Monday, January 4, 2010

Caretaker (part 1)

Enter this yawning doorway with speculation. Beyond it is another world -- a world of expression and a world of vision. You're intersecting into a realm of darkness and soul, a kingdom of imagination and illusion. You're about to enter my peculiar neighborhood of what scares you.

The following work of dark science fiction will appear here – in its entirety -- in daily installments . . . for the next four days. I hope you enjoy it.

Caretaker (part 1)

“You’re treating the street people like pets,” Everett said as he watched his new girlfriend pack squares of leftover lasagna into a foil lined cardboard box.

“Just because you’re studying psychology, doesn’t mean you need to search for hidden motives behind a simple act of human kindness.” Polly pointed out. “I’m merely taking leftovers to some hungry people. If more of us helped out, perhaps we wouldn’t have street people.”

“Now hold on there,” Everett said helping Polly with her parka.

“I’ve lived in the city my whole life and street people have always been here.

Bag ladies and bums: they like their lifestyle — no taxes, no rules, and no worries.”

“What about food?” Polly asked punching the elevator down button. “Or warm clothing, or shelter? Things that you and I take for granted. Are you telling me that you believe street people actually enjoy this way of life?”

A swirl of snowy air ruffled Polly’s dark curls as she stepped outside the building. Everett zipped his jacket to his chin and stuffed his hands into warm pockets before answering.

“My grandmother used to tell us that street people not only enjoyed being street people, but that they actually chose this type of existence.”

Polly’s black boots slowed on the snowy walk and she turned her solemn brown eyes to Everett. “Why on earth would she think that?”

“Grandma was always afraid of the street people. She used to tell us stories about them. I think, so that we’d be afraid too. Afraid enough to stay away from Sluggards.”

“Sluggards?”

“That’s what Grandma called the street people. She used to tell us that the Sluggards were actually aliens that came here into the cities of the world to observe us — you know — study our lifestyle so that they could infiltrate our planet better when the time came. Isn’t that crazy? Grandma sure could spin a yarn.”

Continued in my next post


The New York Times' Book of New York: Stories of the People, the Streets, and the Life of the City Past and Present
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4 comments:

Draco Torre said...

Intriguing opening.

Carrie said...

Hmm! You have my attention. :)

Susan Beth Studio said...

Can't wait to read part 2!

G.P. Ching said...

Very creative. Going to read the others you have up now.