The Tramp – By Daryl Baldwin
Micro Fiction / July 20, 2008

Bill looked like a circus clown; walking with a short stoop and slow shuffle in those oversize shoes made children laugh. Layers of clothes and the Columbo style coat hid his small frame from the world. I remember the first time I ever saw him. I came out of school; running to the gate where my mum stood waiting. It was a ritual to go straight to the sweetshop for a quarter of pink coloured bonbons. As we came out of the shop and travelled home we passed a bench at the bottom of the road. There was Bill. I held my mum’s hand real close. He was so smelly and dirty I put my hand over my mouth and nose. “Hello Bill,” mum said, as if he was a family friend. I looked at her as she said it but just managed to catch the toothless smile from Bill’s face. Under the dirt and grime was a person. There was a story. I watched as he nodded and smiled at her. “Mummy, who’s that?” “That’s Bill,” she said “Why is he dirty?” “Because he hasn’t got a home and nowhere to wash.” “Why hasn’t he got a home?” “He…