*Snif*… No technical preface! Ah well… The Charts API was too long to tack this on the end of. 🙂
I was looking through some pictures I had taken, so I decided that I’ll make up the technical bit with a picture (~1000 words).
The boy got off his bike at the start of his… driveway? If it could be called that. A dirt pathway, reminiscent of the house it lead to, wound back through the trees a hundred feet to the house. The only thing that marked the path from the rest of the wood was the burned out wreckage of a VW Beetle in a bend in the road. The boy paused for a moment to look at the car before walking the bike back to the house.
A chilling wind whistled through the house, reaching even the very center of the house, where the boy huddled over his dinner. A Sterno can sat on the table, now unlit after having heated the cold oatmeal.
Candlelight flickered under the bridge. The boy set his oil lamp on the ground, and dipped an aluminum pail into the creek. His foot slipped and he fell partway into the creek, sloshing water up and down his pant leg. A homeless person across the creek, sleeping under the bridge, lifted his head and grunted. The boy pretended not to notice him, picked up his lamp, and started walking up to the bridge.
Walking down the road, oil lamp in one hand, water pail in the other, the boy listened passively to the sounds around him. To his left, into the forest, he could hear something, probably deer, running through the forest. Most likely fleeing something. The boy paid no notice. There had been sirens earlier, on his way to the creek. That probably scared the deer. The boy absent-mindedly walked by an Aston Martin in the ditch. Then it struck him that he had seen that car before, in front of a certain hotel, with a certain stuck up rich person in it.
The boy walked down to the car by the side of the road, and laid a hand on the rear window, or what was left of it. He remembered his boss during training: The customer is always number one. Bend over backwards for them. Walk on your hands. His boss had a tendency to bang his desk with his fist after every word, and being the big man that he was, that tended to scare people into following his orders.
The car was wet. There had clearly been a fire. The boy walked around to the front, and saw two depressions in the tall grass where two bodies were, before the ambulance came and took them… The lantern’s flame flickered warningly, and he raised the lamp to make it last longer on what little oil it had. That’s when he noticed that the EMS had forgotten someone behind a tree. Someone who was planning on hanging out downtown tonight.
On further inspection, she was still breathing, but unconscious. Still alive, but alone in the world. Left in the forest after being thrown from a car crash, alive by sheer luck.
A tear forgotten for seven years rolled down the boy’s cheek.