Fire Escape

Sam sat on the fire escape. He swung his hairy bare feet. Ma and Pa were arguing inside.

The little boy looked up. Above the alley, way up, was the ceiling of the Underground. The glowing lights of the city bathed the rocky ceiling flashing multicolored lights. Sometimes the shadows played tricks on Sam.

He kept seeing monsters.

Maybe there really were monsters.

Ma called Pa, “Useless and a liar!”

They lived on the third floor. Sam gripped the bars of the fire escape as he swung his legs. He was seven.

He wished it wasn’t so dark here. He didn’t like the smell or the food.

He missed the sky.

He got sick a lot more here. He had to stay home last week.

Doctor said he needed vitamins and time under the lamps.

Sam sighed.

Pa called Ma, “A leech who just watched TV!”

Someone across the alley threw open their window. A big eared goblin with a scrunched up face opened his mouth to yell at Sam’s parents to be quiet.

When the bat-faced goblin saw Sam looking so glum, his lips went tight.

He gave Sam a sad smile and closed the window.

Sam sighed. Everyone is sad here.

A flying car zoomed overhead on glowing blue wheels. That’s when Sam noticed a dark shadowy figure standing on the roof above. A wide-brimmed hat covered her face in shadows but her bright yellow eyes shone through. Black fabric fell from her shoulders to her ankles. She looked like a ghost.

A dark shadowy ghost. After a moment of listening to Sam’s parent’s scream, she pulled down her shawl and gave Sam a small encouraging smile. Her long pointed teeth dug into her bottom lip.

When Sam blinked she vanished.

Sam just want to see the sky again. He sighed.