice."

Charlie heard the order and felt his stomach rumble. He and Mira had been successful at sneaking into the restaurant past the staff and using the bathrooms. It's not that there would have been an issue with people in the bathroom, but Charlie did not want to take the chance of someone asking why they weren't in school.

They had "used the facilities" and then washed up in the sink. Their hands and faces were now clean and, except for their clothing (and a slight hint of body odor) they could almost pass for respectable. Charlie and Mira now sat on a cold hard bench at the farther end of the parking lot. Charlie had chosen this bench because it was partially hidden by some trees. They could watch the goings on without being seen.

Charlie was now lost in his favorite game of trying to figure out what people are doing. Here comes a gray Mercedes, barreling into the drive-through lane. Charlie imagined the man was heading to work, but was running late. The old blue sedan carried a grandmother and grandfather enjoying a breakfast together. And here comes a mother, alone.

Charlie imagined that this mother had just dropped her son off at school. He imagined that she was now going to pick up her infant daughter who had been staying with her grandparents. He imagined that he mother stopped to grab a quick cup of coffee. Maybe, Charlie thought, maybe this mother will make it home.

Charlie prayed that this young woman would make it safely to her destination. He prayed that there would not be a distracted truck driver, who looked up a moment too late to see a car in front of him. If there was a God, maybe He would allow this young woman to make it home. Maybe He would allow a young boy to have another day with the mother he loved so much.

Mira had been too young to remember Mamma. Charlie's grandparents had decided that Mom and Dad needed some alone time with him, since Mira had taken up so much of their time in the two years following her birth. It wasn't Mira's fault, that's just how babies are. The day the principal came to the classroom to get him, to tell him there had been an accident, that was one of the two worst days in his life.

Charlie could feel the hot tears beginning to well within his eyes when he suddenly heard a snicker from the young girl next to him.

"What are you chuckling about?" asked Charlie.

He turned to look at his baby sister. She was leaning over the edge of the bench, her hand being completely soaked by the rough pink tongue of a black cat.

"I named him mittens!" Mira said, delightedly. "See? He's got mittens."

Charlie looked closer at the cat and noticed that, what he had first thought was snow covering the kittens paws did indeed turn out to be mittens of white fur.

"Can I keep him, Charlie?" Mira's eyes sparkled mischievously and her lips pouted, the way they always did when she tried to get her way.

"Mira, we can't keep a cat. We can barely feed ourselves." Charlie knew even as he said it that he would end up giving in. He always did.

"Please?" she pleaded. "I'll give him some of my food, and he won't be any trouble."

Charlie thought for a moment. Surely that cat wouldn't follow. He would get bored and return to whomever owned him.

"Sure, why not. But remember, whe... if he leaves, it's his own choice and you can't cry."

"I promise!" Mira threw her arms around her brother. "Thank you, Charlie!"

"Your welcome, punk." Charlie saw a break in the customers and knew his chance to search the dumpster wouldn't last long. "Okay, let's go. Be quite and make sure nobody sees you."

Charlie and Mira walked quickly to the dumpster to look for their morning breakfast. As they neared the old dumpster, Charlie looked back at his sister. He shook his head as he saw that hot on the heels of his little sister was a scrawny black cat with little boots of white.

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