The Drifter | Teen Ink

The Drifter

September 19, 2008
By Stephanie Jones BRONZE, Boise, Idaho
Stephanie Jones BRONZE, Boise, Idaho
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

As Daniel walked towards the tree with falling leaves, he thought about the way everything is in one huge cycle. He thought about trees. The way the leaves bloom then fall to the ground, get stepped on, swept up, and thrown into a muddy dumpster. Then the tree freezes in the winter, only to bloom again and have the cycle repeat. His life wasn’t like that. He wasn’t a normal kid. His mom had committed murder and she was sent to jail for life. His dad had been the one she killed. Daniel was a drifter, a leaf blowing around throughout the windy world.

So far, in the last hour, he had gambled and won three hundred and seventeen dollars. Enough to pay for three weeks worth of food. He saw a running motorcycle. It’s not like he had one. He didn’t even know how to drive one. It would be so easy. Just ride off. And I don’t have much time. Ugh. Come on. You snuck into a casino this morning. You can do this. He thought to himself. Daniel ran forward, jumped on the bike, and rode off, free of the world, the stress and everything! He sped at least thirty miles over the stupid speed limit. He raced into the alley behind the nice house.
He was only fifteen, and the alley behind the nicest house in the neighborhood was his house. The snooty rich people that lived there threw out lots of expensive food. Even though it was kind of old he still ate it. They also threw out lots of clothes and blankets and comforters. He was thinking of moving to a different city. He was sick of stupid Las Vegas. He would just move to New York City. But how would he make money? Robbery? No. A job? He can’t work until he’s sixteen though, and where would he work anyways? A Coffee shop? He decided to stay in Las Vegas until a few weeks before his birthday. That was about six months from now. He had lived in Vegas for about a year now. He had stayed there longer than any other place. He hated gambling too!
So how would he get to New York? His motorcycle would carry everything. He was only taking a couple blankets, a few pairs of ratty clothes and the three hundred dollars he had won. He went felt bad about stealing the motorcycle but what was he supposed to do? So he started throwing stuff away slowly by placing it all in the dumpster he found it.

Two Months Later...
Daniel snuck into the casino by stealing the license of someone that looked like him. Dark hair, green eyes and high cheekbones. He left the casino and snuck back a few hours later. The guy might be back tomorrow and if he was Daniel would just walk up to him drop the license, tap his shoulder and say ‘I think you dropped this’
He used the license to get in. He brought a couple dollars and a few quarters. He went straight for a slot machine someone just left. That was the best way to win with slot machines. Steal one someone else had been using. After about three quarters he won the jackpot. He played blackjack next.
Daniel walked out of the casino with five thousand dollars cash. He hated gambling so much. He couldn’t understand why some people thought it was fun to spend hundreds in a hotel and on gas and in the casino for fun. Some people, just like him could hardly get by without having to add gambling to the load they had to carry.

He decided to leave four months before his birthday because in the Luxor Casino, he won five thousand dollars by playing blackjack and the slot machines. He got to New York in about a month. It took him a long time because he had to find places to sleep, food to eat and money to spend. When he found an alley he felt relieved. He fell onto the comforter he brought and slept for two hours. He counted the money he had left. Between food, gas and water, he only had four thousand left. He didn’t stay in hotels and ate two fast food meals a day. He could get through two months now that he didn’t have to buy five-dollar-a-gallon gas. He walked down the street with the rest of his money in pocket. He walked down a lonely alley and saw a big guy come towards him with a gun.
“Give me your money! All of it!”
“Here! Take it! Take it all!” Daniel ran down the alley. He only gave the thug half of the money. The thug didn’t know. It was only the second time he had been mugged in his life. He heard a scream. It sounded just like the mugger. Followed by three gunshots. He got out of there quick. He called 911 with the nearest payphone.
“911 what’s your emergency?”
“My name is Daniel and I heard three gunshots down the alley off of 5th Street. I just got mugged and I heard the mugger scream.” He heard sirens wailing.
“Two ambulances are on their way. Please try to stay on the line. Can you tell me anything else?”
The police arrested him for murder.
“I didn’t do anything! Let me go!”
“This is just a holding cell. Were going to let you go with a five hundred dollar for finding that mugger reward unless we find you guilty. We’ve been trying to catch the mugger for a while now.” The policeman said.
“Ok. Thanks.”
Daniel realized he would make it. He wasn’t going to die or starve or anything. He got a well paying job as a taxi driver, and eventually rented an apartment that was small but good enough for him. He lived until fifty seven and died in a motorcycle accident.

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