Cross Roads (For EcoDude's story contest)
Maureen "Mo" Britton is a 15-year-old living- well, living nowhere. She's just another homeless person. Or- is she?
Rates are needed for the contest, so I'd really appreciate it if you took the time! ^.^ Thank you, and enjoy! I edited it slightly sinds last time, in case you read it before. It's not very noticable, though.
"Afraid of the dark, tramp?" he inquired, appearing to be amused rather than concerned by her fear.
Mo's insecure eyes darted to his face and then back at the grey rails, which were still radiating warmth, offering some comfort to her cold feet. She didn't respond to his question, and he smiled mockingly, even more entertained by her mute answer. "Where are you running from, bambi?"
She lifted her eyes again, but this time they lingered on his common face (though most of it was hidden by the dark) all previous fear forgotten by a sudden rage that'd flared up in her. "That's none of your business."
Flynn nodded and turned his face away, slightly suprised by her enmity. "I guess you're right. So, in that case, where are we running to?"
"Town, remember? You suggested it."
They continued without any other noises--apart from Flynn kicking the occasional pebble--and soon enough the landscape was barely visible to their human eyes. Mo started shuddering after a while, and despite her anger at him, she grasped the hem of the tattered scarf that was laid over Flynn's broad shoulders.
"Don't touch me!" he snapped instinctively, taking a quick, defensive step back.
She released the threadbare thing quickly and darted away from his side, her heart beating frantically at his unhinging response. "S-sorry. It's just that...the dark. It frightens me," Mo explained, unable to keep the stutter out of voice, a thing that usually happened whenever she was frightened.
The taut skin around Flynn's clenched and muddy fists loosened considerably. "Oh. Well. Just follow me. I've been here pretty often. Nothing is going to hurt you," he said heatedly, taking brisks steps as he continued their journey with a sudden haste.
"Is it still very long?" Mo asked quietly, not brave enough to dare look up at the infuriated man.
"I don't know, I don't have a watch," Flynn said dryly. The girl couldn't concentrate on his words (though she wished to know them) due to a soft noise, which got louder...and louder...and louder, until a steady, rumbling sound filled her ears.
"What is that?!" she demanded, frowning slightly in concentration, ignoring the feeling that was telling her she was missing something obvious.
Flynn looked up, clearly distracted, and then paled incredibly in such a way that even Ren could see his face in the night. Before she had time to ask her question again, he shoved her off of the rails and then sprang after her, cussing loudly the whole while. Mo landed on the ground with a thud on the hard desert floor, the impact causing her to taste blood.
"What the hell was that for?!" she yelled, holding her hand against her hollow cheek, wincing at what effort the volume of her voice had cost her.
He just wheezed something and pointed at the barely-visible rails, where an old-looking train had now appeared and went over the spot where they'd been standing with suprising speed. The girl slithered away even further at the blinding light, and Flynn crawled after her, straightening his faded shirt. "You're welcome," he choked sarcastically as Mo stared at him, completely out of breath.
"T-thanks," she stammered, too startled to truly realize what'd happened.
He rolled his eyes and stood up with some effort, wiping his sweaty hands off on his pants. She followed his example and stared after the train, which seemed to be moaning feebly as it disappeared into the distance. "Really, thanks," she muttered.
Flynn shrugged. "You'd have noticed sooner or later anyway. I just didn't want to take any chances."
Maureen muttered something again and moved on quickly, stopping as she came to realize that the only thing from preventing it being pitch black were the lights of the fading train. "F-Flynn?"
"Yeah, Maureen or Mo or whatever you're called?"
"What's wrong, Mo?" he asked tiredly, not bothering to turn around.
"It's pitch black out there," she whimpered, trying to fight the increasing fear in her.
"Listen, Mo. I'm not your babysitter. I'm just someone that happens to be heading to the same place. So stop thinking I'm going to take care of you, because I'm not," Flynn snapped, speeding up before she could protest.
All Maureen could do was follow the sound of his feet against the ground in order not to get lost, and so she did, chewing her already cracked lips to bloody pieces.
They just walked- and walked, and walked, and walked. Mo's legs felt heavier than ever, but she didn't dare complain in case Flynn would leave her.
"Look up, Mo."
The girl lifted her head carefully, and her heart skipped a feeble beat as she saw the bright lights. It was a small town, but still. It would mean light, safety, warmth and possibly even food. Her stomach squirmed at the thought.
Flynn chuckled as she started running, but despite his scorn he ran with her, taking big, eager leaps. They didn't stop until they stood in front of what looked like an old bar, now abandoned. "You're slow," he wheezed, placing his hands on his knees in order not to collapse.
"Thanks. I guess that's why you had trouble keeping up," said Mo sarcastically, eyeing his tired posture.
He snickered and straightened up. "Touche."
Mo glanced around and wrapped her arms around herself protectively. People were throwing them distrusting looks, and a sense of uneasiness crept up on her. "What do we do now?"
Flynn pointed at a sturdy-looking, wooden bench. "I'm going to sit there, and you're going to walk around town a looking sad and hungry."
She gave him an insulted and indignant look. "Why?!"
"Because people might give a girl that looks young and dirty a bit of bread.
They don't bother with me."
Mo hesitated, but decided she might as well follow his advice and started walking around, directing pleading--and hungry--stares at the villagers. Children just gazed at her with curious looks, and the adults made sure to avoid her, though one threatened to get the sheriff if she didn't leave. The girl was near tears and her eyes stung with humiliation. If she had been prettier, that would've made things easier. You're not, so stop complaining about it. It's not going to change anything.
She strode back to where Flynn was lying patiently on the bench. "No luck?" he asked quietly, eyeing her crestfallen figure.
Mo shook her head, and he sat up, gesturing to the free spot. "I'll show you how to get their positive attention next time," he muttered as she sat down next to him. Her teeth clattered in response, and after ignoring it for a while, he spoke up, "Cold?"
Maureen nodded, and he handed her his shabby scarf. "There. Now get warm quickly or the noise of your teeth is going to irk me to death."
She glared at him, but wrapped it tightly around her and tried to get warm up. The exhaustion that'd started in her legs slowly captured every part of her and soon she drifted to sleep.
"Wake up!" a voice growled unwelcomely.
Something (probably someone) shook Mo, and she sat up, startled. "W-what?"
Her companion looked tiredly at her, large rims under his eyes, and she realized it hadn't been his voice that'd woken her.