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The Shadow of Rags (standard:horror, 1903 words)
Author: Alexander C. QuinnAdded: Jun 10 2002Views/Reads: 3239/1972Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The shadows of the streets at night can play strange games.

The Shadow of Rags 

by Alexander C. Quinn 

Gibbs had a good day today. Standing out in front of the gas station he
managed to make enough money to buy himself two forty once bottles of 
malt liqueur and a pack of cigarettes. Even after paying for all that 
he still had three dollars and some change in his pocket. His 
philosophy was that if you need anything in this world just ask for it, 
the worst that will happen is that people say no. 

After drinking his second forty of the day with some buddies in the
alley behind Ninth St., he had a good buzz going. Looking around Gibbs 
decided that he didn't want to hang around these bums anymore. They 
were pathetic and he was better than them. 

There was a bar over on the corner of Eleventh St. and Potter Ave. where
he had been before. Last time he was there he met a girl and she bought 
him a beer. This time he had enough money in his pocket to buy himself 
a beer and maybe find some people to hang out with that were more in 
his class than those losers on Ninth St. 

When Gibbs walked into the bar it was packed. There was a dj mixing
along with a bunch of people dancing. Everybody was drunk and having 
fun, this was a much different scene that Gibbs was used to seeing. No 
one ever seems happy on the street and the mission had as much cheer as 
a funeral home. 

Gibbs went up to the bar and ordered a good old fashioned Budweiser. The
beer was two dollars and seventy-five cents, so he gave the bartender 
three dollars. Leaving a tip made Gibbs feel proud of himself, he was 
no bum, he just happened to be homeless. 

Walking around, Gibbs was looking for some people that he could strike
up a conversation with and maybe find someone to buy him a few drinks. 
The Bud tastes great, but it wont last forever. Something about the 
environment of a bar always makes the beer taste so much better. 

Gibbs made his way through the crowd to the back door that led out to
the patio. There were only a few people out there, but at a table he 
noticed a small group of guys that looked like his kind of people. The 
looked like musicians, one guy had longhair, another had red streaks 
dyed into his hair, and the two other guys looked like they were the 

Gibbs walked over and quickly introduced himself and began talking. He
wished he didn't say it, but the first thing that came out of his mouth 
was, "I'm a homeless person." The long haired guy introduced himself as 
Bobby, but Gibbs could tell he was lying, mocking him. Then Gibbs' 
mouth just went on auto pilot. He was telling them how he had been on 
the streets his whole life and been through many battles. He was 
stabbed three years in a drunken fight, because he couldn't keep his 
mouth shut. He was trying to buy a bag of weed from a drug dealer, who 
stabbed him then kicked out his top front teeth. 

The guys at the table didn't show much interest in old Gibbs' battle
scars and he could tell he wasn't going to get any money or beer out of 
the conversation. Then the guy with the red streaks loudly said, "you 
know what you should do?" Gibbs knew and replied, "I should leave 
shouldn't I?" "Yes," he could tell he was going to get beat up if he 
didn't leave, so he walked back inside to finish his beer. Now it 
became obvious that Gibbs was just another bum and no better than those 
scumbags down on Ninth St. He finished his drink and left the bar with 
his tail between his legs. This feeling of humiliation was all too 
familiar to Gibbs and all he could do was carry on his life as a bum on 
the streets. 

It was too late for Gibbs to go back to the mission, it was one thirty
a.m. and the mission was usually full by eleven. Gibbs would have to 
sleep on the streets again. He was used to the streets, it seems like 
he spent most of his life out here and when the weather was nice, he 
didn't need to sleep on those uncomfortable cots at the mission. 

Walking up Eleventh St. back to the gas station where he made his money
earlier he was being followed by a man that was in the bar earlier 

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