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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 February 1, 2011
"Maybe Charlie and Mira finally find a place to rest."

Meeting Melanie

The house looked like something that Charlie remembered seeing from one of the old television shows he and his dad used to watch. A little white picket fence encased the small yard. Charlie could almost imagine a nicely manicured lawn underneath the thin blanket of snow.

On the porch were three people, eyes anxiously watching the two children and the small cat. On was TJ, the manager from the restaurant, who had a few minutes before given Charlie and Mira danishes and chocolate milk. The other two people were ladies.

The woman on the porch was an older, black woman. She was dressed in a business suit, not unlike one that Charlie's mother would wear to a special occasion. She smiled at Charlie and Mira, her smile reaching all the way to her eyes. Charlie's mother had told him more than once, that if a smile didn't reach your eyes, then it wasn't sincere.

The other woman was sitting on the porch steps. She had long dark hair and small framed glasses. She looked comfortable in her sweater and jeans. For a moment, Charlie thought she looked almost as pretty as his mother. Almost.

"Hi," the woman on the porch said softly as Charlie and Mira reached the fence gate. "My name is Melanie."

Charlie waved tentatively. He didn't know these people, but manners were manners.

Melanie gestured to the lady behind her. "This is Rachael Weaver. She's a friend of ours."

Rachael smiled again. "Hello, Charlie, Mira."

"We..." Charlie started, then the words caught in his throat. He cleared his throat and started again. "We decided that we would come and visit for a few minutes."

"I'm glad you did," smiled Melanie. "Would you like to come sit and talk? Mrs. Weaver and I made some cookies, and we have hot chocolate. We can stay out here on the porch, if it makes you more comfortable."

Charlie looked at Mira and she nodded slightly. He reached down and lifted the latch on the gate. As soon as he opened it, the cat bolted through and up onto the porch. Apparently, Mr. Mittens liked the smell of fresh cookies.

Charlie and Mira walked hand-in-hand toward the porch. They had agreed that if something didn't feel right, they would turn around and leave. And Charlie wanted to make sure that they could run away as quickly as possible.

The siblings sat slowly onto the bottom step. Melanie handed the plate of cookies to Charlie. He took two and handed two to Mira.

"Mrs. Weaver is a friend of ours from Church," TJ said, sitting down next to his wife. "She also works with kids, like you, who need places to stay."

Charlie glanced sharply at Mrs. Weaver. He began to wonder if this had not been some trick to find and separate him and Mira.

"TJ and Melanie have been a foster family for many kids over the last few years." Mrs. Weaver passed a small album to Melanie, who past the book to Charlie. "Right now, there are no kids in the home, and they have asked if you two could stay for a while."

Charlie opened the book. Mira leaned in closer, laying her head on his shoulder. Together they looked through the pictures of kids, young, older, of all nationalities, who had spent time with TJ and Melanie.

"We wanted to make sure that you knew this is a safe place." TJ choked out the words. Charlie looked into his eyes and noticed that once again, they were misting over. "Mrs. Weaver has promised us that you two would be together. All you have to do is accept the offer."

Charlie suddenly felt the whole weight of the time that he and his baby sister had spent on the street. The thought of a bed, a shower, a warm inviting place to rest pressed upon his young head. As he looked at Mira, a single tear made its way down his cheek.

"I'm tired, Charlie. Can we stay, just one night?"

Charlie smiled as another tear leaked its way from his eye. "Ok, Punk. Maybe one night wouldn't hurt."

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