“Life on the rails is the life for me!” you cry, clicking your heels and making for the train tracks.
Eventually you hear the chugging of an engine up ahead. You grin and increase your pace, weaving delicately through trees and leaping into
an open boxcar with a whoop. You come sliding in and come to a stop
just in front of a group of filthy bums, a few of whom glance, uninterested, in your direction. The bums say nothing. One scowls and waves you away dismissively. Another snorts, spitting into an old soup can which rests on his knee. A third giggles politely and bows his head. And still another mutters and picks at some scabs on his arms. The rest of the bums are fast asleep.
“Hey!” you scream, pumping your fist in the air, “Hey!”
“Mmphmm…rpphhrr…pantsuits…designer label after all…” One of the sleepers remarks.
“Hnnnggg.” Another adds.
“Spt.” Goes the spitting bum.
“This is a fine how do you do,” you say, “I’ll teach you people some respect.” As you say this you rush over to Spitty and knock the can from his knee, sending it skittering out the open door of the train.
“My spittin’ can!” he cries, standing and bulging out his chest.
The rest of the bums leap to their feet as well. They encircle you, snarling menacingly and brandishing rotted boards and rusty bicycle chains. The stench is overwhelming. You drop to one knee and whip a penknife from your boot.
“Bring it on you bastards!” you cry, slashing the air madly.
The battle is cruel and bloody and lasts out the night. You put up a good fight, but you underestimate the fortitude of the homeless. The last thing you ever see is Spitty’s toothless grin as he towers above you with a length of heavy lead pipe clutched in his hands, and the line of drool hanging from his lower lip.