It was just a small one, but enough to draw in pitying souls. The last bit of pity that belonged in any soul, if a soul at all.
Val stands next to me, singing the words of the lord in his beautiful yet, haunting melancholy tone. The greedy monsters look down on us even though we are on a higher surface of the store window. Their faces are ugly from years of life. Masked in tall hats and expensive suits, full dresses and bonnets or sun hats. They are too consumed with insignificant ideals and materials. My brother and me: Just barely surviving.
“My brother is terribly sick and lost his sight. Dear kindness, provide us the means to buy medicine. Please find it in your hearts to do god’s will,” I plead holding the hat out to the surprisingly large crowd surrounding us. A few coins are tossed in, even a partial loaf of bread as well. This is a good-no great make out for a “street act.” Just an easy way of making them believe that they are doing charity when really it is just to make them look and feel like decent people. The simple need to sympathize for my brother’s pale milk skin, black disheveled hair, and light dull yellow eyes.
He makes sure to stare straight ahead.
Sings like a canary with a broken wing. Has a cage but no home.
The crowd quickly dissolves as quickly as it assembled.
Pity only last so long. Pity that will never be returned.
Jumping onto the dirt ground I notice a little tyke perhaps three or four staring from my brother then to me curiously, with innocence that the cruelness of the world have not yet corrupted.
She looks back at Val, and that faultless genuinely thankful smile lines his face, followed by hers.
“Adalia!” a woman shrieks piercingly as she snatches the girl up and gives us the look over. Her nose crinkles. “Damn little rats!” she rumbles as she stalks off. “NEED TO DIE IN THE GUTTER! ALL OF THEM!”
She did not come from money, which was told by her lower class clothing, but still is considered superior over us. That alone is reason enough to frown upon another.
She has been corrupted long ago.
The daughter will take suit.
I do not peer back as we walk along the bridge leading out of the small town. I never do. Val waits until we are far out of sight before eagerly ripping the wig from his head to reveal colorless stringy white hair. Mine is black like the wig. Because of this and his pale appearance against my dark, most look past the fact that we are twins if they notice at all.
Back there was not a complete lie. He might as well be dying, but I do not tell him this. As for being blind, well his yellow eyes dart like lightning bolts at the world around him, taking in every color of every scene, Every face and emotion, every look and detail.
His appearance has gotten him accused of being a witch, or cursed by Satan on numerous occasions. The wig lessens this chance.
Even though witch trials have been outlawed for a couple of years now, fingers still point in every direction. Burnings are kept underground.
I hand Val the bread which he glances over before devouring a huge chunk (I have to make him) then hands it back over to me. I barely nibble. For whatever reason I feel too disgusted to eat. Is it maybe the monsters or us having to entertain them? This is something that I have been contemplating for weeks.
“So where now, Cray?” Val asks, but he knows the answer. There is no destination. There never has been. One will more than likely never exist. It is just a question without meaning that is not expecting a response.
We stay in silence for a long time. The unsullied February snow dances around are feet with each step. Then Val says something that I have forgotten about years ago. “Happy twelfth birthday, brother.”
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