Born Free but Chained to Obligation

I have been a little self indulgent this week. This is an adapted extract from my recently completed novel about a tramp, nicknamed Wordsworth for his quirky,  homespun philosophy and his penchant for reciting poetry in the street. He  guards his freedom jealously but ends up joining forces with a road sweeper to solve a crime of abuse and exploitation.



PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright. © Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.

It’s hard to determine where the dirty clothes finish and Wordsworth himself begins. Filthy dreadlocks hang from beneath his beanie and his face resembles an unkempt garden, hair sprouting wherever a follicle can get a foothold. His worn boots are held together by string and tape.
I’d seen him about town but was as guilty as the next person of paying him no heed. I offered a pair of my old boots.
“I take those and you’ll start asking things of me. Wordsworth is beholden to no man.”
“But they’re just a pair…”
“No,” he interrupted me, “They’re a contract.”

Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.