I got up as soon as my eyes snapped open. This was all routine for me; wake up, go away before getting murdered or anything. I packed up swiftly, as if I had been practising. I had...
Glancing up at the blue, sun-brightened sky, I concluded that it was around nine o'clock in the morning. I walked toward the city, preparing myself for another day of 'work', as my old friend had called it. Oh how I missed my old friend; my mentor of life on the streets. I had only been a street urchin for a couple of hours...
I moan quietly to myself, looking down, trying not to meet any of the glaring faces of the others surrounding me. I try solely to listen to my heavy, panicked breathing. Nothing else; just don't think about anything else, and it'll be okay. That's what I tell myself, but I can't even lie to myself properly.
I hear the sound of sheets being dumped on the ground to my right, and a grunt sounds, disrupting the silence that accompanied the furious stares. I turn to look at a man of around thirty. His beard white and unruly, wiring around in messy knots. He wears a solemn expression, but I can see a jolly gleam in his eyes.
"You're new here, kid. I can tell the new ones; they always look scared." I hear him mutter, his voice gravely and deep. He waits for a reply, but takes the absence of one as an invitation to speak more.
"Don't worry about them, kid. You stick with me, and they wont bother you. Trust me, I'm the boss around here." He assures me, as if anything could make me feel better. Nothing could change my mood.
I close my eyes, and hope that nothing happens to me. I descend into unconsciousness willingly.
"Kid? Kid, you should wake up." The man's voice penetrates the shields of my unconscious mind. I open my eyes unwillingly. I'm suddenly staring into a pair of weary grey eyes, surrounded by deep set wrinkles. I blink spastically, and shake my head. He holds a hand out to help me up, but I pull myself up, ignoring the hand.
"I'm Jim, by the way. And you are?" he says, eyebrows raised. I roll my eyes.
"J- James Peters." I stutter, not fully aware of how nervous I am. He holds out his grimy hand. I shake it timidly.
"I'm gonna teach you the ropes of beggin. Trust me, and you'll get all the necessary money you need." He exclaimes, and I nod.