This is my 300 word entry for the Blogger’s Bash, scheduled for Saturday May 19, at the George IV in Chiswick, London. I can’t attend this year but wish I could!
P.S. Please excuse the profanity, but it was necessary.
Peggy smoothed down her men’s trench coat and wrapped a grungy scarf around her neck. It’s really cold today. Where do I stay tonight? The shelter over on Peabody? Someone there had stolen things from her shopping cart. Mulling over her options, she shoved her cart down sidewalk. In the distance, bells tolled for a wedding.
People gave Peggy a wide berth as they passed and cast her pitying looks. Either that or they deliberately bumped into the cardboard hanging out of her cart. At the next corner, there was a driveway where she parked her cart. Her friend Sid was already there, sitting on a camp stool, hat on the ground, looking sad in the hopes of getting coins to fill it.
“Peg, my girl! What’s happening?”
“Nothing, just cold.”
Sid pulled his ragged parka closer around him and looked up at her with a smudged face. “Damn right.”
“Sid, when was the last time you washed? You look like a chimney sweep.”
“Hell, no one even knows what a sweep is, any more. I’ll get a shower and clean socks at the shelter tonight. Clean sheets, too. You goin’ there?”
“Nope. They steal from you.”
Sid picked at something between his front teeth. “Suit yourself, but you could freeze.”
“I’ve got my cardboard house…”
“Hell, that won’t give you any warmth. Here.” He bent over to the box next to his stool and pulled out a moth-eaten, dirty red wool blanket. “Take this, but I want it back tomorrow.”
Peggy knotted the short end of the blanket around her neck, giving Sid a toothless smile. Head high in the air, she walked to her cart, giving the Queen’s wave to imaginary people and dragging the blanket behind her.
“Who do you think you are, Peg? Fookin’ royalty?”