This is the 91st in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
The Life of Toad, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 2nd March 2013
Word count: 738
Info: a few days late with this one, playing catch up. Bish bash bosh, here they come….
Toad awoke with a start, he was immediately alert and on the look for whatever had woken him. Two bright dots in the mostly darkness peered at him. Toad crept forward, and the growing dots proved to be from a cat, the weak security light reflecting in curious eyes.
“Go to sleep Cat,” he said dismissively, crawling back into his nest of cardboard and newspaper.
An hour or two later Toad awoke again with the return of dawn. He gathered up his few belongings, his creature comforts, a spare pair of socks he wore only at night, or when the weather was really cold so they’d last longer, a pack of chewing gum, and a half eaten burger he’d collected the previous day, a sign on cardboard that was weathered and faded, and sixteen pence left from his previous day’s begging.
He left his back alleyway and ventured into the town centre. Sitting outside a McDonald’s, out of the way of the binmen and street cleaners, he ate his burger, imagining it was fresh and that he’d just bought it from the restaurant he was outside of.
“Oi, clear off,” the restaurant manager said running out to chase him off before the breakfast crowds arrived.
Toad didn’t argue, there was no point. He went across town to one of the last public toilets, there was a small group of homeless men waiting for the cleaners to clean out, so no one would kick them out.
After that he went towards the train station on a route frequented by the wealthy and well fed, near coffee shops and newsagents.
The begging was poor, but it was that time of month. That said he had enough for a coffee and a buttered bread roll from the market place by lunch time.