This story is inspired by the homeless people in America, and also by the Greek mythology that I have always loved reading. Enjoy!

The pelting rain falls, like hard stones that bounce off the soft grass and trickle down to the rushing icy river that slices through the park like a knife, churning up bits of mud and turf and carrying the flowers that tumble from the wilting trees.

I know this place like the palm of my hand. After all, it’s been my home for over three years now. Ever since my home burned down. I still see my mother’s terrified face as she screams at the stuck door, rattling it and yelling at me to run. I still wake up sobbing, terrified. It’s my sixteenth birthday today and it’s a bitter wintry morning. Nothing special about it except the temperature has plunged to a freezing -2 degrees.

I huddle closer underneath the stony arch of the bridge and close my eyes. Yesterday’s hamburger churns uncomfortably in my stomach. I’m homeless, hopeless and destined for a life of utter misery. What difference does it make that I turn 16 today? A lot of difference, it turns out. Because I’m special. Special in ways I cannot begin to comprehend.

The wind howls around my pathetic shelter and I shudder, shivering violently. Uncontrollably. I dig in my backpack and remove a mangy towel from its stinking depths. Wrapping it tightly around my shoulders, I watch as the dried leaves waltz on the riverbank outside, dodging the lapping water. Then my eyes slip shut and I sink into a dreamless sleep.

When I wake, there’s a girl staring at me, her eyes roving over my shaking form, her blue hair whipping around her face in the biting wind. Her silhouette blurs as I blink, and then clears again. “Who are you?” I croak, my voice hoarse from lack of use.

She merely smiles, a ghostly smile that stretches the whole width of her face. “I’m Vauxhall.” she replies.

“And I’m here for your soul.”

I gasp in shock, scrambling away from her as quickly as I can. My legs don’t seem to be working-they’re shaking like jelly and keep folding beneath me. Then she laughs, a sound like crumpling tissue paper that snaps and crackles in her chest.

“You’re just like your foolish mother.” she purrs. And then I find new strength and push myself to my feet until my eyes are level with her sparkling green ones. “Get out.” I snarl, low, dangerous. She places one hand on her jutting hip and purses her lips, considering. “No can do.” she announces finally. “Sorry.”

She kicks me on the shin, hard. I flinch, but don’t look away. Then there’s a sharp, blinding pain in my leg and I glance down, my eyes widening in horror. Veins of ice are creeping upwards, slowly but surely, underneath my swollen, shiny skin. They are like fingers of white, ripping through me in a tsunami of pain and frozen blood. I back up against the wall, my breath coming in ragged gasps.

They crawl over my face, across my chapped lips, sealing them shut forever. Then they bore into my eyes and I black out.

Published by Mara

I am a literary lover with a passion for animals (particularly ducks, geese and swans!) writing, and reading! Along with my precious pooch Maxy (who's also a Class A destroyer) and my little budgie Woody with a BIG attitude, I will make you laugh, cry and learn through words! Enjoy!

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