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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 May 9, 2011
"I wanted to give the reader a sense into what Charlie might have been feeling. Is it wrong how he feels about his parents? Or is just a natural reaction that rears itself in the wrong way?"

Charlie's Feelings Come Out

Charlie stared into the face of the man he had come to admire, a man whose eyes now were wet with tears and whose face showed immeasurable concern. Charlie's heart ached with a desire to say he was sorry, to say he really did want to be part of this man’s family. But no, he couldn’t betray his parents like that.

“Charlie, Melanie and I just want to give you a safe place to be, someone to protect and care for you. That’s all.”

Charlie felt a confusion of feelings: fear, pain, longing, rage. He stood abruptly, his fists clenched beside his waist. Suddenly, every emotion that he had ever felt surged into him. He no longer felt in control and let loose with everything he had.

“How could you? How could you do this? I trusted you!”

TJ sat back, baffled at the tirade suddenly being directed toward him.

“I want MY parents back. I want them, not you, not Melanie. I want MY mom and dad. And they left me! They left me all alone. Can’t you see? Nobody stays around. I hate them! They left me alone.”

Charlie cried uncontrollably and sank to his knees. “Why did they leave me? Why does everyone leave me?”

As Charlie sobbed, he suddenly felt two small hands gently touch his face. He peered through the tears into the shinning eyes of his baby sister.

“Charlie?” she whispered softly. “I didn’t leave you.”

Mira leaned in closer and hugged her brother. He smelled the shampoo that she had used to wash her hair. It smelled faintly of strawberries.

“Charlie, we would never, ever think of trying to replace your parents. And I know that the last thing they wanted was to leave you and Mira.” Melanie sat cross-legged next to him. She desperately wanted to hug the boy, but experience told her that now was not the time.

“All we want is to give you a place to be safe, to give you a chance to be a kid. The things you and Mira have gone through, have had to deal with… that’s something kids should never have to go through.”

Charlie began to feel all the pain slowly ease out of him. In its place, exhaustion began to take hold.

“Can you, maybe, just think about it, Charlie?” As TJ spoke, Charlie wished he could take back everything he had just said to the man.

“Yeah, Charlie,” Mira said. “Can we just think about it?” She leaned in closer and whispered, “Mr. Mittens likes them!”

In spite of himself, Charlie smiled. Deep down, he knew that his parents did not choose to die. They had been cruelly taken from him and Mira. And with them, his innocence had been taken as well. All he wanted was to just be free of the pain he felt, to be able to relax and not have to worry about where they would sleep or what they would eat. Could TJ and Melanie really provide that freedom?

“Yeah, okay, Punk. We’ll think about it.”

Mira jumped up and yelled, “Yes!”

TJ reached out his hand to Charlie and smiled. “Come on, kiddo. Let’s go home.”

Hesitantly, Charlie took his hand and the four began to walk back to the little house with the picket fence. To any passersby, they would have looked like nothing more than a family out for an evening stroll. No one would have been able to guess how far they had come. Or just how far they had yet to travel.

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