Invisible - Part 3

Continued from Invisible - Part 2

(Credit via Creative Commons

Part 3 – Mooch

Mooch is a true denizen of the streets. He can barely remember the time when he wasn’t homeless. Of course, he once had a home, back when he was Mitch. But it was nothing like the home he’d hoped it would be when he was adopted. The old man was a drunk, and when he had been drinking, which was pretty much always, he was a bully. He frequently slapped his “woman” (as he referred to her) around. And he also beat Mitch, calling him a good-for-nothing.  As soon as he was old enough to really think about it, old enough to believe he might have a chance to survive on his own, Mitch was out of there. He slipped out one night and got as far away as he could before he was weak with exhaustion. When he spotted a shed with the door ajar, he went in and slept. At first light he took off again, hiding whenever he saw a car coming. He didn’t think the old man would come looking for him, but as scary as it was out there alone, he was determined never to go back.

When he reached the busy part of town, he saw a bunch of kids sitting just inside a park, having lunch among the fallen leaves. In between bites, they tossed leaves at each other. He went over, and they greeted him. They were friendly enough, and one of the girls handed him part of a hamburger. He decided to hang out with them. When they got up to leave, the girl with the hamburger said, “Come on, kid. You might as well stick with us.”

So he stayed with the kids, who seemed to be homeless too. At night, they slept in a deserted old warehouse near the railroad tracks, and they went out on the busy streets by day and begged. One day, Mitch went into the park to pee, and when he came out, he saw the kids being rounded up. They were loaded into a black van and taken away. Mitch was on his own again.

At least he’s kind of gotten the hang of living on the streets, and it isn’t quite so scary. He’s wary of being grabbed up like the kids, though, so he spends most of his time in the alley behind the restaurants on the main street. He can usually find decent pickings around the dumpsters and garbage cans. Sometimes, someone opens one of the doors and chases him away. “Get out of here, you mooch!” But mostly he's left alone.

Every now and then, he ventures out of the alley and tries to beg on the street. He doesn’t have much luck. People just rush by him as if he were invisible. So it’s back to the alley and the garbage cans. Some of the people inside are nice to him, and occasionally give him a bite to eat. They’ve all started to call him Mooch, and he likes it. He puts Mitch far behind him

He still sleeps in the old building at night. It’s lonely, and still a little scary. He can hear the rats who also call the building home, but they leave him alone. There’s a lot of pictures sprayed on the walls that mean nothing to him. But there’s one he likes, though he doesn’t understand it.  There’s something restful about it. It’s his favorite spot to sleep.

Outside, it’s raining buckets. He counts himself lucky to have a place to go that keeps him out of the rain. But tonight he has to brave it; he’s hungry. In the alley, he goes to a garbage can where he is most always lucky. Throwing his usual caution to the wind, he knocks the lid off and begins to pick though the contents. The clatter of the lid hitting the ground is loud, and it brings a guy to the door of the next place. Mooch freezes, and peers at the man through the soaked hair hanging in front of his eyes. He hopes he’s invisible tonight.

“Good heavens, man. It’s fit for neither man nor beast out there. Come on in. I’ll share my sandwich with you.”

To be continued in Part 4: Margaret

Posted for River of Mnemosyne Challenge No. 11, Muse 3: "Mathematics of Man"


  1. What's the picture he likes???

    I have to confess, I was half-expecting Mooch to have been a dog.

    Also, a playing with time a little, are we? Outside of traditional flashbacks, I think this method is a first for you. :)

  2. Oh, I'm guessing the photo at the top is the picture he likes... as well as the use of the Muse.

    I'm so smert, I iz.


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