by Soar Hiy
A Newsies movie fan fic. A girl struggles to make her dream come true in 1900 New York
|If she didn’t lose them soon she would tire out and get caught. Refusing to let her mind wander to how heavy or awkward it was to carry her little brother she forced her legs to pump harder against the pavement. “Just get into that building on the corner and we’ll be okay.” She kept repeating to herself as encouragement. With a glance back she noticed that the bulls were dropping back quickly from weight and lack of health. As she ran into the large hotel looking building on the corner she saw a desk and dashed behind it. The bulls ran by like a stampede of whistles and angry yells drifting off into the distance.
“I can’t believe John slept through this.” Were her thoughts as she let out the breath she had been holding tensely for longer than she could remember. With that she relaxed, exhausted into a dreamless sleep.
“Sissy? Sissy?” Were the first words she awoke to early the next morning.
“Yes John? Ya hungry?” said the girl stretching.
“Naw, I already got some, but Spot was wondering if you wanted summtin.” The little five year old scrap of a boy who was her brother spoke through a bite of roll.
“Spot?” She became instantly alert and alarmed; even more so as a tall blond boy with piercing blue eyes and a cane came in to her line of vision.
He stared hard at her from under his hat and down from his 5’6” or so height. “I’m Spot and you are?” he pitched her a roll.
She scrambled onto her feet. “None of your concern. We’ll be going now, com’on Johnny.” Hopping up and over the desk she put a hand on her young brothers shoulder to
usher him out the door.
Suddenly Spot’s cane which had been swinging at his side was in front of her; blocking the doorway. “What?” she shouted frustrated at him.
“You’re not going any where.” He said plainly. “You stayed here last night and you have to pay for yours, and your brothers stay. So…” sticking a hand out he continued “it’ll be 10cents or you work for it. Your choice.”
“We didn’t even choose to stay here. We ducked in here to get away from a little problem and happened to fall asleep with out meaning to. We don’t have the money to pay anyway.” Adding what she felt was a sticking point … “Besides, you didn’t even say what we would be doing as work.”
Spot smirked and as he opened his mouth, but no words could be heard as a herd of boys and a couple girls came thundering down the stairs. They all came to a crashing halt however when they saw the girl with messy brown hair sparkling red in the sunlight and intense green eyes staring at them.
Spot cleared his throat. “As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted; we’re newsies we sell newspa…”
“I know what a newsie is.” She interrupted, “Fine but only for a day.” Glaring at Spot she made her offer.
Breaking into a full grin Spot spit in his hand out of habit for them to shake on it. Instantly he remembered that she would probably be disgusted at that and made a move to wipe his hand on his shirt. That is when he saw her hand stuck out, glistening from the spit she just put there. With only an eyebrow raise he shook her hand.
At that the crowd started chattering again as they started to leave the lodging house. A few hung around however to meet the girl and her short-stack of a brother.
One called out to Spot “So, what’s their names?” He had had a mop of brown hair that looked as if it couldn’t decide whether to be curly or straight and deep brown eye. Below his face he stood taller than Spot, around 6 feet she guessed and barrel chested.
She walked directly up to this boy, leaving John to continue staring slack jawed at the boys and girl around him. “I am right here, if you want to know our names, ask us. Got it?” She stated getting as in his face as she could from her short stature.
He gave a grin down to her, impressed. “What’s your name then?”
“Dreamer” For the first time in weeks she gave a small smile. “And yours would be…”
“Rocky” he said through a full out smile. “So I’m guessing you’re going to need some training as a newsie then. Well I’d be happy to help out a pretty little thing like your self.” He moved to pick up her hand, presumably to kiss it.
Dreamer pulled it out of his grip, but before she could say something she felt a hand on her shoulder; it was Spot. He shot a glare at Rocky and said, “I think I’ll be training them Rocky. You just go on your way now.”
The tall boy pouted for a moment, an amusing expression for a boy like him, then sulked out of the building. Spot straightened his suspenders “Well then, you two ready to head out then?” He started out the door, but Dreamer and John didn’t follow. “What now?”
“John’s not going.” Dreamer said adamantly.
John looked up at her crushed “What?” he whined “I want to go though! It seems like it’d be fun, all those other guys went, your going, why can’t I go, I’d make good money…” He went on and on trying to wheedle his sister into letting him go.
She was firm however “No. You are too young and the streets are too dangerous.” With a steady hand on his shoulder she turned him round and sent him upstairs. “Stay here today and maybe you can come with tomorrow.” She gave him a little pat on the rump and sent him upstairs.
Spot smirked and called up after him “Your sister is right, sides I need someone to look after one of my newsies up there who’s hurt. Can you do that for me.”
Excited to have been assigned something to do for the day, particularly by Spot; John perk up with a grin. “Okay!” he called down from the top of the stairs before going in search of the injured newsie.
Dreamer gave a little smile to Spot “Thank you, you just made my life a lot easier. Let’s go sell the papes, eh?” She straightened her skirt and retucked her blouse as she walked down the steps on to the street.
Intrigued Spot followed after then led the way to the distribution center which they arrived at just as the bell rang. Dreamer knew once and for all she was being trained by the leader of this group when they all let the two of them pass to the front of the line to get their papers.
