I do not need your sympathy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


New street, new faces, new day. Time for another round of begging for coin. Living on people’s sympathy stinks like I do – I haven’t had a proper shower in a while. Soap ain’t cheap.

Well, I’m technically selling my homemade, wood animal carvings, but those don’t count. No one wants to pay a quarter for them. Dressing up in dirty rags, sighing pitifully and seeming depressed sells better. I wish it didn’t cost me my dignity. Dignity doesn’t help me pay for my next meal, or else I’ll hug it tight and close to me; like a child would hug a teddy bear after waking from a nightmare. I lose it in exchange for stranger’s coins… even though it’s a fair trade, it still makes me feel like I’m getting robbed. Every time I earn a coin, I feel that.

I’m typically a bad liar, so on any other day, this ‘beggar’ act wouldn’t work. However, I have actually been down in the dumps this week. I’ll tell you why, but not for your pity. My father was a traitor to his country and family, and I had to pay for his crimes of treason. The punishment was eternal slavery under the harshest elf noble. The kingdom even placed an irreversible immortality spell on me to make me suffer for as long as they liked. Talk about overkill. The only way I could free myself from my master was to kill my father. Sigh. Whatever, that’s old news.

Now, I need to focus on my mission. If I can tolerate the public’s sympathy for a little longer, I’ll get enough coin to never be a beggar again.

Look, I can deal with sneers, jeers, disgruntled apathy, drunken cursing and spitting right in my face from these people. That’s what I deserve as a beggar and it helps me prove to myself that I’m not weak. That I can take it, and much worse, from this unforgiving world. But the sympathy, it shames me. It tells me I’m soft and lowly. Grrrrr... I have to remember to look thankful instead of annoyed when coin comes into my cup. Think I have been doing that part okay. Let me count my coins… forty-seven, forty-eight. I need two more silver.

I cough a heaving, strangled cough. This damn snow, getting on my nerves. Literally. As an elf, I can get sick from that.

“Oh, you poor soul. Here’s some change. God bless you.” A young man says, as if he were talking to a starving puppy. I nod and give him a genuine smile, instead of a forced one I usually give to strangers, back. Finally. The last two silver I needed is in my cup.

I head to the nearest store, ignore the owner’s attempts to shoo me away, and buy a good sword.

I can start my new life as a bounty hunter. No more living on good people’s sympathy. From this day forth, I live on bad people’s blood.


Submitted: April 24, 2020

© Copyright 2021 TravellerZo. All rights reserved.

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