By Solomon Felicien
A cold wind clawed at my thin cloak as I ran. A heavy rain that seemed unnatural for autumn fell in sheets. I didn’t slow until the shouts of thievery from the local bakery had faded into the distance. Fatigue had caused my legs to collapse and for me to pant for many minutes after the run. That stupid baker probably woke the entire district with his bellowing. Rain pelting down on my face wasn’t very pleasant, but I could use it to clean my hair. The idea gave me strength, and with a great heave I sat myself up. I pulled back the hood on my cloak to reveal the jet black hair I had hidden. Just as I started to part it with my fingers a raspy and deep voice called out to me in the small and dark alleyway.
“Kinda sloppy today, aren’t we, Clover?” The voice said my name with malice and a clear mocking tone. My being was filled with despair and fear as I look over to where the voice had come from.
“For such a fat man he sure does have good lungs. His bellowing woke up everyone in the district. Including me.” The tall and bulky figure of a man lurked in the shadow of a building. He was Graigner, a captain of the Guard, who’s true loyalty lies with Coin. He started towards me, albeit very slowly. For such a big man with a big blow, he sure walked slowly and quietly.
“What does the captain of the Guard need with me?” I was truly intimidated by the man, but if I came off weak I would probably be lying in a pile of trash with nothing but my cloak. Graigner finally came into the light to reveal a face that could have been mistaken as a king’s, if it weren’t for the big slash over the right eye. The left eye was a perfect shade of green, but his right eye was a cloudy mess of white. Many people and myself believe the hideous scar caused the inhumane eye. Judgmental eyes slowly scanned over me as he started to walk in a slow circle. The right eye felt as if it was judging my very soul, or deciding whether I should live or perish. He paused as his eyes fell upon the three lumps in my cloak.
“Two and a half pieces of bread. I’m impressed that you managed to get away with more than half a piece. But thievery isn’t something my superiors look down lightly upon.” His scrutinizing eyes now had a gleam of hunger and greed in them.
“I’ll take one piece to look the other way, and another for myself. Deal?” Even though the last word was uttered as a question, I knew he wasn’t asking. “Come on, I don’t have all night. I would prefer it if it wasn’t raining cats and dogs.”
The rain! I completely forgot about the bread as the fear of this man gripped my heart. I felt the bread to learn that it was indeed wet and soggy from the rain. I had to get out of the rain to keep the bread from becoming a soggy mess. I turned and started to run; however, before I took second step, his hand had shot out around the back of my neck and lifted me up.
“Tsk tsk, Clover, we can’t have you running away now can we?” He picked me up and threw me over into a wall where the contact made me almost lose consciousness. The heavy rain seemed to pour even harder as a painful throbbing started in my head and all over my body. Graigner walked over and said, “Shouldn’t have tried to run. Now, I got to take everything and make you pay for not having common sense.” He pulled out a bag from his coat and picked up the now ripped up pieces of bread that were scattered over the alleyway ground. As he tucked the bag back into his coat, his soul-piercing gaze shifted to me. He quickly walked over to me, picking me up by my hair, and landing three hard punches in the gut before throwing a lighter punch to my head. As I crumbled to the hard cobbled ground, Graigner picked me up and put me in a doorway where the rain didn’t reach. He murmured a good night that was extremely sarcastic. Soon after he left, pain and fatigue overwhelmed me.
The next morning I was prodded awake by a random city guard. He jumped when he saw that my eyes were open and that I wasn’t dead like he had suspected. Fear instantly gripped my heart as I jumped up and ran. The guard tried calling out to me, but I kept running. I soon found myself at the end of an alleyway. I leaned on the wall and slowly slid down. Pain had spread through my body from the punches I had received. “Just a normal day for me I guess… Let’s hope my birthday today is a little better.”
I hope you enjoyed this Flash Fiction story by one of the eighth graders at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Port Washington, WI!