General Fiction posted October 6, 2017

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A young boy forced to play on the streets, until one day...

One Day

by Jefferson House

The bustling of the city never ceased. It was a constant repeat of the past, and a hopeful premonition of what the future held. Buildings rose high above the streets, making every person small. Me? I was already small; there was no need to be high up in a building. Who would notice me if I were up there? I gave a long sigh after looking up at the walls of glass stretching to the clouds. One day, I'd be able to get my music to reach those buildings. One day, I'll be off the streets and somewhere safe. Until then, I was stuck. Fixed in my place, like a cog destined to run a particular way until I aged and got replaced by a newer, more efficient self.

A small bird flew through my vision and knocked me out of the daze. There was no time for gazing up or dreaming of the future. The present was too important to be ignored or forgotten. I straightened my worn wool jacket, the fabric filled with holes and weak patches. I walked to the edge of the sidewalk and rested upon the curb, setting my case down beside me. Sitting there, I removed my violin delicately. It was nothing elegant or pristine, merely an old instrument that had no home until my passionate hands claimed it. I inspected its wood, making sure all the dust had been removed with utmost care, checking the strings to confirm that each cord was in tune. Once all was in order, and everything was as good as can be, I began my regular theme upon the violin's strings, playing it as best I could.

The tune wasn't sweet or beautiful; it was more of a promise. A promise to the heart that it'll be alright. That the pain wouldn't last forever, and the rain would pass. The strings were struck, and the notes belted from the object between my hands. Heads turned in surprise and slight awe of me. In my attire and my age, the idea of a song like this was almost unheard of. However, I continued my song of promise.

I gave it my soul and thanked every hand that dropped a coin. Soon the song would end, and at its finish, I would realize the tears running down my cheeks that I had wept. Each time I played it, it brought back old memories of a family I no longer had. A family that was torn from me due to one man that had been desperate enough to end a couple's life for a few extra dollars within a wallet. Now, my family was the street and all it had to offer. It was the strange people that gave their change for my survival. It was the worn and beaten violin I carried everywhere.

Wiping the sting from my eyes, I came to the shocking revelation that I now had enough change to buy a single hot dog. I packed up my things carefully, making sure not to harm the violin or my bow, and hurried to a stand down the street.

"One hotdog please!" I asked the man behind the cart. He eyed me for a moment before grunting and lifting a hotdog off the grill. He placed it in a stunted bun, but I didn't give it a second glance. I gave him my change and he counted the money gingerly as if I might be scamming him. I received my food and began my walk towards the corner. Sadly, the hotdog and I never reached the destination.

A towering businessman bumped into me as he passed, sending my hotdog clean out of the twisted bun. I watched as it bounced off the road, through the air as if in jelly, before rolling into a gutter. For a moment I stood stunned at the event. Then, a wave of sadness ran over me. This predicament wasn't the first time I had been shoved or cheated out of lunch. I was confident it wouldn't be the last, either. Before I returned to my post at the corner, I took one more glance at the small grease stain the hotdog had made on the rough ground.

With a sunken heart, I returned to my position at the edge of the street, the violin back in my hands, ready for the song. The song that gave a promise that one day, things would be better. One day, I would have something fresh to eat.

Sudden Flash Fiction contest entry
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by artdreamer at

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