Desperate Attempts at Living

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CHAPTER ONE

"Damn it!" I cursed as I tripped into the gutter, just like my usual clumsy self. The precious piece of bread I'd been holding was now soaked with gutter water and tears threatened to escape my eyes as I lay sprawled on the side of the road.

Passers by made sure they skirted right around me. No one wanted to be involved with someone as grotty looking as me, especially not now since I was practically crying over a wet piece of bread. I regained my composure, pulled myself up off the ground and scowled at the sopping slice in my hand. Nothing was going right for me lately. My parents were dead, their house had been sold and no one had bothered to care about the fifteen year old mess my life had now become.

Basically, I was homeless.

Only a day ago, I'd been hanging out around the local shopping centre in the late afternoon, as my parents had been out at some party getting drunk as usual. I had been completely bored at home on my own, and after struggling to read one of my family's few books, I'd decided to go out. If it had been up to me I would have called up a couple of girlfriends and gone to a movie or something but to be honest I didn't have any friends. Any respectable parent who cared about their child's reputation didn't let them hang out with Destiny Rowland (that's me), the daughter of the good-for-nothing town drunks. So like I said, I was just hanging around, looking through shop windows half-heartedly at things I couldn't afford, for the simple reason that it was better than being at home. My home town was a lot smaller than some, so naturally I ran into people I knew at the shops. Some of them would eye me warily and then bustle away hurriedly, but others, usually girls, would giggle at my cheap, unfashionable clothes, and obvious friendlessness.

Yeah, I had a great life.

Around six thirty I decided to head home. Mum and Dad would probably be there by now, hopelessly drunk of course, but still there. As I stepped out of the shopping centre into the relentless shower of rain, I sighed at the prospect of having to whip up something for dinner for my hopeless parents, who had never themselves bothered to learn to cook, and yet still expected me to be an expert at it. I trudged through the mud, occasionally kicking at the curb dejectedly. As I approached the end of my street, I could see quite a commotion up ahead, a removal van in front of one of the houses around mine, people moving furniture, as well as a black car parked there. It doesn't sound like that much of a fuss, but in the rain it definitely was loud and frustrating to watch, even from a distance. Through the downpour, I noticed a tall man in a black hat walking in my direction. He looked like he was heading for me, but why should he? It wasn't like he should care who I am.

As the man drew closer he yelled at me through the rain.

"Are you Destiny Rowland?"

Oh no.

Horrible thoughts started to swirl around my head. What had my parents done now? Lost the deed to our house and belongings in a bet? Sold me as a slave due to some alcohol crazed hallucination? It might sound silly to think stuff like that but I personally wouldn't have put it past them.

I realised that the man was now in front of me, carrying a small bag and waiting for an answer.

"Yeah I am." I replied dryly. "What of it?"

The man, from what I could see, looked highly offended by my response.

"Well, that is no way to talk to a government official!" he remarked pompously, gripping his jacket collar and looking down at me.

Crap, an official, were my parents in jail?

The government official man sighed at the obvious fear on my face and steeled himself for something.

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