It was getting colder. Hugh hugged his tattered clothes closer. He would have to go across town to the charity to get some new ones soon. The new clothes normally made him itch, but at least he would be a bit warmer.
Maybe he would be able to catch Jerry before he closed he would give him some of the left over food from the day. He decided to take a shortcut down a side street. It was a part of town that was getting refurbished. Old Victorian buildings restored to their former glory. There was resistance from the local gangs, graffiti and whatnot, but most of the places had private security now. Chasing the riffraff away if their patrols spotted them.
Looking up he swore he saw a pair of eyes glinting from atop one of the roofs. Most probably a stray cat.
He had even been chased away a couple of times. He went peacefully. He didn't want to cause trouble. But that night trouble found him. It was Margret the local pimp. A woman with huge arms.
“Hugh! You get your filthy ass away from here!”
“I only have a short window of opportunity here and I don't want you ruining it,” she said coming over and grabbing him by his shirt front.
“Get off! At least I don't sell mine like you do.”
She screeched, pushing him over. “You know nothing!”
“That was uncalled for,” he said trying to pull himself up.
“Girls, there's extra for you if teach this bum a lesson.”
On his knees, Hugh, slumped when he saw them coming, he could see the pain and sense of lose deep in their eyes, besides there was no way he was going to fight girls. Covering his face he let them rain down blows on him, hoping they would tire out. A viscous blow hit him in the ribs. He wouldn't be surprised if it was cracked.
All of sudden a shrill sound filled the air. A sound that made him tremble. Just what kind of drugs were these people taking? Covering his ears he opened his eyes and watched as Magret and her girls scattered.
Hugh felt a hand on his shoulder. He expected a security guard or the police, but when he looked all he saw was a pair of large yellow eyes staring at him. He backed away a bit. The eyes tilted side to side looking at him, seeming to be satisfied it pushed something wet and gooey into his hands. It made noises with its mouth.
“You want me to eat it?”
The eyes nodded up and down.
Hugh put the gooey thing up to his face. It seemed to be a fish of some kind. A raw one.
“Thanks,” said Hugh looking to where the eyes were, but they were gone. He heard what sounded like large wings flapping off into the night.
Hugh achingly got to his feet, and hobbled down the street. Maybe if he hurried Jerry would be able to cook the fish for him.