A Moment In Time - Part One

February 01, 2019:

What dreams may be when the past twists in on itself?

Dreamscape, NYC


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

"Hey! HEY! Shit…St-stop that brat!" A voice cries out down the sidewalk, being lost in the confusion and a throbbing throng of people. Whoever he was yelling at, by now, was probably long gone. No one was helping him - No one helped anyone in this city. Not really.
Running as fast and as far as her little legs could carry her, a girl squirrels herself away. Zipping, zagging, ducking, bobbing and weaving. She knew how to get where she wanted to go, and how to get there. The prize today? Ice-cream. Dribbling, half-melted, and half staining her face. That brain freeze was going to hit anytime now. That is, until, she notices something.
There, across the busy street, is a boy about her age. He has a look she knew well enough, so much so that it stops her in her tracks and she frowns. Children were empaths, more so when they're babies, but that urge to feel and sympathize with someone of your peers lingers years on in some people. She cannot stop staring. Frowning, feeling a drag of wetness rolling down her bruised cheek.
Looking around, she dashes across the street, inching closer to the boy until she's up and inside his personal bubble. Without another sound, she hands him the ice cream cone.

He hates the home, he has not been there for long but he hates it. As much as adults may turn their heads from him, pretend not to see him or think it is truly what is best for him he is right to hate it. He has that feeling, the feeling that nothing good is going to come out of that place. He feels the eyes lingering on him, the over friendly people trying too hard to win over a kid like him. Damn cynical for a kid his age, but he has already lived more in his few years than some will their whole lives.
Now he sits on a set of steps leading off the hallway most likely to some kind of apartment block, his head rests in his hands heavily the creases of his wrists white from the pressure. His beautiful brown eyes stare into the distance, staring at nothing as he fails to really comprehend the world around him.
That is until someone is shoving an icecream cone almost up his nose, he startles back for a moment at the proximity before his hands move reflexively up to seize the item in front of his face his hands brush hers for a moment before he accidently crushes the cone in his strong grasp in his moment of panic. He almost screams as he jumps back slightly "I'm sorry."

The girl with busted face smiles his way. One eye is swollen shut, and her cheek doesn't look much better. She hit something, hard…or something hit her harder. Shaking her head, she sighs and watches the treat fall against the sidewalk, splattering into a delicious nothing.
Reaching up, she scratches at some of her dark hair, pulling her baggy jacket around herself slightly, the sleeves swallowing her hands until she fusses with them habitually. "Silly. Com'on. I can get you another one." She waves him to follow after her, her fingers left out, partially painted some hot-pink color, the finish scratched up and barely there.

He looks in abject horror between her hand and the splattered icecream on the ground. "I really didn't mean too." He shakes his head before he stands up, taller than her due to the stairs he is standing on, but finally for the first time he looks her in the face. His face quickly fazes from horror to concern with strong hints of anger. His hand comes up as though to touch her face, the slightest of skin on skin contact before he stops himself. "What happened to your face?"
But as she moves he quickly gets up to follow her, after all what else is he going to do?

That smile fades. Like him, her expression turns to something akin to fear. His hand up, so close, she flinches and pulls away, fast, dragging the soles of her shoes across the concrete with a gravelly drag. Shying away, she turns her head and pulls the hood up of her thin jacket. She doesn't answer.
"Y-you want an ice cream or not?" She asks, that smile long gone and voice less cheerful. At least she was offering him a new treat to replace her broken gift.

"Yeah I want ice-cream." He says a little indignantly as she shies away, he needs his treats! He watches her for a moment with his haughty indignant expression before it fades a little to powerless sadness as he watches her huddle into herself and her jacket. A look he has seen from far too many kids just like him already. He moves up to her and tugs on the top of her hood playfully before smiling into her face from point blank range, doing his best to make his smile convincing "Come on lets go!"

"Don't!" She yells, her light voice hiking in pitch as she pulls herself away from his hand, his face, and that smile.They get looks, but those looks don't last. Kids being kids or something of the sort. As soon as she screamed, she frowns. Her legs moving as she turns her toes against the ground idly. "S-sorry. I'm sorry." She murmurs, pulling her hood back and down, but mussing up her dark hair to give her face some cover. He noticed. Few people noticed it seemed. The fact that he did made her feel odd.
"Um, this way. I don't want you getting in trouble, kid, so just tell me what flavor you want." She swallows, turning to head down an ally. "If I start running, run a different way, ok?"

He starts to follow behind her wordlessly, not really sure what to do. He has already gone through most of his still very limited playbook in the last thirty seconds. "Don't know, never had it before. So just grab me something, it is all supposed to be good right?" He shakes his head as he suddenly seems to think of something before sticks his tongue out of his mouth and wiggles it from side to side. "Except coffee, coffee is gross."
He looks at her curiously as they keep walking, trying to keep his eyes from tracing her injuries. She really doesn't seem to like that. "Why a different way, shouldn't we stick together?"

