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The Roost

(inspired by "Bandits Roost" by Jacob Riis)

The fog came first; wisps of the milky aura encircled the laundry above. Winnie hung her body out of the window, her undone hair falling just below the sill. The Roost was empty; it was never empty these days. She craned her neck to the left; something was moving around in the mist. A hand grasped her shoulder pulling her back into the small apartment.
“What are you doing?” Thomas, her older brother, demanded.
“What’s going on Thomas, where is everyone?” Winnie asked her voice quivering as she spoke. Thomas stood silent, his face masked by what looked like guilt.
“Something happened in the city didn’t it, that’s why everyone’s gone, isn’t it?” Winnie asked, “Someone’s coming for you?”

Thomas sat down on the dirty floor, he sighed.
“James deceived us, we went for the overthrow but the Boss and his men were already there with James, he told them everything Winnie,” Thomas buried his face in his hands, “they’re coming after all of us now.”
Winnie picked up a small sack and stuffed some food, clothing, and what little money they had inside, lastly she opened the top of the hope chest that sat at the end of her small bed, she removed the pistol that was tucked in between two blankets.
“Time to go,” Winnie said tossing the handgun on to her brother’s lap.
Thomas tucked the pistol into his coat and the two made their way to the door. Thomas and Winnie crept down Bandits’ Roost the silence was overwhelming. Footsteps could be heard coming from the mouth of the alley; Thomas shoved Winnie underneath one of the porches that filled The Roost. Winnie gasped, the person that emerged from the mist was James, Thomas pulled the pistol from beneath his jacket.
“No,” Winnie said taking the gun.
Winnie stepped out from underneath the porch. James turned at the sound his own gun trained on the seventeen year old. Winnie’s heart was beating faster than it had at any other time in her life, she couldn’t believe what she was about to do. Her finger hovered over the trigger for a moment, slowly she pressed down.



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