From under his mattress, he pulled the box. The small, square thing. From inside his cap he fished out the key. Small, brass. Tarnished. The last two pieces of his old life. He slipped the key into the box and turned it, twisting it around and around until it wouldn't turn anymore. He released it, watching it spin slowly back for a short moment before closing his eyes and letting the sweet, tinkling music wash over him. In his mind, he wasn't on a small cot in a crowded lodging house anymore, he was on a big bed in a small room, cozy and comfortable, a blanket beneath him. His brother beside him. His mother in the next room over. His father reading in the living room. The music was playing softly, lulling him to sleep. A single tear made its way under his closed eyelid and slid down his face, making a small track through the New York City grime that coated it thickly. He sniffled quietly as the music stopped, tucking box and key into their separate hiding places. He sighed, running a hand through his hair, and used a finger to spread dirt over the tear track. He pulled his cap back on, feeling the hardness of the small brass key on his skull, and walked slowly down the stairs. There was a reason he was the last one down for poker every night. He wasn't just counting the cards, getting his gambling money, finding a cigar. He was listening.

Once I start posting, I don't seem to stop. This is so extremely super short! It was written in about two minutes, because I imagined a newsie with a music box, and then I was like, "Huh. I wonder if they'll like it." So write a review! I like reviews! They make me happy! Happiness results in stories that don't include a dead Jack or Crutchie or Katherine! Remember that now! Ahem. So I tried to imply the newsie I imagine this with, but really it could be any of them. I just like the idea if him having a music box hidden somewhere.