Finder's Keepers

Cold Rain from dark clouds covered the roar of city traffic. Buses stopped to pick up wet passengers, cars rolled along happily, safe in their own little world while lightning cracked far above. Gabriella wrapped her arms around herself, shivering and wet. She should have been getting out of school, but she had no family, and no where to go. She sighed, but her young voice couldn't be heard over the roaring traffic. A cold wind blew her dark brown hair into her face.

"Hey!" a voice said, "you girl, come here." Gabriella pushed her soaking hair behind her ear without looking up. Whoever yelled was probably not yelling at her, she didn't know any grownups. She took a few steps, her feet taking her towards the street. Suddenly there was someone pulling her, his arm dragging her down the street.

"Come with me girl."A man's rough voice whispered in her ear.

"No!" Gabriella cried, fear making her voice quiet. "No! Help!" She screamed, but no one paid any attention to a girl screaming in the rain. Gabriella could feel the man's anger, his seething hate. She knew the look in his eye, the way his eyes seemed to dig into her heart, killing everything it touched. He looked at her, grinning, his teeth showing like a rabid dog. He bent close to her, breathing on her face, she tried not to cough at the rotting stench.

"Come on girl" he growled, "I won't hurt you." She stared into his eyes, they were lying. She had to think, to get away, but she nodded, relaxing in his tight grip. Please let him think I like him, she begged silently. Please. They walked hand in hand, like a father and daughter up to the streetlight. Together, they stepped into the street. Gabriella smiled at him as sweetly as she could, hoping she looked cute and trusting. His eyes widened in greed, and as she had hoped, his iron grip loosened.

"We have to hurry" she said her voice shaking, "the light's gona turn green any second." The man looked at the traffic sitting in large puddles of water, and decided she was right.

I'll pretend, she thought, I'll fall and get away. So Gabriella smiled, put her foot into a deep puddle and fell forward. The man let go of her arm as she fell into the puddle, not stopping her from being covering with muddy water.

Free she thought. I'm free. She pushed herself out of the puddle and on to her feet. "Run" a voice in her head said, "run!" Before the man knew what was happening, Gabriella was on her feet and leaping to the sidewalk. She didn't look back as she ran, she didn't want to look back. She knew he would be there, chasing her.

Gabriella ran, her feet splashing more water over the already soaked sidewalk. Rain blurred her eyes. She had to get away, she had to be free. Gabriella looked twisted her head around, trying to see if the man was behind her. She couldn't see him, but that didn't mean he wasn't there.

"Look out!" someone yelled too late. The breath was knocked out of her as she bounced off a tall man carrying a large umbrella and a briefcase. She looked up, gasping.

"You should look where you're going" the tall man grumbled, not even asking if she was alright or why she had been running.

Gabriella didn't move as the tall man rushed off in his own busy world. She sat on her knees, staring into the muddy rivers of water flooding the streets. She closed her eyes, wishing that people would just... Her wish was broken by a clap of thunder. Gabriella opened her eyes and looked up as lightning flashed overhead. It was blue and beautiful, bright like her mother eyes.

"No, I said I will forget that" she whispered, "and I will." Gabriella looked back at the brown rivers in the street, her dark hair sticking to her shoulders as she moved. She could see something shining in the dirty dimness, like crystals in mud. She crawled over to the side of the gutter, her pant leg ripping loudly on the sidewalk. But she didn't care anymore. She had completely forgotten the evil man, the rain, the traffic, everything except the shine under the rain water. Gabriella reached her cold hand into the grim filled water, feeling frantically for the object as if it meant everything.

She felt something solid in her fingers and pulled. She looked at the object in her hand with awe. It was a spoon. Not just any spoon, but one made from some sort of ancient silver that shined like lightning.

"It's so pretty." she gasped. Even as she spoke, a soft wave of warmth tingled up her arm, through her heart and into her mind. Gabriella felt as if she was in a dream, a dream where all your wishes come true. The spoon made her feel warm and happy, like drinking a hot cup of cocoa after coming in from the snow. She closed her eyes tight, trying to pushing lost memories about a loving mother and a house on fire out of her mind. Gabriella blinked her eyes with a small smile and put the spoon into her ragged pocket. It wasn't hers, but she had heard... Gabriella jumped, her thoughts suddenly gone.

"Finder's keepers" a mean voice yelled. Gabriella turned and stared at the man behind her. It was him, the one chasing her. "I found you!" he called.

Gabriella jumped up, fear cutting into her mind like a knife. "Run," a voice screamed in her mind, before he catches you again, "run!" Gabriella ran, rain spitting on her already soaked head.

"Hey, little girl," the voice yelled angrily. "Come back."

"No," she shouted. Gabriella could hear him panting, he was closer than she thought. "Quickly, run!" she told herself, "hide, get away." She ran, hoping he would give up. She knew this part of town better than a mouse, so maybe she had a chance.

"You want to flay tag?" he growled with sarcasm .

Gabriella couldn't run as fast the strange terrible man could. Her legs weren't as long as his, and she was already tired. The fact that he didn't know the way didn't seem to be making a difference. Gabriella knew she had to hide, her eyes darted along the road, "But where?" she breathed. There, here eyes saw a large cardboard box down a dark alleyway. Without thinking, she ran towards it, climbing inside. The figure behind her stopped running when he saw she had just ran into a dead end, "I win." He muttered, following her into the dark like a vampire.

Gabriella's heart was pounding faster and faster. Her breath was coming out in short puffs. Be quiet. She though, be quiet, don't let him hear you. Gabriella waited, curled up in the box, the rain making even her shadow almost invisible. He knows you came here, she thought to herself. There's no where else I could hide she whispered.

The man came closer and closer. "Clump, clump."

"He will find me!" Gabriella's thoughts screamed in fear. His shoes sounded like bangs in front of her hiding place. Any minute he would bend down and grab her. Gabriella put her shaking hand into her pocket, letting the warm smoothness of the spoon calm her breathing.

"Clump," his feet stopped where she could see his black boots covered in slime and mud. "Come out little girl, I know you're here, and I saw what you found."

Gabriella shivered. Her mind was crying out in fear, "don't let him find me, please, don't let him get me." Lightning flashed overhead and the thunder roared.

"I wish he couldn't see me" she whispered, as he bent down towards her. "I wish he would leave me alone." A hot tear fell from her eyes onto the spoon.

Light, brighter than the sun lit the inside of the tiny box. The spoon was glowing. Gabriella closed her eyes against the brightness, forgetting about the terrible man who's black eyes were staring straight at her. The light from the spoon slowly faded into darkness and Gabriella opened her eyes.

The man was gone, it was as if he had just disappeared. "B-But . . ." she stuttered, "he saw me. I know he did." She poked her head out the soggy box. The man was already on the other side of the street and shaking his head as if he had lost his way.

"Clink," the spoon suddenly rolled off her lap onto the sidewalk. Gabriella picked it up, confused. It wasn't shining anymore. Now the spoon looked old and ugly, it wasn't warn or beautiful any more. All its life was gone. Gabriella put the spoon in her pocket, loving it, or at least what it had been. She didn't care that it was old and dull. The spoon had once been lost, but she found it, and now it was dented and rough. Gabriella stood up, jumping into the air. The magic spoon had given all it's shining power to save one girl, and that girl was her.

The cold rain tickled and slid down her face, but Gabriella didn't care, she was happy. It didn't matter if she didn't have a home, or that she was hungry, she still had a battered spoon that one day might shine again.
(about 1583 words)

back to Fiction