Out On the Town

Started by Mary-Alice Whaley at Apr 09, 2020 6:19 PM
January 24, 1924
781 Views
53 Posts

Mark Carson

Federal Agent
64
?Years Young
24 Posts

"How can you hate someone if you don't know them."


Mark was beginning to get a bit frustrated at his attempt to get the kids to a safer part of town.  He was pretty sure that if he showed his badge they would be gone.  Maybe it was time to try a different tact.

"All right then, but when you father comes asking us about you I can tell that I did see you and that you refused to go back to school."

Knowing that there was only one school nearby, that the young girl would be attending, he shrugged his shoulders as if he were giving up. "Although I have no doubt that Miss Harris would have a lot more to tell him."


Tommy Kelso

Street Kid
204
?Years Young
33 Posts

"I'm older than I look."   


“I’m supposed to stay with my… cousin. We watch out for each other.”

Tommy had to give credit to Alice's moxie, she was sticking to the story even if it was totally a lie. It was proof she wanted to remain here with him and not go back to that stupid school with this man. That is IF he was even legit? Which Tommy still doubted. Why would some stranger care whether a girl ate a hot dog in the middle of a nice day?

But still the man persisted, it was maddening even a bit scary. He started up about seeing her father and telling him what he saw here. So he knew her father? How come he didn't start with that? And it was plain as day Alice had never seen him before.

"Although I have no doubt that Miss Harris would have a lot more to tell him."

So he knew which school she went to? That was weird? Had he been spying on her or maybe even followed her from that place? Tommy made up his mind then. He leaned in against Alice's ear and whispered so only she could hear him.

"Let's make a run for it. Just nod yes and I'll know," he hissed.

 

 


Liked 1

Mary-Alice Whaley

36
?Years Young
36 Posts

"Tell me everything that happened, tell me everything you saw."


This was a confounding moment for Alice. Her confident front slowly began to fall away.

Who was this man to claim her father would go to him concerning her whereabouts? Since her mother's passing, her father had become increasingly distant… keeping himself busy with work and recurrent distractions. When he remarried, and she came to the school, their father-daughter relationship suffered greatly. Estranged, she didn't think he cared about her anymore. The assumption was cynical yet wholly justifiable to the girl.

The man continued on about Miss. Harris. In her mind, Alice agreed with him on one matter; the headmistress would have a lot to say… she was in trouble for sure.

That was beside the point, however. The stranger knew too much! Of course, she wore a uniform, and that gave away the fact that she attended school but for him to know which school was unsettling.

"Let's make a run for it. Just nod yes and I'll know,"

It was as if Tommy had read her mind, and she was thankful.

"My cousin here forgot an errand; we really have to be going!" Alice declared, still continuing with the charade. She nodded to Tommy and moved forward, ready to bolt.

 


Tommy Kelso

Street Kid
204
?Years Young
33 Posts

"I'm older than I look."   


His whispered suggestion met with her instant approval and suddenly the young pair bolted for it, running as fast as they could while still keeping next to each other. Now in a straight up race, just maybe the adult might have been able to catch one or the other but as the kids weaved in and out of the crowd, the two of them had the advantage. During their escape, Tommy had dropped the remnants of his hot dog but he consoled himself that at least he had eaten most of it. But far more important, they were safe again from whatever that man was up to.

After awhile Tommy was convinced they had lost the guy, in fact he was not even sure the man had bothered to give chase. The pair had ducked down a side street then taken a left on another street. He finally came to halt, breathing hard from the exertion.

"Wowee! That was somethin' ! You were great. It was almost like you were a pro at this 'scram' stuff," he grinned when he had caught some air.

It was too hot and humid which didn't help but even with that, he felt that feeling of exhilaration he got whenever he had taken some risk. The kid didn't know the science of it of course but that was adrenaline pumping in his body.


Made Me Laugh 1

Mark Carson

Federal Agent
64
?Years Young
24 Posts

"How can you hate someone if you don't know them."


Mark was about to respond when the two kids made a bolt for it.  As he watch them disappear down the street, he shook his head.  He didn't have to time to give chase today but he would find out who they were soon enough.

The girl would be easy to find and the next time he was near Miss Harris' school he would make sure to stop and have a chat with the headmistress.  As for the boy, he would be a little bit harder find.  Two kids wandering the streets alone, especially in this part of the time didn't settle with him well.  If either of them were to turn up dead, especially the girl, he would blame himself because he could have prevented it.

After finishing his hot dog, he walked a bit further to the taxi stand that was nearby.  He had to get back to the office and report back about the incident he was originally down here for.  Hopefully, the search for the kids would only take a few weeks at the most.  However, he was not certain what to do when he found them and that thought occupied his mind for the rest of the day.

 


Mary-Alice Whaley

36
?Years Young
36 Posts

"Tell me everything that happened, tell me everything you saw."


 

Without waiting for the man to respond, the two ran off as if their very lives depended on it. Alice did not doubt that putting distance between themselves and the stranger was the right move. Who knows what would have resulted had they stuck around? Nothing good, she imagined.

Their course was labyrinthine as they darted around people and down streets. Upon reaching a far and quiet stretch, however, they stopped. Alice looked back for their supposed pursuer, but the coast was clear. She inhaled and let out a big sigh of relief before turning to Tommy as he spoke.

