Quiet One

United States

I may seem quiet and shy (hence the profile name), but I hope to branch out and meet new people through a shared love of writing.
LOVE: Softball, basketball, golf, writing, musicals (Hamilton is one of the best!), friends, and of course my family

Message to Readers

I think this is going to be my last draft before I submit my piece for the competition, but I'll probably still have to make more changes. Best of luck to others who are participating in this competition too!

The Expansive World of Nothing

November 16, 2020

Streetlamps flickering on,
rain drops pelting the filthy street,
pompous shoppers streaming by, 
cars blaring at one another to move. 


Contrary to popular belief, the life of an orphan wasn't all about singing show-tunes and dancing down the steps towards our new parents.  Nobody cradled your head when you awoke in a cold sweat from nightmares.  Nobody gave you a nice hot chocolate when you were rejected by yet another family.  You learned to rely on one thing: yourself. 

I pondered these thoughts as I casually surveyed glorious Streamline City around me.  Even though I've lived here for almost sixteen years, I only recently decided to view the world for what it truly was: a disgusting cesspool of fake people living happy lives while the realists were left in the dust.  Over on 23rd street, I watched a woman creep by on her high heels, barely even paying attention to the poor man behind her carrying all her bags.  Years ago, I used to hold out on these folks, hoping that the shred of humility inside of them would somehow break free.  Alas, I have become disappointed. 

Ever since the pretentious Luke Everlong became Supreme Chancellor of this country, the gap between the upper and lower class has widened, so much so that many have fallen into the canyon.  His strict guidelines as to how "society" should operate has forced many people into poverty, including my own parents.  When I was one year old, my gracious mother and father plopped me in front of the door of the closest orphanage and sprinted off into the night, leaving me to shiver in my raggedy blanket.  Since then, I've grown to detest this man, even going so far as to throw eggs at his apartment building.  Fortunately, it hit the door just as he was stepping inside.  Unfortunately, nobody else was there to see it, so I was left telling the tale to the rest of my roommates at the orphanage.  

"Yeah, okay.  As if those bodyguards wouldn't have completely demolished you."
"This spaz is blowing smoke in our ears!"
"Hope you don't blow a gasket again, Nothing!"

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention, around these parts, the boys- and even the headmaster- refer to me as "Nothing", for I came to this place with no birth certificate, no identification tablet, and no way of knowing who I really was.  Everyone acted as if I was a waste of space, even though I was a head taller than most of them.  Honestly, at this point, I agree with them.

With a heavy sigh, I glanced down at my cracked watch.  9:30 P.M.  I felt the blood drain from my face.  We were supposed to be in our bedrooms by 9:45, and in this city, it would take you five minutes to walk a good twenty feet.  Bolting up from the rickety bench I was perched on, I sped through Retro Park, weaving my way through dead trees and annoying couples making out in the dark.  The crosswalk was just up ahead, but the timer on the light signalling people to walk was dangerously low.  Pumping my legs, I rammed through pedestrians and managed to make it to the center of the road before the glowing orange hand appeared, signalling  people to stop. 

However, there was no median, and my eyes grew to dinner plates as I saw a car come barreling towards me.  As I stood there like a moron, something stirred within me.  Some new piece of hope that didn't want me to become roadkill.  
Jumping straight into the air, I landed on the hood of the car with a muted thud.  Using the momentum, I somersaulted off the hood and landed a good five feet away, barely missing a cyclist speeding by.  Overcome with shock, I ignored the surprised faces of the surrounding onlookers and raced back to the orphanage. 

I was two blocks away when I saw that it was already 9:50.  Oh, no......

Taking the steps two at a time, I pulled on the bronze handle of the door with all m strength.  It didn't budge, but neither did my will to see another day.  Scanning the windows above, I noticed that the one leading into the laundry room was open still.  I hurried over to the downspout and prayed that it would hold my weight.  Shimmying up the tube wasn't a huge boost to my ego, but I definitely felt elated when I landed in a wash basket with a soft puff of dust.  Twisting the doorknob to the laundry room, I heard the headmaster marching down the hall, scolding boys who were still outside their rooms congregating with their friends.  

As soon as she passed, I made a break for it, not even recognizing where I was.  I went to make a hard turn left, but I stopped when I heard hushed voices talking in the room at the end of the hall.  Cautiously, I stepped towards the door, craning my ear to hear what secrets were being spilled.  What I heard would change me for the rest of my life.

"Alright, Danny, you said that Everlong has three meetings this week on 5th and Spruce, 8th and Chestnut, and 21st and Cherry."
"That's right.  He's trying to boost his campaign for the upcoming election, although I don't understand why because he's going to end up winning again."
"Good.  Now we just need to find a way to infiltrate his system and break it from the inside out."
"Mark, dude, you say this every meeting, and nothing ever changes!"
"That's just because we haven't found the right person yet!" 

My heart was pounding as I listened to their plan.  Leaning in to hear more, I didn't realize that the door was opened slightly and fell sideways, sprawling on the ground like a loser.  

The boys all jumped, except for one.  He simply smiled and said, "Actually, I think we may have just found him." 

   
Thank you to all of those who have given suggestions and/or liked my drafts! You're the best!

Login or Signup to provide a comment.