Author's note: This chapter is based on the beautiful song "God Help the Outcasts" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. (www .youtube . com watch ?v=0pLCDnbBEk0)

I'm not completely happy with this chapter, but as it's been six months I thought I'd better get something out there.

This chapter isn't based on a prompt; I've decided not to do that for every chapter.

The church had always been just a shelter. An escape from the snow, nothing more. Still as Gavroche looked at the Crucifix this January 1st, he couldn't help but wonder if maybe, just this once, it could be something else.

He looked around to make sure no one was looking at him (no one ever did, but he wanted to be certain) then got on his knees and touched his forehead, then his chest, then each shoulder- a gesture he had seen in churchgoers.

"I don't even know what I'm doin' here," he began uncomfortably. "A gamin like me, a church is the last place I belong, next to a palace. What am I doing talking to You? I doubt You'd listen. Hell,- wait maybe I shouldn't use words like that here. What I'm trying to say is, how do I know You're there? Ain't no one given me proof. But just in case you are there and can hear me, I got somethin' to say.

He took several long breaths, unsure how to verbalize his request. "I know lots of folks as poor as me, and poorer, who get no help from nobody. All us folks in the slums and the streets, we're just outcasts. Those rich fops think more of mud on their fancy boots, I'll wager, than they do of us.

"I'm just askin' you to help them out, especially the kids and the old folks. They need it most, and they're the most cast-out of all the outcasts.

"I don't mean I need help; I do alright. Just help the others is what I'm asking. If you don't, who will?"

Gavroche got up to go, then a new thought struck him and he knelt again. "You still there? I have something else to say. I never read the Bible but I know some a' your commandments: Don't lie 'n don't steal 'n don't kill. And if a fellow does that stuff he could be damned, right? Thing is, I have to lie and steal to survive and take care of my kids. And in the revolution coming up I'll probably have to kill. You understand, don'tcha? Is it a sin if you have to?"

He groaned. "Darn it, now that I've asked I have to get an answer!"

All at once he felt a strange pressure on his heart, as if Someone was telling him: Go in peace. He grinned.

"I guess that means I'm good! You know, you're not a bad sort. So long, and thanks for listening!"

He stood, bowed, and sauntered out, his heart light in spite of the cold day.

Please review! Ideas are welcome.