A mother, carrying her baby, strode towards a fragile and broken house that stood shattered some measure from the bush veld. Beaten by a cold breeze; she came out from the cleft structure deprived of her child as the sky deepened.
Twenty-eight years prior, a hobo came out from the same house, extending his arms outside towards the stunning, sunny morning. Abandoned, day and night, he managed to keep house; his luggage being only cans and bottles all around. This day, he passed urine over the walls and later ran in the wide countryside to complete the journey, looking forward to a bright day.
He met his chained friend across the road on his expedition and played with him, woofing robustly, before sharing his recent dry bones.
At the local town, waiting for a red robot to go green, motorists tangled with the confused hobo. When the street was clear from any cars, he decisively met his course. He bought two fat cakes and a coffee at the available store nearby. He dropped coins for the woman with a cup, chaired on a bridge’s pavement.
Before dark hours, the death hobo leaned against the park wall. The beggar woman from the bridge was done with her day and passed the death hobo one bottle for his trolley; it was their little game.
Day after, the death hobo remained immersed with newspaper pictures, reading shocking images next to the busy street. Clashing with vehicles once more, the death hobo freed some coins on his way, while the beggar woman sat with a smile, fronting the other end in the shady side of Joburg buildings.
Late afternoon, the death hobo sat down, bored to death, as always, the beggar woman crossed the same street where the death hobo kept check on her as she passed by every day.
He rose up and waved a friendly gesture with his hand as he leaned against the gate bars behind him. The beggar woman left a fresh drink over his luggage, which got the death hobo speechless.
The next morning the death hobo had his numbers, walking with every tooth flashing at everyone; a full smile. He tried to drop some coins but she pulled back the cup with a straight face.
The death hobo dropped his jaw then prolonged his hand without any response from the beggar woman, who had had enough with his coins. He looked aside, scanning the top buildings, then left his trolley, parting with the cheerful beggar.
He came back with a new cup he has just bought from the nearby store and placed it next to her mountain of coins. She was overwhelmed, viewing the full cup. The death hobo took his trolley and dragged it with some pleasure.
In the cold, the death hobo waited for the beggar woman, freezing himself far too long this time. Later he had a fire drum, which kept him warm until the break of dawn.
In the early hours, the death hobo crossed the road with his head held low and shortly got shocked screening an empty porch where the beggar women usually sat.
Later on, the traffic congestion peaked in front of him. He longed for a deep nap but in concluded not to, he took his trolley.
Serial days forgotten, sickly-looking from a corner building hoping to see her again, he leaned hopelessly against the wall, only to find the same absence of the beggar woman.
Sometimes he would open up the stone from where she used to seat on and see the R20 note he once left was still there. In the afternoon, two of his friends helped him wait for his girl, his eyes hopelessly staring without leaving the spot.
By nightfall, he got back to the same street to wait for the beggar woman to pass, burning the last ashes from the drum. The bagger finally showed up dragging a huge trolley of her own. The death hobo could only hear of her presence when she stopped near him. He rose from the turf, surprised about what he saw, and she could only smile in her response.
After 2 years, the homeless lovers settled down. In the morning breeze two bodies diverged outside the death hobo’s crude house. She imitated the death hobo playfully before he ran off leaving her worried, holding on to her waist.
Later the lovebirds joyfully danced to mute speakers for mirth near a music store.
Few months later the beggar woman lead the run, pregnant with a full stomach, the death hobo trailed mimicking an injured leg.
She waited for him to catch up near her begging spot glad about her first arrival. Disapproving of his slow pace, shortly she opened up her arms gesturing a hug to let him feel her chest.
The death hobo could hear a miracle trembling in his ear and continued his steady glare, listening to his wife’s belly propel. Later his two friends, laughing at the huge stomach of his wife, welcomed the death hobo, but he could not appreciate the joke and ran off irate.
The beggar woman in her spot across the bridge rose up seeing the fragile hobo running towards her breathless. To her surprise, the death hobo ran all the way just to listen to her chest pump.
On that fateful evening, the death hobo dragged his trolley across the square market mall and saw screened images from a television playing against the window of a house system store. He laughed, looking at a husband and wife cheerful about their huge stomach, but then things got heated when the wife begun to act strange in the movie.
The death hobo got scared to death, seeing doctors rushing to help the woman at the hospital while the husband looked like someone had just died. The baby part shocked him; it howled at every direction. He then ran, leaving the trolley behind.
The death hobo ran passed the crowd and infuriated everyone. He jumped walls and climbed hills to the other side joining the long planes he used to jog.
The sunset came without breaking a pace. He then met his haunted house not far from sight. Unable to locate his wife inside his quiet den, slowly he got down on his knees.
The death hobo did not know much about pregnancies, and his beggar wife, which he thought was sick, had possible left him.
Not long, the death hobo got his courage back. He ran more miles searching for his wife and picking up the pace.
At the hospital the beggar woman had been enclosed to her ward where she delivered a baby boy. The nurse presented her infant sharing a smile. The death father finally made it to the hospital. Peacefully, they left him with his family.
In the morning, the couple got out from the gates empty handed.
The death hobo tried comforting the beggar woman, covering her shoulders in comfort but she expressed her grief and sat down in the middle of the road in tears. The death hobo could not do a thing but stare back at the hospital not too far.
Later, the death hobo went back and stole his son.
He escaped with his thumbs, he scanned for nurses making their way to their rounds before walking across patients, and eventually he exited the building.
A nurse entered the ward with a missing child and then informed the guards at the gate. The death hobo saw the two guards receiving a call while the other got out from the door to stop him.
The death hobo sprinted out across the gates with baby towels flowing, folding his child, and dashed out as the guards yelled back at him.
He kept looking back as the security van caught up with him along the road. The death hobo finally made it to town taking short cuts to curve away the chase but could not lose the guards roaming around on his tail.
Very much worn out by now, the guards finally closed in on the death hobo riding along the long street of Joburg behind him.
The two security guards shared a thumb in high spirits, but shortly a crowd of armed homeless mob came from nowhere and blocked the road.
The death hobo walked passed the mob and backwards observing his brothers standing up for him. The two guards got out yelling at the street hobos to get off from their path.
The death hobo finally arrived at his cracked house holding the young one. The beggar woman came out with sloppy eyes pulling herself with disbelief. He handed her her child and they all delighted at the other, content with it. The death hobo kissed her forehead together with the new death hobo.