New Short Story: Need

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New Short Story: Need

Postby Zyn » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:50 pm

I wrote this for an essay contest and decided to post it here. Why? Because I needed to save it, and the computer refuses to and blocks my e-mail and blogs and I don't have a jump drive. Read it if you want, though :lol:


The ice quivered and broke underneath his footfalls, shattering prints that marked his path. That, for the longest time, had seemed to be the only thing marking his path: broken footprints inset in snow, mud, or sand. With earthly light and morally heavy feet he had wandered, tracing a line that never aimed toward any target, merely away from the cause. He was a drifter, a wanderer out of need.
Some would apply the title “thief” to him as well, but he only took what he needed and needed what he took. Of course, he also always gave something back to pay for what he took. Never one to handle the economic world, he presented improvement and hard work in return for goods.
Often, the soul who donated to his continued existence was a small store owner who sometimes—though more often did not—knew that he was being relieved of supplies. Clothing a food, mostly, was what he needed. Even so, there came times that a blanket or such became another necessity due to inclement weather.
Such weather was slowly descending with the onset of winter, and he found himself of want of warmer clothes and some sleepwear to shelter him at night, as the blanket of snow forming on the ground was a terrible bed companion. Here was presented the dear savior of today, a convenient spawn of big business: Wal-Mart.
Never before had he needed the donations of a corporation. They had always seemed so self-sustaining and without want of his repayment. Sadly, this day he had a high demand for what they offered.
It took mere minutes to get in the store and gather what he needed. There was no challenge in this act for him, and no one noticed the teenage boy. Back outside and away from civilization, he changed into new clothes and stored everything else in his backpack. Time had made him substitute most of his items often, but this backpack was a companion he had kept since he had left home. After all this time, he knew he needed its presence.
While in the store shopping, he had noticed ways to offer his assistance. Before, he had found big businesses indomitable, without need of him. Where he was not needed, he simply did not go. But now that he looked closer, there were many points of improvement available he could help with.
When could I do it? he wondered. Wal-Mart was a twenty-four-hour store, and it always housed many, many people. Looking through the shadowed boughs of the trees that were once so vibrant but were now cold and almost dead, he saw the clouded sky.
In his many years since running away, he had learned how to guess with fair accuracy about oncoming weather. Thusly, he knew a blizzard was on its way, and would arrive in mere days. A perfect time, he thought, to do what I need to do.
The storm came, biting with cold and lashing with ice like a torturer from the god’s. Few people came out in the two or three days it snowed. Ice crusted the roads and winds twisted all but the strongest creations of man.
On the third day of the onslaught, he found the store all but empty. In he went, and gathered supplies he would need in his work, then back out and into the white abyss he flew. For almost five hours he worked in the cold, the snow, and the ice. He did this because he felt he needed to.
It was a delicate process, this work. The parking lot’s trash was all removed, and the sidewalk was freed from its frozen blanket. With speed and precision, he scrubbed the doors and windows, keeping the water from freezing to the windows with meticulous care. Then he stumbled upon a ladder to the roof, giving him more inspiration. Up he climbed, almost falling twice but not stopping until just before he crested the wall.
Just then a man’s voice yelled to him. He looked down and saw on the flat asphalt several men in the dark uniforms of men of the law. With a smile, he came down and greeted the policemen, but they growled like Cerberus guarding the sanctity of Hades’. “You, kid, are coming with us,” one said.
He made no reply, but another shouted, “Hey wait, isn’t that the kid from the show?”
“What show?” the first asked suspiciously.
“I don’t know, maybe the old one about the dog who always got him in trouble?”
For a second, there was an odd silence, broken only by the screams of fury of the wind, and the hollow beating of the boy’s heart. Only he could hear this second sound, but it reminded him of one so long ago.
“Wait,” the first policeman interjected, “didn’t he disappear a long time ago?” All the other men looked expectantly at this officer, until he said, “Yes, I remember you. You were the rich boy who killed his parents and ran off!”
In short order, he was handcuffed and locked in a car, and a trooper was ready to drive him off and lock him away. The sheriff, the officer who had made the revelation, stayed behind with a deputy for a moment. “The kid was in the lap of luxury, why ruin it?” he asked.
“I don’t think we’ll ever know. Two famous parents and a child star? Wish I had that,” the deputy replied. “I just wonder why he was here, outside, in this God forsaken storm. It looks like he was going to scrub the roof with that mop and bucket, almost.”
“Almost does,” the sheriff said with an inflection of respect to his voice, “It almost does.”
S. [Burned] Y. wrote:Zyn, please stop telling the special ed kids of your school about this place.

Voly wrote:You just earned back all the many, many points I've taken away from you (mentally) since you've been here.

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