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A jacket hanging from a dumpster | Source: Shutterstock
A jacket hanging from a dumpster | Source: Shutterstock

Orphan Twins Eating in Dumpster Find Old Jacket with Bottle of Perfume in Its Pocket – Story of the Day

Caitlin Farley
Dec 06, 2021
06:20 P.M.

Thirteen-year-old twins, Mike and Steve, are on the run from foster care. While digging through a dumpster for food, Steve discovers a jacket with a unique bottle of perfume in its pocket. He takes this as a sign his mom is still alive and sets out to find her.

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Steve and his twin, Mike, had escaped from their foster home. While searching the dumpsters behind an upmarket strip mall for food, Steve found a shabby jacket and realized there was something inside the pocket. Curious, he withdrew a small bottle that sent a chill down his spine.

"It's the handmade perfume Mom used!" Steve showed his brother the bottle. "Could this be Mom's jacket?"

"Don't be stupid." Mike shoved Steve's shoulder. "Mom wasn't the only person who used that perfume, and besides, she's dead, Steve."

Steve shook his head. "The police said she's a missing person, not dead. She's still out there somewhere. We can’t give up on her!"

Steve was convinced this perfume bottle was a sign. He found a receipt with a delivery address in a different pocket and urged Mike to investigate. He refused, so Steve searched for the address on the receipt alone.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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He soon arrived at a mansion surrounded by a lush garden. Nobody answered when Steve rang the bell at the gate. He waited until it was dark, but the place seemed abandoned. He climbed the fence by the light of the full moon and hurried to the mansion to search for clues to Mom’s whereabouts.

The front door silently swung open, and Steve stepped inside. He found nothing in the luxurious rooms on the ground floor, so he tiptoed up the wide staircase. He entered a small bedroom and found a photo of a woman sitting on a lawn chair. Someone's hand was on the back of the chair… it was Mom!

"All you're going to find here is a one-way ticket to juvenile hall," a man said.

Steve panicked. He turned and was instantly transported to that day eight years ago when he last saw Mom.

She’d carried him and Mike as she ran down the city sidewalk, but the man, this man, was always behind them. She’d left him and Mike in the subway and never returned.

This man was behind Mom's disappearance. He had all the answers, but Steve couldn't ask outright about Mom. He'd have to try a different approach.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"I'm s-s-sorry, sir." Steve pressed his hands together. "I'm just so hungry..."

The man stepped closer. “Don’t you have parents to feed you?”

Steve shook his head.

“How sad…but you're old enough to work, and you look strong.” The man scanned Steve with his gaze. "You can work at my factory, or I can call the police and you'll be sent to jail." The man took his cell phone from his pocket. "What will it be, kid?"

Steve stared at the man. He'd never find answers about Mom in a jail cell, but he just might discover something from the other workers if he accepted the job in this man's factory. He accepted his offer.

Early the next morning, a strange man drove Steve to a warehouse, where he was loaded into the back of a truck. After several days, the door flew open. Steve squinted out at a wide river with a thick jungle growing closely on either side of the water.

"Welcome to Mexico." The man at the door grabbed Steve's wrist and guided him down to a narrow jetty where a boat was waiting. Steve was blindfolded and transported to a compound surrounded by tall fences with a guard tower in each corner.

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This wasn't a factory; it was a prison!

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"The rules around here are simple," A guard said as he marched Steve through the compound. "Do what you're told, or you'll be punished. Don't try to run away, or you'll be hunted down by the dogs. Got it?"

"Yeah...but what work will I be doing, sir?"

The man laughed. "Let's just say you're in the chemical manufacturing business. You have about 15 minutes to get something to eat, kid." The man pushed Steve into the dining hall.

Everyone seated in the dining hall had a numb, faraway look in their eyes that chilled Steve's marrow, except for a single woman: Mom!

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He rushed to reunite with his long-lost mother, but Mom pressed a finger to her lips. She glanced warily around the room, and Steve understood. Their reunion would have to wait for now.

That night, Mom snuck into the room Steve shared with four other people and led him to a small storage room.

"Oh my God, Steve!" Mom hugged him so tightly he could barely breathe. "What are you doing here? And where's your brother? Did Mr. Russo find you boys?"

"Mike isn't with me," Steve replied. "If Mr. Russo is the man who was chasing us the day you disappeared then, technically, I found him."

Mom frowned at him, so Steve told her how finding that perfume bottle had led him to her.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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"But how did you get involved with this guy in the first place?" Steve asked once he'd finished explaining.

