Smoke and Mirrors

The orphanage on Orange Street was burning. Again. Trin watched the flames lick their way through the smoke surrounding the decrepit pile of a place with a lop-sided smile. This could become a habit. He patted the lump where he'd jammed the coins into his coat-lining. It was foreign currency, but it would get him something to eat, possibly a place to stay. With luck, it'd be a warm place. One without bugs.

The last of the children were rounded-up. They practically ran onto the carts and wagons his employers had brought along. A little coaxing was all it took to convince the others to get on-board. A few of the older ones had run off at the first sign of trouble. Frightened hares. They were too wary, too aware of their situation to hang around when things went bad. He'd been like that once. Before Kasker caught him.

Trin wiped his cheek with a smoke-stained sleeve. The smoke was acrid. Made the eyes run. Everyone knew that.

The wagons were moving out. That part was over now. For him.


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