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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 5, 2010
"This is the second part in The Little Vagabonds series. I hope to continue with this and have several "episodes" in mind."

The Little Vagabonds II

Charlie heard the bus honking outside. If Mira didn't hurry up, they would be late for school... again.

"Mira, let's go! The bus is waiting!"

Charlie heard the clump, clump of Mira's feet on the steps as she hurried down the stairs. She was dressed, once again, in her favorite pink Disney princess t-shirt. Her hair had been lovingly braided by dad which, as usual, was why she was running late.

Mira grabbed her "Beauty and the Beast" lunch box off the counter and ran for the door.

"Bye, Dad! See you when we get home!" Charlie called out. As had happened on so many days lately, dad would head back to bed. For some reason, he seemed more tired than usual. The stress of providing for the three of them was getting to him.

The school bus honked yet again. "Marvin, let's go!"

Marvin? Charlie didn't know any Marvin. In the distance, a door slammed.

Charlie awoke with a start. The memory of his dream was already beginning to fade, but the feeling he had remained. The desire to go back to the way things were before.

Charlie looked down at his sleeping sister, still curled up on his lap. Her hair was braided, though Charlie just couldn't seem to do them as well as his father. It didn't matter anyway. Most people took little notice of the two children.

The only time anyone looked at them was if they were giving Charlie and Mira dirty looks as they passed, or to yell at the children if they thought the kids were getting a little too close.

If there was one thing that Charlie had learned in the few weeks they had been on the street it was that people just didn't give a... He stopped himself in mid-thought. He had used that word once before and Dad had heard. Dad talked to him about it and explained that there were some words that you just don't use. Charlie had promised his dad two things, one of which was to make sure he used language "befitting a young gentleman." He intended to keep that promise.

He carefully moved Mira so he could creep to the little door of the tree house. Without his body temperature to keep her warm, Mira would wake up shortly. He had to make sure, though, that the coast was clear to leave. They could not spend too much time in one place, and Charlie wanted to make sure that they did not get caught. This was a good place to come back to in a few days if they needed.

The little tree house was mostly well built. The two windows, made of clear, hard plastic, kept most of the wind out and the door was enough to cover the only other opening. The roof, though sufficient to cover the structure, was not as well done. It was as though by the time the roof was constructed, the builder had become lazy. After all, it wasn't like anyone would be sleeping in here, right?

As he watched the little powder blue house below, Charlie felt a tug in his belly. He knew that there were two things he would have to find soon: food for breakfast, and a bathroom. There are things you can get away with in the darkness of night that would be impossible in the glaring light of day.

No, a convenience store or fast food restaurant would be the place. There was a Burger King and a McDonald's a couple of streets over. There, they should be able to find what they needed. They could walk in and use the bathroom, the staff would pay no attention. They could wash up in the sink, and then maybe find some food in the dumpster out back. Like the tree house, as long as they don't show up too often, they would be able to go there several more times.

"I love you, too, Daddy." Mira mumbled as the last vestiges of her dream began to fade away. She stirred and her eyes slowly opened. Charlie knew what she had been dreaming and flashes of his own dreams began playing across his mind. Quick images, as those seen by ones who flip randomly through the channels of a television.

"Hey, punk," Charlie said softly to his sister, using the name his father lovingly called his sister. "It's time to get up."

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