The city of Meaton, which earned it’s place as the state capital, is usually quite bustling with all sorts of business and entertainment. It’s an expensive, extravagant city with busy days and and even busier night life. People often set out to Meaton to make their mark in the “New Country”. But since the city is crowded enough as it is, they’re often met with disappointment and the apathy to leave.
Daniel learned quickly the difficulty of this city the moment he set foot into it’s perimeter. Largely ignored as crowds of people from all directions had something to do and somewhere to be. But Daniel knew that his time in the city was going to be limited, and the act of getting home was far more important to him even though a part of him wanted to shout for some sympathy over the recent events of having a run-in by an enormous jackal.
Perhaps the easiest ticket home for him, was to take the train. Rather, it would be the case if he had the money to get the ticket in the first place. His hands fidgeted through all of his pockets pulling out no coin, as he realized that he couldn’t gather the funds to board the train.
What was he to do? He certainly did not feel adventurous enough to stowaway. The way he was raised, made him think otherwise. Even though Daniel can admit to being a wet-blanket when it comes to having an adventurous attitude, He did not want to sift through anymore trouble, in fear that it would take him even longer to get home.
His best option at a short notice was to wander the streets, looking for any odd job he could take, and raise enough to get a ticket back home to Harbourstone.
“Do you know where I could find a job board?” He kept inquiring to passersby, but nobody gave him the time of day. Businesses shrugged him away as job after job was already filled. Even the street beggars would heckle him at his attempts.
It would have all seemed hopeless if it wasn’t for a man in a uniform not like that of the Military grabbing his attention, quite literally. As the man put his hand on Daniel’s shoulder and turned him around.
“Excuse me,” said the man as he glanced Daniel over, “You look like you’ve been through quite a mess, young man.”
“You don’t know the half of it sir.” replied Daniel, a bit anxious.
“Tell me, why are you bothering for a job in such a hole as this?” The man seemed to be quite expressive with his hands when he spoke.
“Well sir, I’m a far way from home without any coin in my pocket. It’s my intention to make enough to take the train home.”
“Where is home, then?”
“Currently Harbourstone, thanks to some recent events.”
“Hmm,” was the noise the man gave, making him seem as though he’s interested in Daniel, “This city, has had it’s fair share of hobos that come and go. Would you not join the ranks of them for a ride home.”
“That sort of thing doesn’t cross my mind. I suppose it’s the reputation of my family that precedes me, Raised proper. To work hard.”
“Aha, the wealthy youth and their high moral standards. Clearly there’s not much you know about the world around you.” Normally the man would be right and Daniel compiled for the sake of conversation.
“I suppose that’s true,” Though in retrospect with the events that took place, Daniel had a feeling he’s experienced more than most would ever dream about, “but I’m good for any sort of job.”
“I’sat so? Come by the docks, at midnight and you may earn yourself a free ticket home.”
The man walked away, without any more detail on the matter. Just a time and a location. But it didn’t seem to bother Daniel in the slightest, but it did make him wonder of what kind of jobs happen so late at night in such a busy place.
With all that free time on his hands, Daniel built up high expectations for whatever kind of job it could be.
That evening, he went out to the docks just as suggested. using the lamp posts as a means of guidance in the darkness, as a mist was floating off of the water’s surface. Surely enough, the same man from earlier stood at the dock and waited patiently, arms crossed behind his back. Still and silent looking out toward the ocean.
As Daniel walked up to him, the man was quick to respond to his footsteps.
“It looks as though I do not need you after all. There was a boat that was supposed to arrive, but as you can see there is no boat here. Definitely puts us in an awkward situation.”
Daniel gave a heavily disappointed sigh, and again the man responded. “Mayhaps this is for the better. Some things are fine being lost at sea I guess.”
“What am I supposed to do now? how will I get home?” Daniel scratched his head.
The man turned around a stuck a hand into his breast pocket, “ Though there was nothing for you, I went through the trouble.” A ticket for the train was put into Daniel’s hands.
“For me sir? I thank you but… I mean… why?”
“It’s nothing. I had to buy the ticket before the station closed, you were going to get it regardless. It just happened to be a little easier to obtain tonight.”
Daniel gripped the ticket and bowed. “Thank you again, but forgive me… I do not know your name.”
“Malto.” spoke the man. “And before you ask what kind of work it was going to be, I wouldn’t worry about it. But it’s the kind of stuff that most people never think about.”
“Dare I ask?”
“You may dare, but it’s not my place to answer unless you’re willing to live with it.” Much like their first meeting, the man begins to walk away leaving Daniel to his own devices. “The train leaves early tomorrow, I do hope you make it in time. Our paths crossed by strange chance, and who knows if they will again.”
When Malto was at a far enough distance away, Daniel jumped and clicked his heels together out of sheer joy, or perhaps disbelief that it was too good to be true. The latter was almost an option as the rocky-ness of the dock almost made him lose balance upon landing.
Thankfully there was no catch, or sudden trouble. A warm feeling came over him, knowing he was going to enjoy a warm train ride back to Harbourstone.