Alethea Mightson takes a long last drag on a cigarette that is not much more than a filter as she sits on cobblestone steps bundled in a puffy pink coat with its furry-edged hood pulled over her head. She’s huddled in a crouched position with her head ducked low in an attempt to ward off the January wind that rushes past her. At her feet are at least a dozen cigarette butts, indicating that she’s been sitting on this stoop braving the bitter cold for at least an hour. She grinds the cigarette butt into the ground alongside its departed siblings and looks around. It’s quiet, cold, and overcast, but she seems to have an intent purpose and is willing to wait.
(excerpt from PIOUS, a novel by Kenn Bivins)