Another puddle to soak the hem of my dress. It's familiar brown murk barely staining the already ghastly dark state of my clothing. A smell that could be likened to that of rotten eggs nestled inside my nostrils, and believe me, there were a lot of foul smells here, but none worse than the apparent sewage stench that the Dives pumped on us day after day. That's right, my soil coloured dress had become quite literally soiled, not with rain water, but with the stinking rich.
Trying to lay low was a chore, especially in this part of town, if I was caught out here... I'd get an earache of a lecture and a possible torture or more likely death. But when a girl's got to eat, she will step in shit to do it. And that is exactly what I intend to do, well, have done. Luckily, my height of a little over 5 foot came as a gift on this occasions as I could dip in and out of people, crawl into tight places and all sorts really. However, these god-given traits come at a price: I was easy prey. Small little girl running around the streets was bound to catch some attention, and usually of the wrong sort. Particularly when crime was at an all time high and the unlimited supply of gangs felt the need to assert their unwanted male dominance over everyone and everything that had lungs and a mind of their own. I dread to think what Kieran would do, probably jump on the band wagon and try to kill me too. Except the beauty of having him as a brother is that he'd do it alone and the old-fashioned way, carrying my head back on a stick and planting it outside our hut to ward of any predators. I'd like to think he'd be smarter than that as the blood would most definitely attract the wrong kind eyes, but that's besides the point.
Food. On basic rations of rice and the occasional vegetable from Kieran's prize garden meant I wasn't of the best nutritional value by any stretch. Oh and did I say garden, because I mean patch of weary dried grass that occasionally spat out some greens. Still, it was his pride and joy and it didn't run off on the hunt for some carbs like his endearing little sister Mary. I didn't hold a candle to the thing, although literally speaking I had tried a couple of times, just to tease him and see him flip out. Judge me as much has you deem fit, but when you live at the bottom of the biggest poshest richest estate covered in not even your own faeces, I'm sure you could understand why such things might brighten the place up a bit. Besides, it's only a bit of fun and games and it's the only form of entertainment one can get relatively easily.
I'd began making my way back now, through the littered dust streets that were splattered with horse-faced rich people turd, and probably some of our own lowy's load too. Cloth and sheets blew wildly in the breeze that had only recently picked up, making it difficult to navigate my way through the crowd of people and maintain a hold on the bread I'd tucked in the folds of my dress. My long brown hair billowed behind me as I ducked and weaved, but not in a sexy Rapunzel or fair-maiden type way, it got in my eyes and mouth and was crawling with matted and dirty locks. My mind wandered for a bit, imagining what my hair could look like if I had an older sister, intent on keeping me looking fine, instead of a bastard brother who barely tended to his own personal hygiene. The madman of the stool of which I'd stolen from was gaining ground as he parted the sea of people, pushing his gargling, bumbling bulk through. Mud and god knows what lapped up across my body and clothes as I bolted round the market knocking salesman's junk off of little wooden tables, laden with rotten fruit and silver beads. Bulky was persistent, I'd give him that, I allowed him to get close enough so that if he really stretched his huge porky fingers, he might be able to touch me, but by the state of his arthritis ridden hands, I'd call that a long shot. I darted out the way and he went crashing into a sack of potatoes, ironically, I could barely tell the difference between what was what as his bulbous body collapsed in a defeated heap. There was no time to truly admire my handy work, but I had a few extra moments to pause at the crossroad in the path ahead. My head angled to the right and as I was about to make a dash for it my eyes connected with someone who was much scarier than Bulky: it was Kieran.
It was hard to see through the dust that had been disturbed in the fall, but a towering chiseled figure was prodding him in the shoulder. I knew who it looked like, the physique struck fear and false respect into most of us, but it couldn't be, surely? If it was who I thought it was Kieran was a dead man and I might as well take my chances. I ran for it.