I is for Indigent



She pushed her cart every day up and down the streets of the small town.  If you asked the town leaders, they’d probably deny a homeless population.  However, Ingrid would beg to differ.  After years of struggling to fit in, she walked out of her life around five years ago.

Mark had once again come home to find the house in disarray and Ingrid practically comatose from the meds the doctor had her on.  Sighing, he began to straighten the room.  He didn’t know how to reach her when she got to this state.  She was so out of reach, lost in her own world.  Rocking back and forth, she rambled on about nonsense.  Thankfully, they didn’t have children, he thought then instantly regretted it.  He fought resentment.  He loved her but she was hard to love sometimes.

One day, through the haze of her illness, Ingrid saw his struggles.  Oh, Mark, she thought.  She hoped her letter would convey her love, would release him to find happiness.  Taking what little money she had stashed, she stumbled towards the bus.  The ticket to anywhere landed her in this tiny town where she disappeared among the indigent.

At one time, she considered herself intelligent.  She had a Ph.D. in Information Systems.  However, shortly after she completed her studies, she started becoming more and more confused.  The illness progressed and the treatments weren’t helping.  She felt lost, somewhere in between reality and delusion.

The cart stopped suddenly, dragging her from her fragmented memories.  Focusing on the interruption, she realized a handbag lay on the ground.  It was rather nice, beaded with a chain for a handle.  Rescuing it from the wheel of the cart, she opened it and saw that it belonged to a Beatrice Bevins.  Ms. Bea would bring sandwiches to the alleys.  She never forgot them.  How long had it been since she had visited?  The fog of time didn’t reveal any answers but Ingrid knew something was quite wrong.

Gathering her courage, she walked in a very determined line to the police station.  Looking quietly towards her cart, she sighed as she walked away from it.  Hopefully it would be there when she returned.  She entered the police station.

“Hello.  I’m Ingrid Liva.  I found this in the alley next to the library and I think it may be important.”

When they realized what she held, they began to buzz around her, some taking her statement, some seeking to discover what they could from the handbag, and others leaving to check out the alley by the library.  Ingrid was no longer invisible.


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About Denise Callaway

I started writing in the 5th grade and have folders of bits and pieces dating back nearly that far. Wonderful teachers encouraged me along the way, from allowing me to take my spelling word sentences and write a story instead to posting pictures for a free write on a regular basis. On those pictures, I often look for some obscure detail, sometimes imagined off the picture to develop into the story idea. As I grew into my teenage years, I continued to write and added poetry to my list. Throughout college and during my adult life, I've continued writing: short stories, poetry, and even a few articles for Yahoo! Voices before they shut down that venue. I do have longer works in process and I hope to one day unveil them to you all. Until that day comes, I hope you enjoy these tasty tidbits I delight in sharing with you.

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