6 – Paydirt

It was just another night no different than the rest, except that David was getting desperate. He finished his microwave dinner and looked out his bathroom window. It was the only one that had a view of the outside world. There was a slight drizzle, with more threatening, so he put on his heavy coat. He stepped out into the night, pulled his collar tight to his neck, sniffed the air and took a deep breath. It was a perfect night for cruising.
As he walked to his patch he worried. He realy needed to score that night. He hadn’t shifted a body in six months. His contacts were beginning to be out when he called. Things were getting thin. All he needed was one easy one to get back into the swing of things. He was sure that this was the night his luck would change. Because if it wasn’t, then he wouldn’t last much longer.
He lived in a good area. An area where you could find the newer runaways and strays, those that weren’t smart enough to avoid people like him. It was important to him because even when he wasn’t actively working he could still remain in tune with the pulse of the street.
It was also important to him that he didn’t have to drive to work, he felt that you lose any feel for your environment once you inclose yourself in a metal box. And part of his enjoyment of the job was that buzz you could get just walking along and yet being so aware of your surroundings that you almost feel like you are the centre of the universe. That half-high that he felt so infrequently now.
Yet tonight as he walked down Northcoth Rd. he could just sense that feeling returning. Perhaps it was just the memories of previous nights, or perhaps, as he hoped, he was getting back into the swing of things. Perhaps tonight would be the night.
He crossed into St. John’s Road. It was quite, a couple of scuffles in the shadows on the other side of the road, but nothing else. He moved along as quitely as he could, avoiding the pools of light from the still functioning streetlights until he came to the well lit area around the McDonalds franchise. And there he spotted her, a young adolescent silhouette, hands pressed against the front window, looking into the light.
His pulse quickened as he crossed the road and stopped behind her. The reflections of her eyes flickered. He cleared his throat and she visibly tensed. He spoke softly, “Hello there.”
She turned her head to look at him.
He smiled. He was good at that.
She dropped her hands and turned to face him.
“Would you like something to eat?” he kept his voice soft.
She said nothing, just stared at him.
“I’ll pay for both of us. Hum ?” he cocked his eyebrows and smiled again.
She paused, unwilling to trust, but finding no threat. She felt she should run. But she was so hungry. And she had nowhere to run to.

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