"Mr. Russo is part of the mob. Your father and I worked for him." Mom hung her head. "I was a maid and he was a driver. One day, Mr. Russo accused your dad of being an informant...we tried to escape." Mom shook her head. "Your dad died and I got caught in the subway station."

Mom let out a deep sigh. "He would've killed me too, but his wife liked me too much. Instead, he made me continue working as a maid in his house. When Mrs. Russo died, he sent me here."

"I can't believe this. Mom, there must be a way we can escape and return to Mike."

Mom shook her head. "It's impossible. Even if we escaped the compound, we'd still have to cross the river and find our way through the jungle." She cupped his cheek. "Just go to sleep, my son. You'll need your rest for tomorrow."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

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They put Steve to work as a janitor for the first week, but then he was assigned to groom the dogs and clean their runs. He'd always loved dogs and set to his task with a smile, which only got wider when he discovered something interesting.

When Steve entered the last run, it was empty. He looked around in confusion and then noticed a pair of dark eyes watching him from beneath the dog kennel.

The dog had dug a veritable warren of holes in its run, and if a dog could dig such tunnels, then so could he.

The next evening, Steve began digging a tunnel to freedom with a stolen dog bowl. After weeks of work, he broke through to the other side. But his work hadn’t gone unnoticed. The following day, another worker approached him and whispered in his ear:

“I know about your escape plans. My friend and I want to join you. We have things you need, like rope and an ax to make a raft. You have the tunnel and the dogs are familiar with you. We need each other.”

Steve didn’t know how this man had figured out his plan, but he made a good point. He and Mom would need a raft to cross the river, and having four people working together was better than two. He accepted the man’s proposal.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

A few nights later, four shadowy figures slipped into Steve’s tunnel. Rain had muddied the track leading to the river, making it harder for the dogs to track their scent.

They’d almost reached the river when disaster struck. Mom went into the bushes alone for a bathroom break. Minutes later, Steve heard her scream. He found her lying awkwardly in the mud at the bottom of a steep gully. Steve carefully picked his way down the slope.

“Steve,” Mom whimpered. “I think my leg is broken.”

Steve and Pedro carried Mom up the slope. Pedro briefly examined her leg and shook his head.

“It’s no good,” he said. “We have to leave her behind.”

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“Never! My freedom means nothing without Mom.” Steve squared his shoulders and stared at Pedro. “We can carry her.”

“Then we would all be slowed down. I’m sorry, but we aren’t going to take that chance.” Pedro gestured to his friend. They turned away and left Steve and Mom alone in the jungle.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“We’re screwed,” Mom sobbed.

“No, we’re not.” Steve scanned their surroundings.

“Pedro said we were near the river so there’s a chance we’re also near a village or some kind of settlement. I’m going to build a fire to get their attention.”

“And what about the guards? Surely they would see this signal too.”

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Steve sighed deeply. “That’s a chance we’ll have to take.”

Everything was sodden and muddy from the rain, but Steve refused to give up hope. He found some dry grass and leaves in a hollow at the base of a tall tree. There were also chunks of dry, partly termite-eaten wood that had fallen off the inside of the hollow. Steve collected it all.

He broke his flashlight against a rock and used the lens to focus the sunlight onto his tinder. After a lot of time and work, the steam evaporating from the damp wood he’d gathered was replaced by smoke. The small fire grew into a blaze.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Steve tended the fire for another hour before someone appeared through the trees across from them.

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“Look, Mom!” Steve pointed at the man. “We’re saved.”

“He’s one of the guards from the camp,” Mom muttered. “Quickly, Steve, run! You can come back for me, or call the police, but you must run, now. Go!”

Steve bolted from his mother’s side, but it was too late. The guards surrounded them and took them back to the compound. They took Mom to the infirmary and shut Steve into the basement room used for punishment. He cried himself to sleep in the dark solitude of his cell.

Sometime later, a loud thop-thop-thop sound woke him up. People were shouting and running outside. A voice boomed out over a loudhailer. They were speaking Spanish, but Steve’s heart soared as he recognized two words: La policia.

Two days after the camp was raided, Steve was reunited with Mom in her hospital room. He ran toward her and hugged her tightly.

“Oh Steve! You saved us all,” she said. “The police had been searching for that camp and found it because of your fire! They’re sending us back to the States soon. Mr. Russo has been arrested and the police back home tracked down Mike. He’ll be waiting for us at the airport. God, I can’t wait to be back home with both my sons.”

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a girl who wakes from a coma yelling that she knows the truth about her mom. Her doctor is stunned by the girl's story and immediately calls the police.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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