Sally, Part 27
Before he left the ship he grabbed some of his sacks and what belongings he could. He debated taking his stock pot, but couldn't figure out a reason why he'd need to take that into the city. He'd just have to buy a new one when he got the money.
As he walked off the ship he felt as if eyes were constantly fixed on him. His mind told him that was ridiculous, but his heart lurched a little at every seagull and bell. Each step was a labor, as he tried to make each one look 'natural,' which, as everyone who's tried knows, is just about impossible. Finally, he left the docks and headed toward the market. It wasn't his destination, but at least heading that way might shed whatever suspicion people might have gotten by his odd way of walking.
It had been a couple of years since he was last in Andrill, but hoped that Sally wouldn't be too hard to find, and that his little mother wouldn't be too attached. Stacey first went to the little hole in the wall that was the little girl's home. He knocked on the trick door and waited. At first, he thought he'd get some strange looks from adults, but he didn't. It seemed as though odd was the way of the district and knocking on sides of houses was normal. Stacey didn't hear anything, but tried knocking again. Still nothing. Perhaps she's gone looking in garbage cans. Stacey set out to look behind inns and grocers, but found nothing, except for the occasional swarm of rats feeding on cockroaches.
Next, he thought he'd ask children, but the few he found ran from him. He tried asking a few adults, but quickly found out that the adults never paid any mind to the children on the streets. Feeling a bit dejected, he went back to Sally's residence, and found a couple of children opening the door to it. Stacey asked them if they lived there. Tentatively, the oldest boy explained that they did. Stacey asked if they knew where the previous residents had gone. The boy stared at him a moment, "They're dead, sir."
Stacey could feel his stomach empty. "Dead?"
"Yes, sir. They got real sick and died. We took both their bodies to behind the inn over there."
"Dead." The boy said something else, but Stacey couldn't hear it. His head was under water, and the hollow of his stomach was growing. Sally had been what he was living for. Sally was his reason for wanting to be free. What would he do now? Where would he go?