Weep and Wallow
Weep and Wallow
Never shall we see the sun;
Close your eyes
And cry your tears,
The dark shall overcome.
Her hands were calloused and rough from scraping through the streets. Her voice was no better.
But one would be hard pressed to find someone in the city depths not scarred and creeping in the shadows.
The one feature that set her apart from the scrambling masses was not her beauty or her intelligence- she was as ugly as she was illiterate- it was her approach.
She came to the carriage with sad eyes, bruised and leaking, looking for pity. Looking for anything at all. What a pathetic whore, said the father, nestled away in his velvet seat, embroidered with veins of black fabric and buttons of gold.
The father was always candid with his son- or at least his own perception of candid honesty. His boy was old enough to take on the nastier truths of the world. Twelve. Far older than the father himself had been when he had been brought to the depths.
"What is a whore?" The son asked. He knew what a whore was, of course, as many boys of twelve did, but he knew the girl did not look like one. Not that she reeked of innocent youthfulness; but whores were to be bought. And to be bought, the boy knew the product being sold had to have worth. The girl did not look worthy of anything.
The father did not answer his son. He knew the boy's little word games well, and was not interested in such childish indulgences.
This will all be yours one day, said the father. He looked down at his son, the same way he looked out the carriage and into the depths. The father continued to speak, but the boy did not listen.
All the boy did was wrinkle his nose and sit quietly, pondering his father's first statement. The idea of owning such a smelly, filthy place was not one he had entertained before. Even from within the carriage that had been saturated in lilac and raspberry perfumes, the stench of sour piss on mildew encrusted concrete still made its way inside. The stories of the perpetual darkness in the depths gave the boy nightmares even before he'd even seen it for himself. Not that he'd tell his father that.
By now the sad-eyed girl from before was long gone; carried away from the golden carriage by the darkness that silhouetted her previous pitiful stance.
The boy didn't even notice he was gazing out the tinted window, looking for the girl, until his father planted a firm, thick fingered hand onto the boy's bony shoulder.
She'll be dead within the month, said the father, casting only a sideways glance at his son.
"How do you know?" The boy asked. But once again, he already knew the answer. Or answers. She'd die of some filthy disease, or at the hands of rapists and thugs, or of by the hand of one of his father's patrolling Legionnaires'. The latter was the most likely.
Mercifully, the father did not answer the son.