“It’ll be thirty-one degrees tonight, but no rain is predicted, so the streets will likely be safe in the morning. Clear and cold, that’s the prediction for the next few days.”
Jules left the television in the store window behind, having caught the last of the weather forecast as she paused under the awning to get out of the sudden gust of wind. Cold, the girl with the too-big hair had said. More like frigid
, above freezing or not. And McQueen refused to do his business, although Weasel had done his. The dog’s badly-chewed left ear twitched as he snuffled at yet another newspaper kiosk.
She’d quit smoking for the third time - or was it the fourth? - so maybe that wasn’t helping her mood. The money she’d save might make her feel better if she thought about that instead. A bus rumbled past on the street, the lighted interior revealing commuters on their way home from work. Jules watched it turn the corner and disappear, pulled a plastic bag from her coat pocket as the pit bull mercifully elected to do what she’d brought him out here to do. The city had elected to announce a fine for keeping the sidewalks tidy, so she’d brought along clean-up tools.
Danny had once hated the winter, cold grey skies and chill in the air enough to seep down to your bones, but it had started to grown on him. It was mild for this time of year, the night hovering just below freezing and the skies clear and bright; the dim yellow light of the streetlamps helped drown out most of the stars, but the moon was there, pale and staring and nearly full. Walking helped drown out the sort of thoughts that would keep him awake at night, so when the needling little whispers would begin in the back of his mind, Danny took to the stretching his legs over miles of sidewalk.
Mild or not, the cold would eventually wear on anyone out in it, and he shoved his hands deeper into the pockets of his brown leather jacket, clenching and unclenching his fingers in an attempt to alleviate the stiffness the cold brought out in his hands. Danny watched his breath form into steam in the air, eyes following the rhythm of each exhale and not really seeing the world around him. He didn’t notice the woman and her dogs, sidestepping all three at the last moment and nearly landing himself in the gutter for his trouble.
“Whoa,” he muttered, more to himself than to the stranger, and stumbled a moment on broken pavement before righting his boots on the sidewalk.( If you treat ‘em gentle, they’ll follow you anywhere )