22 September 2011

The Ragged Stranger and The Lady

She saw him through the damp, dark air occasionally dotted by poker dots of cigarette smoke. He looked forlorn, huddled against the cold. He look worried, he looked scared. He wore a tattered suit with trousers hanging precariously around his waist. His shoes were scuffed and road weary from treading life's long, pot-holed path.

She watched as he looked at her, standing aloof in her fine coat seemingly unaffected by either the gloom or his plight. She knew he would approach. Hope and even faith, would guide him towards her. She was his last chance - his only chance.

He pulled on his cigarette, flicked it to the ground - a gesture that was more of a statement of determination than the discarding of a last cigarette.

She smiled at him, slipped her cloak beguilingly from her shoulder.

"You like what you see?"

He swallowed hard, coughed.

"Yes"

'Do you need me?"

"Yes. Yes I need you badly"

She smiled alluringly, raising the hem of her cloak a little. For a moment, the light of hope lit up his dark, heavy eyes.

"I can do so much for you" she promised, blowing him a soft kiss as a sample of what she could offer.

Again, he cleared his throat. He spoke hesitantly.

"I..."

"Yes?"

"I....have nothing but what you see upon me. My pockets are empty, but so is my heart. Please can you help?"

She pulled the cloak back around her shoulders.

"In that case, I can not help you. What I offer does not come cheaply"

With head hung low, he turned and started to shuffle away. It was always the way for the likes of him.

He heard another set of footsteps. Louder, more confident. He heard the sound of laughter. He turned and saw her - laughing. So too was the man who had now joined her. He recognized him. A fine, upstanding man. A man of fine suits and a bulging wallet.

He took her arm.

"Come with me my dear, come with me" he urged. She laughed and hooked her arm in his.

The stranger stood, watching and listening as arm in arm, they walked away towards a mutually beneficial union.

"What's your name?" the man asked, though he had sought her out and knew quite well. She turned to him and smiled.

"You know my name, you just like to hear me say it" He smiled mischievously in response.

"Say it my dear, just say it". She kissed his cheek and whispered in his ear - a whisper that needed no amplification for the Stranger to hear.

"They call me - Lady Justice"

The Stranger laughed with irony, turned and continued his journey alone.

Wherever you may be - be safe
Copyright Mike Hitchen Online, Lane Cove, NSW, Australia. All rights reserved