Friday, September 21, 2007

The Friday Challenge

Whoa, we got some good ones for last week's challenge. I'm going to have to think a little bit more before deciding, so winners to be announced slightly later. (And if any of you would like to vote for your favorite entry, that would also help me out.)

In the meantime, here's this week's challenge.

It's tonight: Friday, September 21, 2007. You're part of a church group that does volunteer work at a homeless shelter, and your group is taking the 6pm to midnight shift tonight. It's a overflow shelter; the adult men and real psych cases end up somewhere else, and this shelter, in the basement of an old church in a lousy part of town, gets the women with young children and the occasional pre-teen runaway. Your job is to feed them dinner, help the moms take care of the kids, maybe read to the little ones for a bit, maybe watch a Disney video with them, and mainly to get them settled in for a safe night off the streets.

Things are going along as normally as can be, under the circumstances, until one of the other volunteers points out this lone kid who's sitting off in a corner, huddled in a dirty black trenchcoat three sizes too big, and frankly, creeping everybody out. "You're good with kids," someone says. "You try talking to him." So you wander over, checking him out as you go, and the closer you get, the stranger he looks. For one thing, he's wearing these silly green slippers that are just hopelessly wrong for the weather. For another, there seems to be the remains of some sort of green Halloween costume under the trenchcoat. You try to say hi, but he just shakes his head and looks away. And that's when you catch a glimpse of those pointed ears under that greasy, filthy blond hair, and suddenly, it all clicks together.

"Peter?" You say. The kid reacts as if hit with an electric cattle prod. "Peter Pan?" And that's when he turns, and looks you right in the eyes, and starts to open his mouth to speak...

What's his story?

As always, the prize is either a signed copy of Rebel Moon or what's behind Door #2, and you have until next Friday to post your entry. Ready? Go!