Peter’s Shadow

Peter had gone looking for his friend, Franklin who had runaway from the orphanage. But, Peter didn’t know is way around the city and had encountered a vagrant that threatened to send him to the mills. Along the way he lost his shadow, MacFie that helped him escape. Alone and cold he found himself disoriented. Defeated, he sat down on the steps of a building and waited for MacFie.┬áJust when he thought he wouldn’t be found, a friendly stranger approached him and now the stranger was taking him home. In most circumstances, Peter would have retreated from the stranger, however, there was something benevolent about him. He trusted him like a friend.

“So tell me, why are you roaming the city streets this time of the night?” the stranger inquired Peter.

“I was searching for my friend, Franklin,” Peter told him.

“Why would you’re friend be doing out here?”

“He ran away.”

“Ah–that would explain it,” he said. “So you came looking for him?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Did you find him?”

“No, I didn’t sir.”

“Where do you think you’re friend went?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did he live with you at the orphanage?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Wasn’t he happy there?”

“I don’t know, sir. I -I didn’t ask him.”

“He must have had his reasons,” he nodded. “I’m sure he’ll return.”

“Will he?”

“Of course,” he said. “It was brave of you to have gone searching for him.”

“But, sir,” Peter bashfully said. “I couldn’t find him. I didn’t know where to look.”

“He can’ be lost forever.”

“Do you believe that, sir?”

“Of course,” he said. “You’ve got to believe something good will happen.”

They came to a stop in front of the orphanage’s large wrought iron gates.

“Well, here we are,” the stranger said.

That was a short walk, thought Peter.

“Nothings too far away,” the stranger smiled at him. “Well, you better go in.”

“Yes, sir?”

“And don’t you worry about your friend. He wouldn’t have wandered too far.”

Peter nodded and slowly walked to the gates. He turned around to thank the friendly stranger, but he had vanished into the night. Some people come and go so quickly, thought Peter. He pushed open the gates and slipped back into the orphanage. He quietly tipped toe to his room and laid down on his bed. Tomorrow he will tell Father Clery that Franklyn was missing. He yawned a few times and quickly fell asleep. He hand’t been aware that MacFie had returned to his side.

Peter’s Shadow

Peter didn’t know how long he had been sitting on the steps of a building when he heard someone say, “Why, hallo there.”┬áPeter looked up to see a man walking up to him. He was a tall, dressed in dark grey wool trousers and coat with a matching wool cap. Over one of his shoulder he held a stick with a bindle. He appeared friendly and Peter wasn’t afraid.

“Hallo there,” repeated the man.

Peter was dumbfounded.

“Mind if I join you?” the man said, but before Peter could respond the man sat down beside him. “Lovely night, isn’t it? I usually enjoy my walks in the moonlight myself. Do you live around here?”

Peter shook his head.

“I don’t either,” he said. “I just arrived into town actually.”

“H-how?” Peter manage to say in a whisper.

“By train, of course,” he smiled. “That’s how I get around. I’ve done it all me life. I get to travel the world, expand my horizon, as they say. I get a better view by train and it gets me around. You wouldn’t imagine the many people I’ve met along the way. Makes life much more interesting. Say, you wouldn’t be running are ye?”

“N-no,” Peter shook his head.

“Why out so late? You don’t want to worry your mother, now would you?”

“I-I don’t have a mother, sir.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. How about your father?”

Peter shook his head. “I live at the orphanage.”

“You mean the orphanage up near the church?”

“Yes, sir,”

“I passed by it as I was coming into town. You know, it’s pretty late out and you shouldn’t be out here by your self. How about I walk you there.”

Peter agreed and together they made their way up the street towards the orphanage.