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Today's Children, Tomorrow's Future
And so the story begins...
It was a cold, brisk wind. All she wore to defend herself was a thin jacket; two sizes too small, and a pair of tight skinny jeans. Her shivers were, understandably, uncontrolled. Even when her mind drifted to the thoughts of warm fire places and summer's heat, she could not vanquish the possessing chill.
Her eyes searched for warmth, yet it seemed that only two places in the surrounding vicinity were open.
One was a bar. It seemed old and run-down with drunkards milling around outside. A musty scent mixed with alcohol remained strong, even though the young girl was still a fair distance away. Surely it was no place for a child such as herself.
The other place was a shop. A warm light shone inside, as if beckoning her to enter. The entire surrounding grounds seemed welcoming. The shop seemed rich and large, with plenty of room and high-class items. Even while still standing outside she felt a sense of comfort. Whoever owned this shop, with the inviting decorations and a pleasant little building, had to be a kind person.
Choosing seemed obvious. With confidence, she stepped inside to hear a little bell above her chime to announce her presence. "Hello," a woman greeted, giving a wide smile as her eyes seemed to shine. The woman relaxed once she realized that it was just a child that had entered.
Warmth surrounded the girl. A leftover shiver escaped her, only to be replaced by comfort. "Hello," she responded back, walking up to the counter. "The weather is cold and unforgiving. Do you mind if I stay here to warm up?"
Concern entered the woman's eyes, but not a friendly amount. "Are you here to buy anything?" she asked doubtfully.
With a sigh, the child looked at the ground. "Unfortunately not. I do not own a penny to my name, but it is much too cold to remain outside. Please, I won't stay here long," she responded.
There was no hesitation. The woman shook her head in disagreement. "You can't stay here," she stated. Any friendly tone she had previously showed was now replaced with bitter words and cold eyes. "Get out now, or I'm calling the police. If you're not here to buy anything, you're trespassing."
Hesitation. The girl did not want to leave the warmth, for she already knew the frigid environment that waited outside for her. Yet the woman's words rang clear.
"Get out," the woman ordered.
In fear, the child turned and dashed out of the store. She raced away, slipping a few times but never losing her pace. Luck would have it there was a spot more slick then the rest, and as soon as her foot hit the ice she lost control and fell backwards to the ground.
A male voice spoke up in the distance, quickly approaching. "Grandma," it called. "It's a little girl. She's slipped."
Another voice responded. "Get her off the ice. Is she hurt?" it asked, sounding like an elderly woman.
Someone picked her up. They shuffled across the ice to the snow, where it was safer to walk. She let out a shiver, her head was pounding and the cold had caught up with her once again. "I think she hit her head and shes about as cold as the snow." The voice sounded very close. He was the one that was holding her now.
Another hand touched her forehead, belonging to the woman who spoke once again. "Get her upstairs and put all our blankets on top of her. We need to warm her up. I'll go get the first aid kit," the woman said.
Seeming to agree, the man continued walking. The smell of alcohol hit her stronger than before, followed by warmth. She was in the bar, and they weren't turning her away. Instead, they seemed to be helping her.
As the child began to pass out, she only caught a few more words. "Why would anyone leave a child alone in this cold?" a different voice asked; likely a bartender.
She felt the man holding her give a small shrug. "The world is a different place," he responded.
That was the last words the child heard before she could hear no more, falling into a dream-like state. She was safe, so for once she could rest.
Thanks for reading!
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© 2017 Alexis Chantel