"You never had ice-cream before?" That goes against kid law, at least it does in her mind. It was something that threw her off to such a degree that she slows down. Soon, instead of walking in front of him, she walks beside him. "Ew! Why would coffee ice-cream be a thing? You're weird, kid." She decides, but the term isn't said with any hint of distain or teasing. It was simply fact.
"Why? Cause. If I get caught, you get caught. You don't wanna get caught, do you?"

"Nope never, no one wanted to give any to me. And whenever I have had a chance the big kids took it all." It is easy to believe Billy is small, even for his age and is built to be rather slight. He smiles towards her again, this time it seems to be a bit more genuine and a lot more cheeky. "So lets not get caught! If we stick together no one can stop us!"

"Big kids." She growls. All tiny scamps knew of the bigger tribe of children. The ones that towered over them, were older, or just bigger and pushy. Shuddering at the idea of them, she makes a face, her tongue out and to the side briefly. "Ass-holes. That's what you call those kids. Meanie ass-holes." She decides.
Stalling at the mouth of the ally, she glances at a corner shop and then looks back his way. "I don't even know you, kid."

"My friend told me to call them a bunch of mean cunts, and to never give in to them." He says my friend like it is the only one he has, and from what he has done so far and what she has seen it isn't hard to believe. "Told me next time I want something they are taking from me I should kick them in the balls and keep doing it until they learn!" He follows her stupidly like a loyal puppy until they reach the mouth of the alley.
"He also told me strangers are just friends you haven't met yet. And that you find the strongest friends in the strangest places."

Her face twists up as best it can. Her brows knitting together, her good eyes squinting shut to match the other that doesn't open at all. Turning to face him, she purses her lips in silent consideration before asking, "What's a cunt?" Seriously. What was that? Was it a bad word? It sounded like a bad word.
"Your friend sounds weird. Like something you watch after school or whatever." A shrug, she relents, "He sounds nice." She at least compliments.

"I don't know, but he said it like a swears. Maybe it is a swears only adults know." He shrugs his shoulders like it really doesn't matter, and to him it is clear it doesn't he clearly has a lot of faith in this guy. He smiles as she starts talking about his friend, his first truly genuine smile. "He is weird, but he is nice. He comes by the home sometimes to help, he sits with me when the others are being mean and tell me stories about the war. He calls it 'nam. His name is Frank and he is awesome!" He looks out from the alley again now, locking on the icecream. "Icecream now?"

"Nam." She repeats. That mean nothing to her, but stories did. Remembering what they were up to, she nods and points at the shop. "Right. See that spot? It's a simple store. Mr. Sighn is nice but…Well…" Stealing from someone nice hitches at her heart. Digging into her pockets, she tries pulling something out, only to fold the pouch inside out. There were two coins there - both quarters and not nearly enough.
Sighing, she shoves the coins into the boy's palm. "Go in and get a soda. Chat, maybe. His dog's name is Prince." And that was the plan. Distract and take. "Hey," she asks as they start toward the shop. "Does your friend want one, too?"

"Nah he wouldn't like us stealings. Says it isn't honbourable." Billy shrugs as he looks towards the store, it might not be honorable but he will be damned if he never gets to try ice-cream. "Ok, you got it." He moves quickly towards the door, his ratty jacket hanging limply of his frame jumping from side to side with every hurried step he takes.
He crashes through the door with all the energy of a pitbull with a snout full of cocaine and immediately moves over to the soda, sorting through them with very exaggerated umming and ahhhing. Finally grabbing a red can of coke he moves over the the counter and stretches up on his toes to place it on the very edge of the tall counter. "How much does this cost? I only have this manies?" He opens his hand to reveal the two quarters, his eyes wide open and glittering up at Mr Sighn his mouth splitting into a massive smile that is missing a tooth or two.

It was painful. She knew just from walking with him that such words were not his normal way of speaking. How did someone go from 'mean cunts' to 'this manies' all in a few minutes' time. Mr. Sighn smiles down to Billy, looking at the can and then the quarters. "Oh! That will do just fine. Is that all I can get you today?" Hindi, thickly, he could be understood and he had such a careful, warm smile about his round face. Soda was .50 cents, so at least the girl wasn't lying about that part.
She was in the shop, in the back, and looking around the icebox. A glance up, and then another, she shifts about before lingering after Billy, waiting for him to get out of the line. In her hand was a can of Coke as well. Where Billy was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, she was stoic. Tired. "Hey," she greets the man, passing Billy in a bump and leaving her coins on the counter. Apparently, she had a dollar all up.
Without pause, she leaves, causing Mr. Sighn to sighs and frown down toward Billy. "Sorry. Lena is just a sad girl. Now, just the soda, my friend?"