"Wowee! That was somethin'! You were great. It was almost like you were a pro at this 'scram' stuff,"

"Oh, thanks!" Was her humble yet upbeat response to his compliment. "You too, for seeing through that guy and thinking to get us out of there. Thank you, Tommy!" She breathily exclaimed, heart still beating fast, as she gave the boy a grateful smile.

The girl then noted his missing hot dog. With her own still clutched in hand, she immediately tore it in half... paper and all. She then offered the complete piece to Tommy. "Here, take it." She urged, unwilling to take no for an answer.

 


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Tommy Kelso

Street Kid
204
?Years Young
33 Posts

"I'm older than I look."   


"Awww, no that one's yours. Besides you paid for the hot dogs," Tommy didn't want to take it but she insisted. What could a guy do?

"Alright then," he gave in reluctantly.

Of course after that he downed the half hot dog in a few bites as they resumed walking. He showed her a few more sights, mostly shops he knew about or spots where something exciting had happened. He purposely did not tell her about a few of the really bad things though. This was supposed to be fun and that man had already put a scare into her.

"You know what? I'm gettin' thirsty, lets go over to Gracie's place. She even has a fan in her apartment," he declared as if that was quite something. Well, it was - at least to him.

"You'll like her, I promise," once more he led the way. It really was too hot and humid to walk around all day like this anyway.


Mary-Alice Whaley

36
?Years Young
36 Posts

"Tell me everything that happened, tell me everything you saw."


Alice also finished her portion as they continued on their way. Tommy had been right in his declaration that Mr. Modesi’s hot dogs tasted great. The girl shared with him that they were even better than the ones in New York. That had to be saying something, right?

It was safe to say that the next part of their day went on without any further hitch. In fact, Alice had a fantastic time. She enjoyed seeing Miami through his eyes and was regaled by the stories he had recounted.

Friendships at the school were complicated. Some girls were two-faced. Friendly outright but brazen behind one’s back. Still, other girls did nothing to hide their snobbery. However, none of that was the case with Tommy. Things seemed simple, and friendship with him was genuine.

"You know what? I'm gettin' thirsty, let’s go over to Gracie's place. She even has a fan in her apartment,"

It was pretty hot out and they had been walking for some time. So, cooling off didn’t sound like a bad idea at all. His enthusiastic mention of the fan brought a smile to her face.

She was also excited to meet Gracie.

"You'll like her, I promise,"

Alice nodded in agreement. “How long have you known Gracie?”


Tommy Kelso

Street Kid
204
?Years Young
33 Posts

"I'm older than I look."   


"How long?" Tommy repeated the gist of Alice's question as he thought on it, "I don't know. I'm not good with time. At least 3-4 months though. I got to know her soon after she moved in. She used to live in a fancy hotel suite, you know?" 

Like the girl would have had any inkling of that.

"Her boyfriend paid for it," Tommy grinned, "Actually they lived there together."   

"She had to move out though when he died," Tommy's smile vanished with those words, not surprisingly, "Not like she could afford a swell joint like that."

***

It was a modest apartment building in a neighborhood that had once been pretty decent but the part of the town had lost it's shine now. Tommy didn't go in thru the front door but instead took an alley then ascended the fire escape stairs.

"The supe here is kinda ornery," he explained to her, figuring that should be all the detail on that she should need to know.

On the third floor, it had four, they left the stairs entering thru a side door which left them in the middle of a narrow wooden floored hallway.

"She's the last room on the right, come on," he waved her to keep up, Tommy usually set a fast pace.

"Here it is - 36 !" he announced with almost a sort of pride.

Tommy did not even attempt to knock but simply tried the door handle. Nope, locked tight. With a smile and a shrug, he remarked, "Figured. She ain't here right now."

"I'm sorry, Alice, but I need to do something you can't see. It's a secret between me n' Gracie. Can you just turn your back on me? Just for a minute," he had a solemn request.

 


Mary-Alice Whaley

36
?Years Young
36 Posts

"Tell me everything that happened, tell me everything you saw."


 

Attentively Alice listened as Tommy shared a snippet of Gracie's story. "That's so sad." She lamented, looking quite somber. Losing someone you loved was a difficult thing. She briefly ruminated on the topic as they continued on their way.

***

At the apartment building, things seemed rather peculiar to Alice. Tommy had skipped out on the front door and instead brought them into the adjoining alley. He began up a set of tall stairs, but she lingered at the bottom momentarily. Some sort of worry on her mind.

"The supe here is kinda ornery,"

His explanation must have been enough because she followed him up and through the third-floor door.

They stepped into a hallway, and almost immediately, Tommy pointed out the location of Gracie's apartment. He urged her to follow and proceeded swiftly to the door. Alice stopped alongside him just as he discovered the aforementioned door to be locked. Despite this, Tommy didn't seem at all phased by the impediment. It was then that she remembered him saying that he knew how to get inside… even if no one was home.

Boy, if Miss. Harris could see her now; she would certainly be worked up in a lather. That was if she weren't already, and of course, the woman would be under the circumstances.

"I'm sorry, Alice, but I need to do something you can't see. It's a secret between me n' Gracie. Can you just turn your back on me? Just for a minute,"

Upon hearing the request, she gave the boy a funny look. However, she answered with an "OK." and complied by turning on her heel to face in the opposite direction. She wondered what the big secret with the door could be!

The girl was tempted to look but held steadfast to the task.