Disclaimer: All character's including plot and whatnot belong to me…and no, you may not use them.

Author's NoteAlright, this'll give people a better understanding of the way I "really" write.

Quand Il Pleut

Johnny raised an arm above his head, wetting his baked to crust lips along with the roof of his mouth, tasting the tasteless sour of the coat of sweet scum over his teeth.  His eye lids moved upward and revealed his dusty gray eyes that brought into his sight the squalid view of the stained yellow ceiling filled with broken textile bumps and a lost roach in desperate search of its colony.

After watching the roach wonder around aimlessly ineffectually on that maze of a ceiling, he pulled himself up and let his feet fall heavily to the floor with a dull thud.  He stayed like this for a while, his clouded eyes scanning the state of the front room while his hands rested in his lap.  There wasn't much in the room save the couch he had slept on and a small night stand in a crooked corner near the front door that was the only door, positioned a bit off center on the front wall in the front room.  Littered throughout the ground were several people he didn't know, all wearing the same haggard look associated with poor hygiene and wild life styles.  Some were leaning against the wall with their small bags of possession grouped about them while others lay with a small bundle under their head for comfort, asleep and seeming to want to stay that way for eternity.

The shack he had spent his night in wasn't an old house, yet only looked so due to the fact of all the activity that took on its premises: drug deals, prostitution at one time, murder at another, and finally, just a shack there for himself and anybody else that needed a place to sleep at on any given night.  Leaning back against the greasy food stained couch decorated with last night's cold delivery of a meat lover's supreme pizza complete with the extra topping of pineapple Johnny let his head fall back onto the torn pillows of the couch, finding himself staring, once again, at the ceiling.  His adams' apple moved up and down slowly as he swallowed his dry saliva, finding himself thirsty for some type of liquid.

Scratching the top of his head, he rolled the left over bits of unchewed pineapple and sausage bits around in his mouth mixing it in with the thin stale coat of plaque over his unbrushed teeth, finding himself frowning at the taste; but with thinking nothing of it, he hauled his small frame up from the couch, subconsciously scratching his crotch as he sluggishly walked the short distance to the bathroom easily avoiding the still sleeping people hanging about.  He stepped into the bathroom slowly, his eyes running the small space down as he shut and locked the door behind him, finding the room to be elaborately decorated with stains of unknown substances, month old tooth paste escaped from its tube, cut hair, food particles, and soiled undergarments and clothes.  The stench was unbearable, but somehow, he managed to pull himself together, and walk over to the toilet, lifting up the top only to find what he suspected all along: it clogged and not the least bit plunged.

He frowned again, looking away from the tainted water as he let the top slide out his gritty fingertips and back onto the dirt stained rim, landing crookedly on the seat.  Seeing how there was nothing else to do, he left the bathroom and trudged towards the small night stand picking himself up a cold slice of last nights dinner for the small house and then a pack of cigarettes and lighter he was sure was someone else's.

As he pushed open the lightweight door, he stepped outside cautiously shielding his eyes suddenly from the sun as the rays bared down heavily into his weak pupils. 

The scene of the neighborhood was the same: kids screaming as they attempted to play basketball with a too flat soccer ball and a sorry excuse for a hoop whose netting was all gone and metal ring broken in half, the after math of the kids mistaking the hoop to be able to hold their weight as they tried to dunk shots.  People walked the streets in long pants and bright colored coats, guaranteed to be products stolen from a near by super center.  As chilling wind swept through the streets, the pedestrians pulled their coats tighter and quickened their pace to their unseen destination. 

Johnny squinted his eyes, the wind rustling his shirt sleeves as he continued walking on the small porch towards his favorite chair, an old split wood rocking chair whose seat had given way last week and had to be "tidied" up by duck-taping the wood strip woven seat back to the chair and placing a towel over it to hide the blue-grayish dots that marked the arrival of mold coming home to settle in.  As more wind swept through the neighborhood, Johnny shivered slightly, getting over it quickly as he began to tear at the cigarettes' wrapper, pulling out a single and placing it between his lips.  He sighed deeply as he lit the cig, feeling the temporarily pseudo-relief the cigarette gave him as he took a small puff, letting the fumes exit through his flared nostrils.

His arm, getting tired after awhile, rested on his knee after he pulled it up for the occasion and once comfortable, he took another puff of his cigarette, sucking on it hard before he released the fumes out once again through his nose.  Pulling the cigarette from his lips briefly, he ran a hand through his disheveled hair, his face, hinting at for just a second, the sorrow and pity he felt, not only for himself, but for everyone else that seemed to be in his same pit.  Removing his hand slowly, he eyed a familiar car headed in his direction.  As the vehicle slowed and parked a few houses down, a man, seeming of the type to be quiet and subdued, stepped out.  His walk towards the front gate of the small shack's ground being fast while his head cocked itself in all the directions while his briefcase swung wildly at his side.

The two made eye contact.

The act seemed to calm the fast walked down as he turned into the rusted green gate and let his eyes take in all the wretchedness of the run down house.

