story set in Canada in 1980 between Passover and Pentecost.

main protagonists:

  • Papa: an elderly street person who lives in the tent city where the orphans are
  • Saul: a confused child-ghost who variously pesters others despite his best intentions; he doesn’t know where he belongs, but he finds comfort, meaning, and purpose in protecting a dead baby that he found in an alley
  • Damien: a six-year-old orphan living in Tent City; his tent is the Headquarters of the main gang of 5; he struggles with delusions that he has a mommy
  • Tiger Twins: street urchins who live in a home outside of the tent city, but interact with the gang of five
  • Simon: a broken little boy with a special friendship with Damien
  • Squeak: a naive and damaged little girl with big dreams; blind in one eye
  • Jack: the strongest child (physically and emotionally) of the Five, he is obsessed with Squeak’s well-being
  • Miss J: a Social Worker who visits the orphans and cares deeply for them
  • Mr. Hab: …
  • Kat: a black cat left stray by Isabelle but fed by Damien; Kat is blind in his right eye
  • Jota: a kid with a family who sometimes helps the gang with technology
  • The Five gang: Damien, Simon, Jack, Squeak, and Damien’s delusion of Mrs. Davidson, though she is present at times and definitely cares about all the street kids; the gang fights passionately against Alley Watch—its drones, agents, and headquarters; the gang simply calls this enemy “the adults”

main antagonists:

  • Mayor G.: (kids call her “The Queen”); The city mayor; opposes Papa at every turn
  • Councilor B.: (kids call him “The Knight”); he runs a committee whose mandate is to get street kids off the street; closely allied with Mayor G.
  • The Captain: a ramshackle pilot with a mysterious past who deals drugs in the tent city and interacts with the orphans there
  • Isabelle: a wicked ghost who roams the city; hates The Captain passionately; may be more misunderstood than she is evil
  • Ms. Elizabeth: a brutish librarian who runs a day-programme for the orphans of Tent City
  • The “9-5-Oh” gang: based elsewhere in the city; a large gang of street kids who are urchins… resist and interfere with the Five at every turn
  • “Alley Watch”: a community-based committee (they are set on “cleaning up the city,” but they do more damage than good); they have the ability to view the orphans using drones with cameras, and sometimes use drones or agents to interfere with the orphans’ plans or freedoms; they have no understanding of, or care for, these street urchins