This forum uses cookies
This forum makes use of cookies to store your login information if you are registered, and your last visit if you are not. Cookies are small text documents stored on your computer; the cookies set by this forum can only be used on this website and pose no security risk. Cookies on this forum also track the specific topics you have read and when you last read them. Please confirm whether you accept or reject these cookies being set.

A cookie will be stored in your browser regardless of choice to prevent you being asked this question again. You will be able to change your cookie settings at any time using the link in the footer.

Mockingbird makes a friend
As the days passed, the Moscow winter grew angrier. Snow frequently pounded the streets. Wind whipped Dane's coat from his legs, and his walks around the city's many parks became less frequent. The shops of the Enlightenment district became a haven, especially the one beneath Aria's home. Every day which passed when he did not see her curled a little more tightness around his heart, until it hurt his chest to draw another breath. When came the day when he nearly beat his driver to death with one of the golf clubs right in the middle of the Ritz's gift shop, he knew the time had come to set his mind to other tasks else he was likely to snap on the next person he saw.

Izmailovsky Market was a bone yard of abandoned stocks, hollow niches, and empty paths of late, but then came a milder Saturday and weeks of absent tourists flooded the quaint little aisles. The Market wound its way like a parasite through the guts of an old russian fortress. The center of which was identified by the traditional russian architecture of wooden, painted onion-domes. One half of the interior grounds was devoted to the stalls for locals to hawk every single kind of thing imaginable. The other half was filled with playthings. Children flocked to this park-like atmosphere where they crawled, scrambled, climbed, and ran through the various pieces of equipment. It was here where Dane claimed a spot on an empty bench and nibbled away at a warm tart purchased at one of the food stands from the market. The scene reminded him of the morning he sat in the shade of London's Tower Bridge, but here were no nannies wheeling wee ones along the Thames. Here, the children were scrawnier, the women older and uglier. There was not a sophisticate in sight. Sleek coats were absent, only to be replaced with bulbous, puffy apples with legs. No woolen caps were slanted across a lovely brow. Here, scarves were tied around wrinkled faces. A homeless man urinated on the trunk of a tree in the distance. The place was revolting. The best thing about the place was the tart, and even that tasted like stale pastry microwaved too hot.

He wiped the corners of his mouth with a handkerchief - there were no napkins in a place like this - and dumped the trash of his treat on the ground. One of the children, a boy of about nine years, jumped from the high arc of a swing carved from the shape of a laughably giant chicken. He landed nimbly on his feet and came running to Dane. If the boy had a parent watching him, they were oblivious to the sudden change of trajectory.

Dane carefully folded the handkerchief to a tight square and tucked back in his coat. The boy planted himself in front of him, blocking the view.

Dane leaned to one side, "I say, lad, you're blocking the view."

The boy snagged the bit of discarded styrofoam and paper from the ground and shook it beneath Dane's nose. "You littered. You're not suppose to litter. Don't you know that? Or are you as stupid as the way you talk?"

Dane was rather taken aback. He glanced between the so-called litter and the way the child's face was all squished up. The boy wore one of those hats with the flaps down his ears. The way his mittens were folded back to expose his fingertips made for a perfect line to aim for with an ax. His nails were dirty.

Dane leaned forward, a grin split his lips into a wide smile that creased his eyes. "Where can I get a hat like that?"
His own had been lost in the graveyard the night he met Aria, and his ears were cold.

The boy rolled his eyes upward like he could see the hat in question. He shrugged and pointed across the way toward the maze of stalls. "They sell them in the Market."

Dane took to his feet. "Do you think you could show me?"
He took the trash from the lad, who again looked surprised. "You're right. I should not litter. Littering is bad."
Nothing happened yet, and he was already feeling better. This was going to be a fantastic day after all.

"I guess I can, but I have to be right back or mom will be mad."

Dane nodded. "Fair enough. We don't want mom to be mad."

And together the two strolled toward one of the many tunnels digging its way through Izmailovsky Market. On the bench where he had been sitting was a card wedged between the slats. It was hand-painted with a tiny Mockingbird.
Edited by Dane Gregory, Feb 28 2014, 07:32 AM.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)