The Great Depression
It was me, mum, dad and my little brother Joe. Dad had the best car in the neighbourhood. I didn’t get why all the adults were so fascinated by the car, but as I got into my teens it started to make some sense. He’s car seemed to have got him good attention, from the right people, and often that meant more money, and more money means mum, Joe and I can be comfortable. We eventually lived in a house with an extra bedroom that no one slept in, so Dad decided to make it a music room. I liked the piano, I was good at it, and I also became good at playing the trumpet and the flute.
I was about twelve when I noticed mum and dad were arguing more, dad looked more panicked. He never spoke to me or Joe very much, and never did sports with us much either. The next part happened so quickly, I remember it like a flash, the car was gone, and the house was gone. Then dad was gone, mum didn’t speak about him. She just told us we need to start fending for ourselves. Mum didn’t have any family, dad’s family put us up for a while, but mum kept being accused of killing their son.
‘If only you knew what your mother did’ Grandma used to shake her head at me, ‘Some women drive men into insanity. You find yourself a good wife Danny. You must find yourself a good woman.’
Living on the streets was the next chapter, I remember Grandma kicking us out. Joe got real sick, mum said he’s tiny body couldn’t handle the cold, he was only eight. Mum said at thirteen I had to be the man of the house, our small cardboard house. That is when we were not in shelters. Looking for food became my main task. It wasn’t too hard when I found people like me on the same mission, happy to share their findings with me, that is how I met Paul. Then it became difficult when the bigger people came for food, they would do anything for it. People were killed for it.
Paul became my friend, it was him and he’s twin sister Mae, they introduced riding the rails, apparently there was food on the other side for everyone. By this point my brother Joe didn’t make it, he slept and one day never woke up. Mum went into despair and she was gone a few weeks after. That was almost a year ago.
The first time is always the hardest, there are risks. Being caught, getting caught on something, losing a leg, being chased by the bulls, separating from your peers, falling off, death. Sometimes the thought of what would be better took over. This life or no life?
Paul had found the answer to that sooner than me. He was gone, just a few months after I turned eighteen. We spent four good years together, travelling up and down the country, getting into Hobo shelters (that’s what they decided to call us). I even had my first job harvesting; the farmer Mr Sleigh gave us shelter. Mae was allowed inside. We had to leave when Paul nearly killed Mr Sleigh’s son for apparently touching he’s sister. We became a family, so we stuck with each other.
The day of Paul’s death it had been too wet to sleep out, so we thought we would head to a small village we had been to before. There was no better way to travel than on a free train. The train had just left the platform, Mae, the lady, was always first, I jumped on next, although the train picked up speed we thought Paul would have caught up, he’s hands caught onto the bar, I remember him giving me the wink of victory, but then they let go. He let go, he was gone. He’s torso was crushed between the moving parts of the vehicle; he was gone before we could reach out to him.
Now it is me and Mae. I feel that it’s my duty to keep her safe. No girl should have had to watch her brother miss the train.
[Images Taken from google]
Story Mode by Piarvé Wetshi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.