Author: Eruanna Undomiel PM
This is the story of the newsies strike of 1899 through the eyes of Lark, one of two girl newsies in Manhattan. Based on the orginal newsies script and is full of surprises! Corresponds with LucyofNarnia's Twinkle Troubles. 4/12/12: Revised!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Jack K. & Bumlets - Words: 2,197 - Reviews: 3 - Follows: 3 - Published: 04-12-12 - id: 8017693
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hey! So, turns out I'm not dead. But I'm a bit of an overachiever. School, plays, family life, friends, and writing are kind of hard to do all at the same time. But I am going to try to finish this story this summer. Please keep me motivated and pester me to keep writing. Anywho, I rewrote this first chapter, so don't skip it. I reread it and I had no idea where I was going with it. So, we started over and I like this version better. So, enjoy and be sure to review! Reviews will make chapter 2 come faster.
Disclaimer: Newsies is Disney's, Twinkle is LucyofNarnia's and Lark is mine.
Carrying the Banner
"Wake up, girls! Time to sell the papes! You got about five minutes!"
I was startled awake, jerked up, and smacked my head on the bottom bunk. I flopped back onto my bed, rubbing my forehead. "Okay, Kloppman, we're coming," I called softly.
A pair of feet landed on the floor near my head. "Come on, Lark!" a voice hissed. "This is gonna be the best prank yet!"
"I'm coming, Twinkle." I yawned and proceeded to drag myself out of my nice, warm bed. Kloppman, the owner of the Manhattan Newsboys Lodging House, knew how much Twinkle loved to play pranks and how much I loved to laugh. So, after a little coaxing, he agreed to let me and Twinkle wake up the other occupants of the Lodge however we pleased, provided that we were up and decent when it was time for them to get up. Twinkle and I rose five minutes before the other newsies to ensure that were ready on time.
Twinkle and I quickly got ready; each grabbed a pot and spoon from the kitchen, and quietly ascended the stairs to the boys' bedroom. As the only girls in the Lodge, Twinkle and I slept downstairs in a small side room for decency and such.
Once we reached the top of the stairs, Twinkle and I glanced at each other. Her hazel eyes were twinkling as they always did before she executed one of her pranks. Stifling giggles, we crept into the room and each stood by one of the two rows of bunk beds. I took the right and Twinkle took the left. After silently counting to three, Twinkle and I started banging our pots and walking down the row of beds, startling the boys awake. By the time we reached the end I could hardly breathe, I was laughing so hard. The varying degrees of shock on their faces were beyond what I had hoped for.
I lay on the floor giggling like a maniac, until I saw a shadow fall across my face. Blink and Mush were standing in front of me and Twinkle with mock frowns on their faces. "Whattaya think we should do to 'em, Blink?" Mush asked.
"I don't know, Mush. A punishment befittin' their crime seems a good place to start."
I tried to catch my breath. "Hey!...We did you….a favor….Now…you'll be able…to sell on time.."
They didn't really care and started advancing upon us. Twinkle and I took advantage of the opportunity and dashed away, heading for the washroom, loudly announcing our presence for propriety's sake.
I found myself wedged between Racetrack and Twinkle. Mush and Jack approached us; Mush laughing ever something Jack said. Almost everything made Mush laugh. The two boys settled in next to us and started washing up. Crutchy joined our little party at the sink, giving me and Twinkle a hug. He was Twinkle's older brother and since the two of us were practically sisters, he considered me his little sister too.
"Hey, Jack?" he asked. "When I walk, does it look like I'm fakin' it?
"Who says you're fakin' it?" Jack replied. He and Crutchy had been good friends for practically forever. They were like brothers, always looking out for each other.
"Well, the streets are fulla fakes these days, it's hurtin' the rep of genuine articles, like myself. I gotta find me a new sellin' spot where they ain't used to seein' me."
Naturally, everyone had to chime in and tell Crutchy where he could find his new selling spot. "Try Bottle Alley or the harbor," advised Mush.
"Try Central Park, it's guaranteed," offered Race. I could have smacked him. He knew Central Park was my selling spot of choice, especially now that it was summer.
"Try any bunker, bum, or barber," began Jack.
"They almost all knows how to read," finished Skittery.
Crutchy nodded thoughtfully and left to finish getting ready. The clatter in the room was getting quite loud as everyone got ready to leave, so Twinkle and I hurriedly "borrowed" Racetrack's comb, brushed our hair, and pinned it up as best we could.
I started to head downstairs to wait for the boys, but Twinkle stopped me. "Wait a minute, Lark." She darted into the busy bunkroom and returned a moment later. I noticed that her eyes were sparkling as we walked down the stairs.
"Oh, Twinkle," I sighed.
"Relax, Lark! He shouldn't be too mad."
I rolled my eyes.
Within a few minutes the boys started thundering down the stairs and we all exited the building. It was still slightly gray, but it was already warm. Twinkle and I shared a look. It was going to be a hot one.
Jack, Mush, and Crutchy were all waiting by the Lodging House as everyone left and Twinkle and I waited with them. "What's your leg say, Crutch?" Jack asked. "Feel like rain?" This was a morning ritual for the two of them.
Crutchy felt his bad leg and shook his head. "No rain. Partly cloudy, clearin' towards evenin'." Jack laughed. "Who ya sellin' wit, Jack?" Crutchy continued.
"Ain't decided yet," Jack replied. He spotted a passing wagon and the five of us climbed aboard for the ride. "What about you goils? Who you sellin' wit?"
I had arrived at the Lodging House not long after Twinkle and Crutchy. Seeing as Jack now had two girls to look after, he told Twinkle and I that if we were going to be newsies, we always had to sell with at least one of the boys.
