The Outsider

The bird swooped down and landed at Laura’s feet.

She watched it, as it cautiously hopped toward the seeds that laid scattered about. Pecking furiously, the bird worked quickly to open the sunflower seeds, and greedily ate the contents inside.

Laura laughed to herself as she watched. Sometimes she wondered what it was like to be a bird. It seemed that they always managed to find their way, no matter what. Perhaps there were always people like herself, who would make it a point to occassionally feed them.

Life hadn’t been the kindest. Laura beared the scars to prove it. Her jeans, ripped at the knees, where peppered in paint, sewn-on patches, and an oddly placed zipper. Each embellishment was a memory and a testament to her life.

Laura had lived off the kindness of strangers for many a year. The day she sprang from her abusive alcoholic father’s house, the open road was her home from then on. It had been two years since her dog London had passed, and she had yet to pick up another travel companion.

She kept his collar around one of the straps of her backpack, worn from hopping trains, and hitchiking on highways. Occasionally she would find herself lovingly stroking London’s collar, when she found herself missing him.

Laura remembered one night sleeping huddled under a bridge. Luckily, London was by her side, and barked when some creep tried to steal her shoes in the night. She never slept well. Vigilance was her only security, in a merciless world hellbent on catching her in a careless moment.

Eventually, a few other birds gathered around, to enjoy the little feast that Laura had provided. Scrounging around her bag, she pulled out a soda that she lifted from a nearby drugstore. Popping off the cap with her lighter, she let the cap hit the ground unceremoniously. She tilted her head back, as the cool drink hit the back of her throat.

She let out a loud belch, followed with a laugh, and stretched out her arms. Life was hard, but she was free. The birds were almost done eating their meal, as Laura gathered her things. She was headed to see the river, one last time before she had to catch a train. The road was calling again.

 

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The Brick

Dusty picked up the brick, lifted up his arm, and hurled it at the window of the Field’s home. The brick made it’s target, shattering the glass of the living room window. As a light turned on, Dusty turned and ran away from the scene of his crime.

He wondered if anyone had saw him, and what he had just done. Fear and anxiety began to creep slightly into his heart, as he continued to run on breathlessly, curious if the cops would be called. Dusty decided that he had an alibi, as he was dressed in his sweats and sneakers. He was simply out for an early morning jog, as it was a little after 4:30 am. Nothing strange about that.

As Dusty jogged past the homes with their neat little yards, tucked behind metal gates, and manicured hedges, he considered his little hovel. He lived on the edge of town, with his mom’s tacky garden gnomes and pink flamingos peppering their non-existent yard. They lived in a trailer, which resembled the tin cans that contained Dusty’s usual dinner of sardines or tuna.

Sometimes, Dusty felt like his life was more like that of the fish he and his mom so often ate, to stay alive. Things just were never fair or easy, and it always seemed like everything always got so much harder, all the damn time. He was always under the gun, under the pressure cooker, with never a chance for an escape, except into the mouth of the predators that lived so well, while he struggled.

That brick was a symbol of his disdain, his resistance, his sign that he was still here, with heart beating, and blood boiling. He wanted change, and he wanted it now.