Mama had told her to stay put. So stay put she did. However, it confused Vicky how her mama had cried as she ran off. But it didn't matter. Vicky was told to wait for her in the alley, so she would wait.
That had been three days ago. Many times, the little girl had wanted to go look for her mother, but the nagging order kept her in place. Just a little longer, she thought. If I wait a little longer, mama will come back. Then we'll go home. Vicky nudged a crushed tin can with her foot. She missed the doggies at home. More so, though, she missed eating. Mama said she would come back with food, and that Vicky had to be in the same place she left her. What was taking her so long? She didn't understand it, but she would be fed soon. Right?
This town is so pathetic. Valan couldn't help but think it. The city was full of people, for sure, but there wasn't an ounce of diversity. He sighed. He would stick out like a sore thumb here. Looks like I'll be moving on again. He had heard of a town to the north, much larger in size. Still, he did hate to move north. North meant cold. He never liked the cold. Valan turned his head, gazing at the town through his mirror shades. Somewhere else would have to be found. He knew he probably looked like a hobo by now, what with the lack of bathing or proper clothing, but that didn't matter. He would find a house, break in, take a shower, and hopefully get out before anyone came home. Maybe he would get lucky and find a house where a man his size lived. His unfortunate proportions made it difficult, though; long-legged and slim, the meat and potatoes part of the country wasn't very forgiving in that regard. It ended up being just another way he stood out. Maybe if he hung around gyms more often, it wouldn't be so obvious. Valan looked to the ground at his shoes. The brown suede holding the laces taut was already beginning to wear away. He would need to replace them soon. The brown suede shoes traveled along with his feet as he turned down the alley behind him. The dark would be better. Besides, gangs around here were a distant memory. He had heard of a kid shot at one of the city's parks, but that was decades ago. He could handle himself if any other trouble came about.
Valan leaned on the brick wall of one of the buildings that made up the alley, thinking back. Her dying breath had been a wish for him to run. To flee from his pursuers. If only she had known what she had done. Valan shook his head. But no, humans were mostly immune to magic. They could sense it only at certain times, and could barely practice it at all if they were even aware. She hadn't known her death would charge the request to such an extent that he couldn't refuse. There was no way for him to resist the urge to flee his pursuers. It was a command. A command he could not ignore.
Why had he been so drawn to her? Why did she seem so trustworthy? Was it her desperation? He couldn't ask her now. She was dead, just as she intended. He knew her life had been a terrible one. It was a life he himself had lived for years now. A life in which no one cared what he thought, a life that demoted him to the status of an object. Those who listened to his words only cared because of the notion that if they did, he would give a damn about them. But he couldn't. That kind of flattery did nothing for him. Perhaps someone else would have gotten some sort of enjoyment out of being told they're wonderful for absolutely no reason, but he wasn't that kind of man. In fact, he couldn't even be considered much of a man.