"Johnny Hamalock, how ya' been?" The man asked, his voice hinting that for the time being he was trying his hardest to sway from his accustomed habit of "proper talking" to attempt talking slang.  His head fell into a slight tilt as he spoke his words, his proper accent stinging them harshly while the sun created a glare on the rim of his glasses.  He continued to walk towards Johnny, going out of his way to over exaggerate his steps over unidentified objects lying in the tall unclipped grass that snaked up and seemed to grab at his pants legs as he made his way to the wooden stairs which seemed a shade or two cleaner than Johnny himself.

Sitting back further in the rocking chair, Johnny eyed the man quietly before turning his attention to his fingernails, noticing the stains of dirt sticking to his skin that seemed to grow two shades darker with the onslaught of each new day.  After scanning over their surface slowly, he began to gnaw at them, tasting the sweet salt bitter on his tongue.  

The man waited patiently for some type of acknowledgement from Johnny, and when he received none, he stepped up to the second step, watching askance as Johnny took a bite of the cold pizza. "Johnny. . .uh, how have you been?" His voice has lowered considerably with his second time of speaking.  He paused; his timid way of looking about him indicating that he wasn't there for mere banter and light conversation.  Johnny glanced at the man before returning back to his fingernails.  Sighing, the man lowered his head, showing his nicely combed black hair.  "Johnny. . .please. . .I don't want there to be a hard time." Johnny looked at the man once again, taking in his features.  He had a small round face with a pointed noise that curved upward, almost as if it had been pulled up and held there for long amounts of time while he was younger.  The hair that he had been combed gently across the top of his head fell out of place in nice proportion nearing his left eye and hung like a shadow over his furrowed brow, unseen as it lay hidden under his huge rimmed glasses.  His mouth was small and his lips thin; his jaw roughly outlined due to his shut mouth, held firmly together in some type of hidden anger.  The man once again sighed, gazing out at the world around him, a look of nothing but pure disgust on his face.  "I think it's been a couple of weeks…" he drew out the last word, hissing on the "s" sound as his eye lids lowered.

Setting the pizza down, Johnny picked up his cigarette and sucked on its end once more, the sides of his cheeks caving in, giving away the shape and outline of his cheekbone until he pulled the cig away, giving a reassuring nod to the man.  The smoke floated up from a crevice in Johnny's lips, yet he paid no attention to it.

"Fine, you say?" The man asked, obviously becoming impatient with Johnny's muteness.  Stepping up to the third step, the man sat down his brief case, sighing deeply now.  The distance between the two was nothing more than three or four inches, yet still the man dared to get closer.  "I, uh. . ." he paused, his mouth falling open as he stared at Johnny, waiting for a response, "thought two weeks would be enough. . .I even gave you an extra one of my own accord. . .I was hoping this would be my last appearance-."

"Ah ain't got th' money Ralphie; turn 'round an' leave," Johnny muttered, surprising himself at how dry and raspy his own voice appeared to be.  Picking up a stained blue container, he poured the distilled water in it out until the floating contents seemed to thin, then he took a swig, swished it around and let it slide from his mouth back into the cup.  Ralphie's loathing and repulsion for Johnny showed more than ever as he watched on, scowling.

"No money," Ralphie finally got himself to say, nodding as he bit his bottom lip in anger, "no money. . .I thought two weeks would be enough time-."

"Well it ain't," Johnny took another puff of his cig in his same leisurely manner.  Letting his arm fall down slowly, he stared up at Ralphie, sighing.  "Look. . .ah jus' got fired," Johnny shook his head slowly as his face contorted in a grimace, "Ralphie. . .ah ain't got th' money-."

"You without a job is not my problem!" Ralphie pointed his slinkie finger at Johnny, his anger finally exploding.  "You have two more weeks. . .TWO MORE WEEKS!" Ralphie brought his finger down to his side, his eyes on fire as he glared at Johnny's rotting appearance.  He took his palm, running it roughly over his drying mouth while he ran the other through his perfectly groomed hair in an effort to compress his anger.  Picking up his briefcase, he eyed Johnny, "you have two more weeks, and then after that, you'll pay for it with your life," he swallowed hard, "I've put too much trust in you when I gave you that, I now know that it was a mistake.  My mistake. . .and I understand that, but you don't seem to get something, if you don't have that money, then I'm the one that gets his ass beat.  I will not go down for you.  Okay?" Ralphie leaned forward, his hot breath stinging the tip of Johnny's nose, "I will not go down for some stinking rat like you.  You and everybody else you have shacked up in this piece of shit are the type of people that give whites a bad name.  I will not go down for someone like you.  I will not.  Do you understand?  I've worked hard to get here.  I will not have it ruined." Ralphie spit on the rotting wood porch and turned on his heel, putting speed into his step as he reached the sidewalk, heading straight for his car.  "Two weeks!" He yelled, not even bothering to look over his shoulder as he slung his black briefcase into the passenger side and took off, his tires being heard all the way down the road.

Johnny ran a tongue over his teeth, taking another bite of the pizza, chewing it more slowly than before as the taste of it finally registered.  He stopped, the sour taste of the freezing pizza burning his taste buds as he stared off into the distance, the same careless expression on his face as before, but within his eyes were held the  pits of self-pity and a man seeking help.