Her slight hand pushed the fur lapel towards her neck. Struggling to keep the chill out, the red knuckles against the frosted hue of her bare fingers lay brilliant against the black coat. The reflection of moonlight and street lamps combined to cast the wet concrete in velvet paint.

In her other hand she grasped a bottle, the bold lettering against the parchment-like wrapping glowing in contrast to the jacket nearly as much as her skin. It wasn't hard to tell by the tight grip and hurried walk that the woman desperately wanted to be anywhere other than where she was currently. The lip of her hat veiled her downward face in shadow, and her lips were drawn tightly in a flat red line.

The chill of the hour was evident in more than just the lady's mannerisms. Tourists and townsfolk alike clutched at their scarves and hats in attempts to shrug off the weather. Ice ridden streets and snow encircled sidewalks burned a fever for those who attempted to brave them. Most of all, the boldness of the homeless along the few covered walls and entrances grew steadily.

"Dollar for a coffee?"

His long beige jacket was dirty. Slush, oil, and god knew what else speckled the coat and hung in the air. For a brief moment the woman had looked up from underneath her hat, and his eye had caught hers. Her hands full with wine and collar, she paused and drunk in the sight in front of her. A tattered patchwork scarf wrapped his neck and swung in front of his chest with each burst of wind. One hand was tucked under an arm, the other outstretched towards her; the dirt on his fingers smeared the creases along his hand. No light reflecting off his hand wasn't the same glow as that emanating from her own, but a sickly jaundiced color.

She looked him in the eye. Sunken and sullen, the wind obscured them in bursts as it whipped his greasy curls across his face. The woman nodded and fussed with her coat for a moment.

"Sorry, hold this for a moment?"

Turning the bottle over to him, the woman moved aside the long tails of her coat and pulled her purse out from under them. Digging through it briefly before finding a set of bent one and five dollar bills. Delicately extracting one, she set reached out and accepted her bottle back and handed him the five. He made a sort of short curtsey and smiled apologetically in shame.


Turning on her heel she continued walking away. One eyelid lowered slightly as her brow furrowed and she looked at the Austrian wine's label. With a shiver, she clutched her coat around her again and hurried up the street. Aiming for the warmth of her home as she hoped the man found a warm cafe to take refuge in as the storm clouds circled above.

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