Author's Note: Yes, I'm starting some sort of new fic thing. I already have one of these for my Inuyasha account (user id: cursetheflame) called Facile comme la Vie; now I've decided on one for Newsies. Basically what this is is a collection of drabbles and one-shots – hopefully 1,000 words or less – written for this fandom. I needed inspiration due to sever lack of creativity and I figure this collection would be perfect. However, like always, I am willing to take requests on the nature of the drabble. So, if you want in, leave a review (please make sure to mention the work as well, if you would :P) with: who you want to feature, a brief description of any OC's, what type of genre as well as a hint to what you want the drabble to be about – be it a theme, a word, or a setting.
Overall, this collection will be my relief: while I'm still working away at my other fic's, I will use this to break up the monotonous of larger chapter fics. Also, I just want to see if I can write drabbles for this fandom. All of my other works are 10,000+ words. This is as much a challenge for me just to be able to keep them short and sweet.
This first drabble is one I came up with on my own. I wanted an example to show everyone (NMLer's and readers alike) what further drabbles would be like. Therefore, this one is mine :)
Title: Pulling Petals
Challenge: a word challenge – flower
Word Count: 1,130 – not bad for a first try, I'd say
As always, Stress was running late. She had stayed behind at the Bottle Alley Home for Girls in order to help the elderly matron, Mrs. Cook, strip the beds. Then, when she had finished, she had ran down to the distribution center with the hope that she hadn't already missed the newspaper sales.
She made it on time but only just; she had enough money to buy thirty papers but came away with only twenty. She shrugged and looked around for a familiar face. There was not one to be seen.
Tucking the stack of papers under her arm, Stress decided to head off to Central Park to sell her papers. She always found it soothing to walk amongst the flowers and the trees; it was very easy to imagine that she was far away from the Manhattan streets when she was resting atop the grassy area. Besides, it was very easy to sell papers to the Park's visitors. And, of course, she was sure to run into a bunch of her fellow newsies making the best of the selling spot.
The distance between the distribution center and Central Park was not that much and she spent the half-hour long walk wondering just where Jack had wandered off to. He usually waited for her after he bought his papers, regardless of how late she was. But he hadn't been there today.
She shook her head and, using the arm not holding her papers down at her side, she pulled her grey cap down to keep her long mahogany curls in place. He must have a good reason to have run off without her. He probably just went and sold the morning edition with Dave today, she thought. I'll meet up with him later to sell the evening version of the World She nodded and accepted her own fabrications as truth; what other reason could there be? Temporarily appeased, she turned her thoughts to more pressing matters, like what was she going to do for dinner that night. Twenty papes mean an empty stomach if I want a roof over my head tonight…
When she arrived at the Park, Stress pasted a grin onto her tanned face, urging herself not to worry about things she couldn't control. After all, it wouldn't be the first time she went hungry – and it wouldn't be the last. But, who knows, maybe I can charm some customers and get an extra nickel, she thought and approached the first people she encountered. It was a young couple in their early twenties, neat and well-dressed, sitting on a nearby bench and looking very pleased at each other's company.
She interrupted their private whispers with a polite cough. "Would you care to buy a paper today?" She coughed again, and made it sound all the more pathetic the second time. The young man seemed inconvenienced but his companion wore a pitiful expression. She reached for her purse but the man stayed her hand. "Here, my darling," he said and handed her a penny. She took it with a thankful smile and turned to offer it to Stress.
Stress took it and tried to do a curtsy. She nearly toppled over at the awkwardness of the gesture but felt she couldn't leave them without showing that she wasn't deserving of pity. She just wanted their money. She separated a single paper from her stack and handed it to the girl. "Thank ya, miss," she added before starting to walk away.
As she made her way deeper into the quiet of the Park, she thought of the way the man treated his companion. Without a second thought he gave up his penny so that she wouldn't have to. Now, why doesn't Jack do that for me? The answer to that was simple enough; he just didn't have it to spare.
Her thoughts were interrupted when she spied a single flower growing amongst the grass. It wasn't, by far, the only plant amongst the sea of green, but it's white and yellow coloring stood out against the field of dandelions and other weeds. It was a daisy.
Of all the flowers in existence, Stress had always adored the daisy most of all. It was a simple flower and seemed to wave in the brief summer breeze. She reached out and plucked it easily. It was beautiful.
She placed her stack of nineteen papers down and sat upon them. Twirling the stem of the flower between her fingers, she remembered something she had seen her mother do when she was still a small child. The daisy, her mother explained, was a magic flower. It told you when someone loved you even when you did not know yourself.
She had never had need to trust in the daisy's magic before. Maybe she would use it now. Lazily, she pulled at the first petal of the daisy. "He loves me…"
Then the second. "He loves me not…"
And, in that way, she continued until there were only three petals left. "He loves me…"
Surprised, she glanced up. Jack was there.
"What the hell are you doing down there?" He walked over to her and, stretching out his hand, he offered to help her to her feet.
Still clutching her daisy, she accepted his help and stood beside him. He bent down and retrieved her papers and added them to his own stack, one that was much smaller than hers. While she had been playing in the Park, he had actually been selling.
"Nothing, Cowboy," she answered, sullenly. She didn't need to pull the remaining petals. She knew the answer by his attitude already.
Jack shook his head but lost the annoyed expression. Instead he smiled. "Come on. Let's go get something to eat. We'll sell the rest of these on the way back."
She started to protest. As it was, she had only sold one paper that day – and only had nineteen left to sell. How could she afford any sort of lunch that day?
He held up his hands before careful slinging one around her shoulder. "Don't worry, Stress. My treat."
Blushing slightly, she allowed his arm to remain there as they began to walk out of the Park. As they walked, and Jack explained how he had gotten an early start to the day in order to sell all the more papers and how he had found her lazing about because Race had spied her walking towards the Park, Stress adopted a genuine smile on her face.
She still held that daisy in her hand, the last three petals still clinging on dearly. With a laugh, that Jack looked at her questioningly for, she tossed it behind her. She didn't need to pull the remaining petals.
She already knew the answer.