View Full Version : One Person ~ Short Story

10-10-2012, 05:11 AM
This is a short story that I wrote for a university assignment, I thought I'd share it and get some opinions on it, I wrote it in about 2 hours.

One Person

Thunder crashed, sending tremors through the air, rain pounded down to the earth, soaking the ground and the wind swirled in terrifying gusts. It was the most powerful storm that anyone had seen in the area for some time and most had taken refuge in their homes from the devastating gale.

However, someone was stumbling through the dark, dangerous night in the street of the small town. A young boy, no older than fourteen, moving slowly as the wind threatened to knock him down with every step. To an observer, it would have been impossible to tell who this boy was from a distance, the rain and the dark ensured that, but in this boy's mind, he was no-one at all. The boy finally staggered towards a small gap in between two houses in order to take cover from the storm when a particularly strong gust sent him sprawling forward into the gap, the boy yelped as his head bounced off the wet ground, tears beginning to flow as he lay there weeping in pain, unable to find the strength to get up once more.

By morning the storm had subsided, the boy lay in the dark gap between houses, dark bags under his eyes from not having slept as he carefully peeked out into the street. The sounds of people busily going about their daily business could be clearly heard. Suddenly, a voice harshly barked from behind him.

"Hey! Get out of here boy! What are you doing?" An old man was yelling at him, his head poking out of a window from one of the houses, causing the boy to jump in surprise and dash out into the street away from the man.

In the street, most took no notice of him, the odd person gave him a look of disgust or shouted an insult after him as he passed, otherwise they continued with their activities without acknowledging this shabby, dirt -covered boy at all. Truth was that the boy didn't expect any different, he was used to this kind of treatment from other people, ever since his parents had died and he was left with no-where to live, no-one ever seemed to notice him much, except to yell insults at him or tell him to get lost because they thought he was going to steal something. "Get lost street trash", "What do you want you homeless loser", "Why don't you just dive under a truck", these were things he was used to having directed at him every day, people saw him as nothing more than a nuisance that they wished would disappear.

At first it was hard, as the harsh words of the uncaring people around him tore into his self-esteem and confidence, both of which were now virtually non-existent. However, after a while, the words began to have less effect on him, not because he had grown used to them but because he no longer had the self-worth for them to hurt him further, he had accepted the insults and threats barked at him as truth as he spiraled deeper into the depression of feeling completely unwanted and unloved, he rarely cried anymore, there was just a dull, throbbing pain in his chest.

The boy spotted the park and made towards it, stopping by a small pond, there were ducks swimming around in the water. The boy watched them dispassionately, staring into the water at his reflection. He bent down and scooped some water into his hands and rubbed it into his face, washing away the grime and dirt that covered it, he then stripped and took the opportunity to wash the filth from his body, he didn't care if anyone saw him, modesty was something he no longer thought or cared about. Once he was done the boy then redressed and drank from the pond, the water tasted slightly dirty but he had drank worse.

He felt someone approaching from behind but he didn't bother to check who it was, surely just someone else who wanted to throw insults at him. They stepped up beside him and crouched next to him, he still didn't look.

"I've seen you come here before, do you like it here?" The voice was unmistakably female, however what surprised the boy more was the tone, it wasn't mocking or filled with disgust, it was soft and genuine. He turned to see a young girl perhaps slightly older than he was smiling at him. "My parents say not to talk to you, that you're trouble, but you don't seem like it to me."

The boy wasn't sure how to answer, it had been so long since anyone had spoken to him like this, he stared at this girl uncertainly. Seeing that he wasn't going to reply, the girl continued.

"I've seen how people treat you, it must be horrible. I can see it in your eyes you know, the pain you're in, I hate seeing it, it's so sad and cruel." There was a hint of sadness in her voice now.

"It is in the nature of people to be cruel to others," the boy spoke for the first time, "I must be more deserving than most to receive that cruelty, why would I be treated the way I am other than because I deserve it? They all agree, so they must be right about me."

The girl quickly replied, "I don't believe that, it isn't your fault that you're treated this way, their cruelty is a result of their selfishness and judgement of something they don't understand. They treat you like trash for no better reason than you have no family, no-one to 'keep you in line' so to speak, they assume you will steal or become a criminal because you have no-one to raise you 'right', but I think they're wrong, I've never seen you do anything like that."

"I don't know what you're getting at." The boy mumbled.

The girl smiled, "You know, it's taken all of those people to bring you down to the dark place where you are now, but I believe it only takes one person to save someone from that place, to bring them back and give them hope and self-respect again."

"Well, I don't know if I'll ever find someone like that." The boy said in a dull voice.

The girl giggled, "But you already have, I plan on being that person, I want to be the one to give you hope again." With that she winked, leaving the boy speechless.