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There he stood, looking upon the giant buildings that surrounded him. His long, black leather coat nearly reached the ground, covering his worn boots and icy blue eyes seemed to take in everything around them as he stood on the cracked sidewalk. Underneath the heavy coat he wore, laid tattoos that seemed to weave and curve around every inch of his body. Ink replaced his skin, for they told a story, the story of his life, the story of his past and now present. On his ink-covered back, black wings were attached, folded neatly against his skin.
He turned slowly, face looking towards the heavens. Holding his hands out, he slowly walked in a circle. When he closed his eyes and his face seemed to relax, his body slowly turning in a circles. All of a sudden a smile broke across his wrinkled face, lighting up his features and revealing a set of perfectly white teeth.
His name was Joseph. Joseph Frock. He couldn’t remember when he had received that name or when he came to be here. His only memory was falling, even though his wings were spread out, ready to catch him. The wind slapped his face and bare chest. Everything was a white blur before his eyes. Then, everything had gone black.
When Joseph had opened his eyes, he was laying in a dark alley, naked and cold. He slowly stood, looking down at his body, covered in tattoos that he had never seen before. A memory of wings clouded his thoughts and he carefully reached his hand behind his back, feeling his wings. The cold cement sent chills through his body as he stood there, shivering.
It was night time. He looked up at the black sky and somehow knew he had fallen from somewhere beyond the sky, beyond the clouds. He also knew that he was freezing and needed clothes before someone saw him. Joseph decided to walk farther into the alley, hoping to find a door into an area with clothes. Arms wrapped around himself and his wings folded up against his bare back, he quickly padded down the dark alley.
Trash cans lay on their sides with garbage spilling out of them and huge trash bins overflowing with black garbage bags. Joseph quickened his pace; nervously checking behind him to make sure no one was there. Finally, he found a door that was unlocked. Cautiously, he peeked his head in, blue eyes scanning the inside of a dark shop.
“H-Hello?” Joseph’s voice cracked and sounded loud in the silent night. He waited, listening for an answer. It had to be late, for even the constant sound of traffic was silent. When he heard no reply, he pushed the door open and stepped inside. He closed the door behind him, his feet thankful for the carpeted floors.
The shop was small. T-shirts were hanging on the racks and shelves of candy bars, chips, and other snacks were next to a glass door. A camera hung in the corner with a small red light blinking in the darkness. Joseph could make out the counter and computer in the dark. Quickly, he ducked behind a rack of clothes, not wanting to be caught by the camera. It was a small shop, this Joseph did know. His stomach growled as he snatched a large shirt off from the hanger with “NY” in giant black letters. Joseph didn’t understand what the initials meant, but at least he knew he could read. Pulling the shirt over his head, he crawled in the darkest shadows, hoping to find sweatpants folded on the shelf in the corner.
His fingers dug into the carpet as he snuck along the floor, praying that the camera’s lenses couldn’t see his form in the dark. Somehow, Joseph knew it was a camera, and he also knew if the camera saw his face, he would be in huge trouble. Finally, Joseph was able to find the rack of sweat pants. He grabbed a pair at the bottom, hoping they would fit his tall frame. After pulling the sweat pants on, he grabbed a candy bar lying on the floor next to the shelf. He had an idea, but if it didn’t work, the camera would see his face for sure.
Gripping the candy bar, Joseph looked over top of the rack of t-shirts. Taking careful aim, Joseph launched the candy bar at the camera. As soon as the bar left his hand, he ducked below the rack of shirts again. A satisfying “crunch” sounded through the store and Joseph knew he had broke it. Standing up, realizing his pants were much too short, he walked behind the counter and picked up the camera, making sure it was broken.
Joseph was surprised to find himself smiling as he took multiple candy bars, 3 bags of chips, and two bottles of water from the freezers in the back. Ripping open the bag of chips, he shoved them into his mouth. Before leaving the store, he decided to grab a bag to carry his “borrowed” items. He searched for a pair of pants that were longer with no luck and grabbed a sweatshirt to cover the odd lumps he had on his back from his wings and a pair of used tennis shoes next to the glass door. They must have belonged to the shop’s owner.
Feeling relieved, Joseph walked out of the alley street and turned onto a dully lit street with his new traveling bag in hand. Joseph promised himself that he would pay back the store for the items he had taken, but for now the chips were satisfying.