The Bated Ones

The Bated Ones. I’ve seen them running round the city streets, lurking under  dimmed traffic lights by the River District. They have their hands out and their heads down, tucked out of the realm of visible recognition.
“Bit of change.” This and the minimal variations are the only words uttered from their blackened unwashed bodies, day in, day out. It’s all the passersby remember hearing from them. And it’s without emotion that they speak.
Some give to them, most don’t. They’re beyond the maimed world of emotion, though. They take what they are given and put it toward the one heap of it all they’ve collected, they’ve amassed – in the effort to bring them back.
Their brethren, their crony dogs, the purged, the ostracized, the outcasts. Mangled are their faces; it’s all we’re told of them. They smell of dry lifeless harm and slither across the ground until they’ve managed to find a soul as defenseless as to allow them entrance.
But they’re not here yet. They’re waiting on the outside, somewhere. Waiting for the Bated Ones to finish their beggings and welcome them back inside.


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