Slumped against the cold brick of the station wall Darryl pulled the ragged hood of his coat over his head and twisted open the lid of the bottle of white lightning cider gripped between his legs. It fizzed invitingly as escaped snowflakes danced on the biting breeze and he took a deep drink watching the masses pass by.
“Funny lot aren’t they” he said passing the bottle to a dirty faced, fair haired man sat next to him.
He took a drink and passed the bottle back, yellow fingers taking a cigarette from a crumpled packet. He pulled from his pocket. “Fun to watch though” he said struggling to light it, eventually resorting to pulling his jacket over his head to provide protection from the wind. “So many of them yet all so very alone.”
“Do you think they’ll ever be ready” Darryl asked the fair haired man as the snow started to fall more heavily.
“My Friend” he replied, a fat bottomed girl in a red coat dropping pennies into the cup at his feet. “Merry Christmas” he shouted as she scurried on her way.
“There are days when I think they are going to get it right but sadly each time they fall so very short.” He ran a sleeve under his nose and sniffed. It really was rather cold, next time he would have to ensure he had a warmer placement.
“I think they could be quite great you know” Darryl said taking another drink. He coughed as he felt it trickle down inside him.
The fair haired man laughed. “You really do like them don’t you” he said drawing deep on the cigarette.
“Yes I do” Darryl replied. “They’re fun, creative, passionate, excitable, caring and…”
“And they’re violent and careless and selfish” the fair haired man interrupted.
“I know I know“ he said picking up the cup and tipping out the coppers into his hand.
“How much did we make then” the fair haired man asked finishing the cigarette.
“One pound twenty” Darryl said, sadness etched across his face.
“And there you see my point exactly” the fair haired man said getting to his feet and dusting himself down. “All we need is a tenner, just a tenner and they’re in” he said sharply. “But they don’t care mate, not enough.”
Darryl put the change back in the cup and took another drink of the cider.
“I’m going to give it another ten minutes” he said rubbing his hands together against the cold. “I’m still on the clock and you never know, this could be the day.”
“Good luck” the fair haired man replied, “I will see you back in orbit, I really need a nice cup of tea.”