The soft, orange glow of the surrounding streetlights swathed the opaqueness of the never-ending streets. Mere outlines of the near-by infrastructure could be distinguished, but nothing more; no grungy red brick, no cracking glass panes- just the delineate of what could be there. Rummaging-through-trashcan noises could be heard, stale urine and gasoline could be smelled, and a sour tinge, something the average Joe would definitely avoid, could be tasted. The poor "Anytown, America" street was anything but desirable. At least two people would go missing here on a weekly average, only to be replaced by another couple of freaks, more bent and queer than the last pair. The town council ignored this part of the city altogether, acting as if it was a mystical place of fiction, off-handedly advising newcomers to never wander into that general area- it was part of new "development"…too dangerous to be entered…much hefty and dangerous "construction equipment" scattered around.
The sunset was the only thing worth seeing in this so-called cesspool. There were no glistening, glass-paneled, high-rise buildings to obstruct and diminish the beauty of the view; there were no obnoxious billboards. The seaside was clearly visible, and when the evening began to creep around the corner, it seemed like the whole dilapidated neighborhood would stop what they would be occupied with, and just watch. They had a perfectly good reason to: the yellow-red blaze outshone the grey tones of their lives. Its brilliance provided more security than the dim streetlights ever could. To these hibernating people, the temporary leaving of the sun was like one of the World Wonders- much more enticing than any Sphinx or Niagara Falls-esque body of water.
Despite this nook's flaws, Samara found this place to be a haven, not just because of the mesmerizing sunset. Her business could be done with no nosey and conniving authority, and nobody looked back twice at her strange appearance. Everyday, she was thankful for these perks. Living the life she did, the smallest favours or spurts of luck were enough to keep her satisfied. Thanking whatever higher power helping her for the umpteenth time that day, Samara drew in the last of her cigarette. She looked at the small, extinguishing butt, and tossed it to the sidewalk. Automatically, her booted heal came down on the little mass of toxins, and squashed it as one would a cockroach. She exhaled, and the usual stinking cloud of smoke appeared. Brushing her greasy, black hair out of her eyes, Samara slung her backpack back over her shoulder and trudged towards the late night bus stop. She needed to get to the next town over- she had a job to do, one that would pay pretty damn well. Her mediocre job at SpeedySub could barely support the three-pack-a-day habit she mothered.
The bus stunk of refuse and sweat; Samara was repulsed but knew she couldn't back out because of a rank means of transportation. Pursing her lips, she found the nearest available seat. The worn, brown leather sunk in when she sat down, and emitted a low hiss, that sounded rather like something flatulent. A portly man in a PVC leather jacket turned to look at her with an expression of disgust. Samara stuck her tongue out at him and turned away. He shook his head and his seat squeaked as he settled back into it.
"Kids these days…no manners, no respect…no goddamn respect." He muttered loud enough so Samara could here. Unfortunately, it caused not embarrassment, but rather amusement. A husky, low sound, something like a laugh, spewed from Samara's chapped lips. A few people on the bus glanced in her direction.
"You really think I care, old man? You've got no goddamn fashion sense…PVC at your age? Ah ha ha ha ha!" Her pasty face found its reflection in the bus window. She smirked at herself as she heard the old man cussing silently and moving to a seat near the front of the bus. Nothing could smother her contempt now; a fat wad of cash would be delivered to her the next day.
Opening her frayed wallet, she produced a small photograph of the same state. A thin, rectangular face with a tuft of thin, closely cropped, brown hair and small piggish eyes stared back at her. Her mouth twisted into a disgusted little line, but melted back to her scornful smirk. She knew this face well, and thanked it somewhat for the amount of fortune it would bring her. At once, methods of how to dispose of this blister on her foot came to mind.
"Bill Nye, you are one lucky guy…"