"Probably Mush and Blink," Twinkle replied. "As always." Mush grinned at her.
"Lark?" Jack questioned.
"With Twinkle, of course!" Twinkle grinned at gave me a one-armed hug.
Jack seemed satisfied with our answers and we all lapsed into silence.
We soon passed an alley where we spotted Snoddy, Racetrack, and Boots gambling. We all hopped out of the wagon and walked toward them, Twinkle and I putting on our disapproving faces. Neither of us were enthusiastic about the boys' love of gambling.
Racetrack saw us coming and quickly scooped up the dice and tried to divert the topic by calling out, "Jack! Whattaya know, whattaya say. Got a hot tip on a nag in the fourth at Sheepshead, sure t'ing!"
"You're last sure t'ing still runnin', Racetrack," Jack replied.
Mush, the world's best audience, started cracking up. "Ya hear that? Race says sure t'ing and Jack says - ya hear what he said, ya hear it - he said…"
"We heard it!" We all yelled.
As we continued walking, Kid Blink, Bumlets, Skittery, Itey, and Snitch emerged from a side alley and joined us. "Say, Cowboy," began Blink; "I hear Medda's breakin' in a new act at the vaudeville tonight. Ya interested?"
I would never understand the boys' fascination with Medda. Yes, she was kind and one of the few people that accepted newsies into her building, no questions asked, but the boys were practically in love with her.
"Stupid question," Jack answered.
"Stupid question," Crutchy repeated.
"That an echo?" Blink asked, a teasing smile on his face. "Or is the Crip following you again?"
Crutchy started swinging his crutch around. "Yeah? How'd you like it if a crip cracked your head?"
Jack chuckled. "Better choke it, Blink, 'fore you need another patch."
Kid Blink changed topics. "Hey, who ya sellin' wit, Jack?"
"Not wit' you!" Crutchy hollered.
"Nothing personal, Blink, but it takes a smile as sweet as butter," Jack began.
"The kind the ladies can't resist," Crutchy clarified. He then briefly shot Blink a death glare, as if daring him to use that smile on me or Twinkle.
The other newsies started gathering around to hear Jack's words of wisdom and I found myself squished between Twinkle and Bumlets. Twinkle shot me a mischievous look, which I returned with a glare.
By the time Twinkle and I had finished our little silent exchange, the newsie pow-wow was over and everyone was continuing the walk to the distribution center. Just as the boys were starting to complain about the weather, a group of nuns came by, driving a wagon full of food. As the nuns passed out the food to us, they tried to tell us about Jesus. While I didn't agree with everything the nuns had to say about my Savior, I was grateful that they made sure we got something to eat in the morning.
Twinkle and I got our rolls quickly and drifted to the back to wait for everyone else. As we began to eat, I noticed a woman looking among the newsies, asking if they knew where someone named Patrick was. My heart broke for he. However, since none of us could help her, we drifted on.
Once we reached the Distribution center, the boys started grumbling about the terrible headlines. I had to admit, the headline writers for The World possessed the creativity of an ant. If it weren't for us, The World would have died long ago.
We eventually settled against the gate, waiting for them to open so we could get to work. We also waited expectantly for yet another morning ritual. Sure enough, in came the Delancey brothers, slowly walking towards us. They came to a stop in front of us, as if waiting for us to move out of their way. In the pregnant silence, Morris Delancey made eye contact with me, asking a silent question. I gave the smallest of nods.
Racetrack broke the silence by dramatically sniffing the air. "Dear me. What is dat unpleasant aroma? I fear de sewer may have backed up during de night."
"Too rotten to be the sewer," interjected Boots. "It must be…"
"The Delancey brothers!" finished Crutchy.
Needless to say, Oscar and Morris didn't appreciate that. Oscar grabbed Snipeshooter and shoved him to the ground. "Inna back, ya ugly little shrimp!" he growled.
I gave a short gasp. I loved little kids and always tried to take care of the younger newsies as best I could. I looked at Twinkle and saw that she was as horrified as I was.
Jack remained perfectly calm and helped Snipeshooter up. As the Delanceys tried to start Jack down, Race, Blink, and Mush, subtly pushed me and Twinkle behind them to make sure we didn't get hurt. Race then proceeded to ask for bets on the fight that was sure to result.
Jack finally spoke. "You shouldn't be callin' people ugly little shrimps, Oscar, unless you're referrin' to the family resemblance in your brother here."
I couldn't help but smile as the Delanceys looked at each other and then glowered at Jack.
He grinned. "That's right. It's an insult. And so's this…." And he deftly flipped off their bowler hats and started running.
As the Delanceys took off after him, we followed, thoroughly enjoying one of the best parts of the day. However, it began to deviate from its typical course. As Jack rounded a statue of Horace Greely, he ran smack into a kid about my age who had another boy following him, probably his little brother.
"Watch it, will ya?" scolded the older boy. He wasn't happy. "What do you think you're doing!"
Jack gave him a smile. "Runnin'!" and he took off.
Right after he left, the Delanceys rounded the corner and knocked the older boy to the ground. Before I left to follow the action with the other, I stole a glance at the younger boy. He was looking at Jack like he was Robin Hood and Br'er Rabbit rolled into one. I smirked and dashed off.
The chase was as entertaining as ever, until Jack suddenly tripped. Morris picked him up as though to bash him into the street. I could hardly breath. But, just as suddenly as he tripped, Jack grabbed the bars of the gates to The World and swung free of Morris' grasp.
I exhaled and began cheering with everyone else. Jack climbed high out of reach and smiled down on us all.
Please tell me what you think! I took out the song lyrics, because, unfortunately, no one bursts into full chorus numbers in real life. Review!