“150 papes” Spot put 75 cents on the counter and received 150 papers in return. Giving a third of the stack to Dreamer he led the way out of the distribution center. Before he could even turn around and start explaining the art of hawking papers, she was already doing it.
“LOVERS FOUND IN TREE IN CENTRAL PARK! BIG SCANDAL; MAYOR’S DAUGHTER INVOLVED! GET YOUR PAPER!” She called out in a booming voice unexpected from such a petite girl. Spot looked at her with a mix of amusement and bewilderment. She clearly had been a newsie before, but where? And why did she leave there? And why was her name Dreamer? And why could he not stop looking at or thinking about her?
“Here is the 10cents for the boarding last night and another 25 for the papes I just sold.” Said Dreamer triumphantly, sticking the coins in Spots hand. “Now it’s off to collect my brother and get on our way.” She turned on her heel, walked a few paces then stopped and turned around. “I don’t know how to get back there.” Sheepishly she admitted.
Spot chuckled started to walk with her back to the lodging house. “So..” he tried to start a conversation “How come ya know how ta be a newsie? And a good one if I might say.”
Dreamer grimaced, that was a part of her life that she’d rather forget. However Spot had been fairly kind to her and it was a senseical question to ask. “When I was homeless back in Chicago I’d hawk papers for money.” She said shortly.
Spot nodded and dared to ask another question “So what are you going to do after today?”
She sighed, she’d been pondering that question all day. It was an accident that she was ever in this city. Damn mis-marked trains. Dreamer answered honestly “I’m not really sure. I’d like to get out to California eventually. The flickers always need more actresses.” She grinned despite herself.
Nodding Spot led her up the street the lodging house was on. “Well why don’t you stay here and save up to do that. It makes more sense then jumping a boxcar and maybe mixing up trains again.” He suggested.
“How did you know?” She looked at him confused. As the stepped in to the lodging house.
“I put two and two together. I do got a brain after all.” He joked.
“Royal Flush, pay up!” said an excited John upstairs. Dreamer looked up there in interest and headed up there, tearing herself away from Spots eyes which he had been staring at.
They she found John doing a victory dance and a laughing, shirtless boy laying on a bunk across from her. “Stop!” cried the injured boy holding his sides “If I laugh anymore I’ll crack another rib.” He sat up, wiping the tears from his eyes then opening them to see a beautiful, petite girl standing in front of him. He quickly stood up then sat down again wincing from the pain. “Hi.”
She stifled a giggle at the cute boy wincing in front of her. Spot leaned against the door way glancing between the two of them, he didn’t really like the way things looked.
John ran up to Dreamer and she picked him up, holding him on her hip. “And what have you been up to all afternoon, good sir?”
“Winning!” He smiled broadly. “Racetrack taught me how to play poker and craps and I keep winning and winning.”
Racetrack gingerly walked over to them, taking her hand and kissing it as she blushed “Pleased to meet you Dreamer, you can call me Race. Your brother is a natural born poker player.”
Slowly pulling her hand away, beat red she replied “ And you are a natural born charmer I see. And how did you get hurt?”
“Uhh well ya see…” mumbled Race, examining the ground until Spot interjected for him.
“He had a little problem with a distribution manager and a tip he gave him about the horses.” Covering a grin Spot excused himself to put away the money Dreamer had given him.
Dreamer smiled openly at him. “It’s nothing to be ashamed about, I understand all about those kinds of problems.” She kept her self from revealing any more about her problems of that sort and put John down, kneeling in front of him “Would you mind very much if we stayed here for a while?”
John grinned and wrapped his arms around her neck and cried out “YAY!!”
After a couple of weeks Dreamer had made many new friends and although she hadn’t left the comfort of Brooklyn she had many friends from all the different boroughs. She and Spot sold together nearly everyday and had become fast friends because of both their stubbornness and their knack of bossing others around.
On this particular day they had finished their selling early and were heading out to Manhattan for the afternoon so Dreamer could meet the newsies there. She had met Racetrack, a Manhattan newsie, on her first day in the city while he was hiding out in Brooklyn from a “little problem.” Ever since he had left Dreamer had been looking forward to this day that she’d get to see him again but now that it was here she couldn’t help but be nervous, fidgety and distracted. Spot had no idea what was going on only that she was not acting like her normal assured self. He was about to open his mouth to question her when he heard his name being shouted from behind him.
Rocky came running up the bridge to them “Spot!” he shouted out breathlessly.
“Rocky? What is it?” Dreamer said concerned, Rocky never ran unless it was absolutely necessary.
He ignored her completely though, something else which was completely unlike him. Concentrating on Spot while panting he said “Bitter… docks… Railers…”
Spot got a stony look in his eye and for a moment Dreamer thought she could see a wince. “Take Dreamer to Manhattan I’ll send word.” He took off with a purposeful run without even looking at the confused girl next to him who was too stunned to speak.
Rocky collapsed and leaned against one of the bridge pillars catching her breath. Dreamer quickly switched from being confused to being angry at the fact the situation wasn’t being explained to her at all.