Contributor: Austen Rodgers

- -
The city, even at night, was alive and functioning. Cars were always on the move and the people were always busy. Busy generating a profit. Busy robbing suburban liquor stores and gas stations. Just too busy trying to live, and too busy to notice the men on the streets.
An older gentleman, Jo, as he called himself, was one of those men of the streets. During the day he would spend his time on the sidewalks of downtown Chicago. The windy city, without a fall or a spring, was never comforting. In the summer sun his skin would burn and blister, and in the winter it was a struggle to keep his ligaments safe from the bitter bite of the cold. The weather, just like the city, was pitiless.
Sores between his toes caused pain in every one of his steps. They were the result of his water filled boot and his plastic flip-flop.
“Shoes,” he’d say, “could you get me some shoes?”
Rain settled over the city, creating puddles along the curbs. The flash of red and blue police lights caught his attention at a distance away. He slowly trotted through the sitting water toward them. He was curious. He liked to know what happened around the city.
“You’ve served?” or “God bless you for your sacrifices.” They’d say.
“But God hasn’t,” he’d reply, “so could you?”
He walked with a gimp, as he always did. He reached up with a tan leathery hand and removed his cap. The itch on his brow had grown red and bumpy and it just wouldn’t go away. He returned the hat to his head when he was satisfied with scratching. ‘Navy Veteran’ the hat read. Jo thought the hat helped sometimes, and that was all that mattered. In this city you had to take care of yourself, and in this city everyone lied.
“Yes, I served in the Bay of Pigs,” he’d say. “Change to spare?”
“No, I’m sorry.” They’d reply. “I forgot my wallet.”
The lights grew brighter as he came closer. The colors bounced off the water droplets on the ground and the tall city buildings around him.
“Just another luckless day,” he mumbled to himself.
When Jo was a block away, a fire truck approached the commotion. Police, now visible through the muggy weather, rushed about and partnered with the firemen.
“Hurry up!” an officer yelled. “Get the jaws!”
From across the street, Jo watched the firemen and the police scramble. A car, wedged in concrete and glass, was the cause of the disturbance. A fireman with tool in hand ran to the crumpled car. The metal of the Cadillac tore and crunched as he cut his way through the door of the vehicle.
“Reminds me,” Jo muttered, “of my old car.”
A tall, brown haired officer noticed Jo. The man squinted trying to get a good look at Jo. After a moment, he turned back toward the car. From the wreckage the service men pulled a blonde woman.
“She’s unconscious! Where’s that ambulance?” A policeman yelled, and the same one as before looked at Jo again.
“Move along,” he said.
Jo stuttered, and looked at the ground. “Re—Reminds me,” he said as he turned away, “of me.”

- - -
Hello, my name is Austen Rodgers and I live in Iowa. I've had a passion for writing ever since I was fourteen, and only recently decided to push for my goals. The first draft of my first book titled: "The Book of a Few", will be finished this year and I am so excited.
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Help keep Linguistic Erosion alive! Visit our sponsors! :)- - -