The street was littered and unkempt, and my heart thundered as walked down it quickly, my eyes darting back and forth, taking note of every face.
It took me a moment to spot him, a wiry man with curly dark hair in a threadbare brown jacket, patched at the elbows. There in his buttonhole was the blue paper flower that marked his profession. He wasn’t my usual—my usual was captured, or killed maybe, by now, though I pushed the thought away. I hated going up to strangers. No one liked it nowadays. But there was no choice in it for me today.
As I got nearer the man, I made the sign that I wanted to make a transaction—I took my hat off and rolled it in my hands. I only ever wore a hat to take it off as a symbol.
The man crossed my path, casually. “So, you’re a new one, are you?”