King of the Streets

a writing by Evelyn Rose

This is the beginning to a short story for my creative writing module. More to follow.

It was on the third night that she came looking for me. I had heard her shouting out the familiar name; haunting cries that echoed violently against the walls. It had begun to rain, and soon a heavy downpour was hitting the rooftops and rolling along gutters, gurgling into the drains. Never before had I witnessed the skies open its floodgates to the sleeping city below, had never felt the splashing wetness. With every falling droplet her whines increased, until the urgent severity of her voice became painful to hear. High-pitched sounds that seemed to vibrate and travel down the street in pleading waves. ‘Come back to me’ she begged. She wants to place me in her arms I thought to myself, to be hers and only hers. But I did not reply. For there was no way of going back. To return to a life filled with empty comforts and endless routine would be a death sentence I was unwilling to endure.

So I waited, hidden behind the bins as though the rotten smells of cabbage that burned my throat warded some sort of protection. It may seem strange, but instead of being repulsed by the stink, I felt at ease. It was the scent of freedom in its unmistakable rawness. I inhaled it, relished in it. I was king to the putrid lair and for that reason; it was the sweetest stench of all. No longer was I confined to the three-roomed prison that I had existed in for so long but I was experiencing the world. I may have been soaking wet and reeling in garbage, but never was I going back.

Eventually the calling stopped and the chanting sounds that stuck like putty to the sides of my skull was silenced. She was quite close to me then, as I lurked in the shadows and at one point I almost thought I saw her cry. Shedding silent tears for the one who got away. I wonder sometimes if she will ever return in a last attempt to coax me back. Needless to say, even if she tried she would never find me. I arise now from the darkness like a beast of the night, roaming far and wide in the concrete jungle that has become my home. I delight in the dampness of the air, the coolness of the breeze. I do not need to hear her pitiful calls to know that I am alive. The name she gave me has lost all power now.

But if it had not been for the drawing of the blind, I might never have run away. I’d still be there; trapped in the clutches of my own ignorance, believing those three rooms I inhabited to be the world. For you see, how was I to know that I lived a life governed by lies if I was kept from the truth? A prisoner can only accept he is held captive if he is aware of his captivity. Because of this, I cannot tell you how long I had been there, for it was the only place I had ever known. All that I believed was out there and all that I imagined would ever be. My earliest memories are very faint and some only manifest themselves in watery dreams and blurred figures but I reckon I was born there. To whom I do not know; never have I known the concept of mother. It has until now, always been master.

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