I hate this time of year, summer is over you can feel it in the air. Sure there isn't a cloud in the sky and the sun is beaming down on us. But the nights have gone cold and it's the cold that'll kill you dead. Looking around this ragged group of bad luck and misery I get to pondering who out of us won't see the winter through.
Smart money is on Mickey, no one is sure how old he actually is and I doubt he knows himself. But he's the oldest out of us all and he has that cough. Sounds like he is trying to start a rusty lawnmower in the mornings and what comes out of him can't be healthy.
I've lived in this town all my life, been on the streets for most of it. People still recognise me from work or school. They don't say anything but I see the fear in their eyes as they speed up to get away from me in case they catch my homelessness. Some pretend to take calls on their phones so they don't have to speak to me. I don't say nothing to them, I still got my pride.
Last winter was hard, didn't think I was gonna see it through meself, my shoes had holes in them so my feet were always wet, then the snow came and I damn near lost my toes through frostbite. Some do-gooders from the church came round, gave us soup, offered us clothes and prayers. My pride took a hit but I got to admit these Nikes they gave sure are comfy.
Mickey has a bottle of cider that he is passing round, playing the host. I was never one for drinking before all this but you have to numb it all out somehow you know? It looks like piss and tastes like battery acid, according to the label it's called Blackout a fitting name if there ever was one.
I take another mouthful and pass it on to Craig, the newest addition to our crew. He says he's writing a book but as the days blur into one I can see him forgetting why he is here.
Down by the boathouse we hear some school girls start screaming, I'm hoping this means they'll be on their way soon as I've got half an idea about making the place home. We all glance as one towards the commotion, between us we have all seen things that would make you toes curl. Nothing really prepares you for the sight of a . . . Well I don't know what it is, monster don't seem right but it's only word that fits and it's climbing out of the lake.
My dreams of a nice dry bed in the boathouse are shattered as this things tail slaps down on it reducing it to splinters. I hear more screaming and it takes a second or two to realise it's me making all the racket.