Spiffalicious ~ After wrestling with an uncooperative Fictionpress Edit button, I fixed that sentence. And I'll look harder for typos. Thanks!

Author's Note ~ Just a warning: some chapters might be a tad short or a bit crappy. I'll try to fix it, but sometimes I'm too tired to do a masterpiece. I try my best.

Copyright ~ Forgotten Extravagance and all of her extravagant forgetfulness.

Chapter 3 ~ The Girl in the Garbage Trow Dahlen

I'm a Crim.

I'm just gonna tell you now, raw and right to the point, before those Timekeeper idiots start freaking out.

My parents were thieves. Unfortunately, they were caught by the authorities when I was gaining on ten years old. I miss them, but it's a usual thing for older Crims to die early. You've given the Timekeepers years to track you down, and they always find you sooner or later.

My welfare was then put into Skit's hands. He was only thirteen at the time, but he did exceedingly well at transitioning from older brother to parent. It's in his blood to protect, which makes him a lousy Crim, but he does everything I can't. It makes us a successful partnership in crime.

We had been lawlessly rampaging through the city for two years when Skit got sick. He began coughing deep, gurgling coughs, and hacking up green goop. He couldn't travel very far because he'd start wheezing and get out of breath quickly, which would send out another wave of coughing. When the goop that came up began to become streaked with blood, I got scared. We had no means of medicine, and couldn't get help without giving ourselves up to the Timekeepers.

It was a humid day in mid-July when salvation came in the form of a little girl toddling through a pile of garbage.

Skit and I had been strolling through the alleyways that formed a maze in between the buildings of the southern city when the little blonde-haired girl came scampering up to us. Skit was coughing again, but they were weaker than before, and he had this extremely tired look in his eyes. Never the less, he forced me to go on a walk with him.

"Hi, girlie!" cooed the toddler. Her face was smudged with week-old trash.

I looked at her a moment. I gave my best get-away-from-me glare, but it only made her smile brighter. Skit hacked, and throat boogers went flying. The girl watched them like they were fireworks.

"Hi, boy-ie!" giggled the girl. She turned towards skit, ignoring me completely. "You sick?"

Skit smiled. I love Skit's smiles. Even though usually immensely tired, they seem to light up the world around them like a flashlight. "Yes, girlie" – he turned away to cough – "I am sick."

"Very sick," I added, just to make it clear.

"My mummy has sick juice!" the girl squeaked brightly, clapping her hands together and bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Want some?"

"What the heck is that?" I muttered. "Poison?"

"I think she means medicine," Skit replied, not looking at me. Instead, he stared intently at the toddler, as if trying to read a book.

"Want some sick juice? This way!" The blonde trotted off down an alleyway.

Her voice echoed off the walls of the brick buildings. Skit and I just stared down the path, waiting for the other to do something.

Before I could change my mind, I grabbed Skit's shirt. "No, no, no, sir, never trust an annoying littler bugger who popped out of the dumpster."

"She can't be older than four," Skit responded, looking at me with those pleading eyes. "Trow, you know I can't keep up like this."

"Yes, you can!" I blustered. "We can search until –"

"No, we can't," Skit cut me off. He paused to hack before continuing. "I'm either going to die coughing, die from the Timekeepers, or attempt to find help before those have a chance to happen. Knowing I'm going to die anyway, why not?"

"She could be working for them!" I pointed out. "They could have hired a defenseless little toddler, lured her into the job with cookies or something. What if we're walking right into a trap?"

"Lay off, Trow," Skit said, getting frustrated. "I need the medicine. I don't care how I have to get it, only that I need it. Now."

I hated to see Skit get angry. It broke my loving little sister soul.

As we ran to catch up to the toddler, I grumbled everything that was wrong with this. Skit didn't care. He had this wild kind of hope in his eyes, like an animal in the desert spotting an oasis.

As it turned out, the girl wasn't little liar after all. She led us to an abandoned building where a man and a woman named Elisias and Marlow lived, at the time around eighteen. We soon joined the family of abandoned kids that the couple housed under their ramshackle roof, where Skit was healed and I became one of the providers. We became part of the routine with open arms, dodging Timekeepers, searching for food, wheeling in strays. For four years I scavenged, until one day, something happened.

It was a rainy morning in April when I brought home that "abandoned child"; he one that began as a simple raggedy boy to a turning point in history.