How did someone go from one to the other in such a small amount of time? By knowing exactly what they were doing, well that and a very limited education. "Yes that's all thankyou!" He keeps the smile on his face as he pushes the money as far as he can across the counter before he claims his can dragging it down from the counter.
"Don't worry about her MR!" Billy looks up at the nice man again with his wide brown oh so innocent eyes. "I am going to make sure she isn't sad any more!" He turns to follow her out of the door waving towards the man once before he pushes out the door, the little ring of the door accompanying his exit. His smile dims immediately as he crosses the threshold becoming little more than a cheeky smirk.
He quickly jogs up behind her, cracking the lid of his coke as he does so eagerly guzzling at the sweet snack. "They don't normally let me have soda either, only on birthdays."

"Are you in hell?" She asks at length, turning down another strip of passage between buildings. "That sounds like hell." She shakes her head disapprovingly. Cracking her own can open, she sips from it and licks her lips clean.
Digging into her pocket, she pulls out a simple ice-cream sandwich. It was smaller than what she had earlier, not as grand, but it was his. The chocolate, soft cookies with a slab of vanilla in the middle. Once he took it, she dug her own out, which was the exact same thing.
Pulling at the paper with her teeth, she opens it up and starts eating. Carefully, licking at the ice-cream first until it dips down, creating grooves between the thin cookies.

"Close enough sometimes I think, but Frank tells me not to be so overdramatic and that I have it better than some." He shrugs his shoulders before taking the icecream sandwich. He quickly shreds the wrapper, looking at it curiously for a moment gives it a sniff. Then he opens his mouth as wide as he can and crunches straight into it. The first second is bliss, the flavours soaking into his tongue as the heat of his mouth melts the icecream and the cookies crumble. Then his spare hand flies to his jaw, before a few moments later it goes to his temple. He opens his mouth still thick with icecream. "OW!"

"You weren't kidding…yup. Hell." She decides then and there. Setting her Coke down, she rests her ice-cream on its top before shifting closer to him. "Hey…" She waves for him to look her way. "Kid, it's brain freeze. Means you ate the ice-cream too fast. I'll fix it." She promises. "Spit that out. I'll give you some of mine. Get the cold out. Do that, then press your tongue up and hold it against the roof of your mouth. It'll warm up, and the pain'll go away."

He closes his mouth stubbornly as she tells him to spit it out, no way in hell is he losing his first icecream! Not even if it hurt his tooth and gave him brainfreeze. He stares right into her face as he swallows it, before his face scrunches up in more pain his jaw gritting tightly. He tries to be strong, he really does. But eventually he looks back at her with pain in his eyes opens his mouth slightly and presses his tongue to his mouth. Eventually he stutters out a single word. "Yu…yummy."

"Hey!" She growls, poking his chest pointedly. "Don't look at me like that. You hurt yourself, idiot." Throwing her hands up in an adult manner she'd probably seen on TV perhaps, she moves to reclaim her own treat and soda. Eating, drinking, she watching him. "Hold it there. You'll warm up, it'll go away." She promises again. After he speak, she nods. "Yeah. Ain't bad, huh?"

He sticks his tongue out at her as she calls him an idiot before he goes back to his own soda having a deep drink from it before he swirls the black liquid around in his mouth. That will fix all of his hurt! Especially the tooth ache! He takes another much smaller bite of his sandwich this time, before he turns towards her spitting a few crumbs as he speaks. "So what home are you staying in?"

"Hmm?" She asks, her own mouth stained with chocolate, the soft cookie quickly becoming tacky against skin. "Mine?" She answers after a slight bit of confusion leaves her brain, though some might linger.

"Yeah. I am staying in the Ray of Hope home, they are supposed to take care of me until maybe someone else will take me in." He shrugs his shoulders, slowly taking small little bites of his sandwich way over cautiously following his truly colossal mistake. "So what place do they have you in?"

"Mine." She repeats. "I stay at my place." A few more bites of her own, she finishes it off and tosses the paper down to join the rest of the trash already there. Cleaning off her fingers by dragging them down the leg of her pants, she goes back to nursing her soda. "Why wouldn't someone wanna wake you in? You're a cute kid. Lil dumb, maybe." She shrugs. "You'll learn, though."

"Well Frank says I am smart, just says I need to pay more attention in school!" He shakes his head and sniffs derisively. "Don't know though, maybe I am too small, maybe they think I am too angry. Maybe the people in the home are telling them something? Don't know."
He looks at her with a little awe in his eyes "You have your own place what is it like?"

"Will your friend Frank take you?" She asks innocently enough, not really understanding how systems work, after all. Sipping from her drink, the gaze from him and that splendor only causes her to frown. "I don't-" She stalls, shifting in place. "I have a good place to hide." She decides to say.

"He already has a son. I think he would like to, but I don't think that he can. Don't think some people in the home like him, I know Arthur doesn't" He shrugs his tiny little shoulders as he finishes his coke. "That must be nice, I don't really have anywhere I can hide. They always manage to find me in the end."

"Yeah. They find me, too." She watches the ground with her one good eye. "Anyway. I'm going to go, kid. Be careful crossing the street, ok?" Pulling her hood back up, she tosses her can down and shoves her already hidden hands into her pockets.

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