A short attempt to write focusing on setting
He woke up and took a brief look towards the kitchen just before going to play outside. Like often happened, mom and dad were minding their own business and had not made anything for breakfast, and likely, they didn't plan to make anything for lunch either. He grabbed some cookies from the cookie jar and ate them on the way out. Outside the soft warm wind welcomed him into streets, that were his home as much as the dark world behind closed doors. It was more than anything the summer smells that always made all of his defenses go down, the smell from the roses and the orchids and the lilacs, arising all in musical conjunction from sills and flowery pots by the zillions. Outside he ran to his friends who, already and since early in the morning, were playing soccer on the street, the ball irregularly bouncing upon the broken cobblestones. The soccer game on the street, only rarely interrupted by a passing car, could sometime last for hours, with nobody even keeping track of the winning or the losing team. As he ran the houses presented themselves along the street in a colorful sequence of faded colors, with the occasional brick house interrupting the series to a display of golden window grills and carved mahogany front doors reflecting the sun back to the street.
Some people, those who did not live in the solid brick houses, could be seen sitting outside either alone or in family, like a picnic at their own entrance on the stony and often broken sidewalk. Those could be seen sitting outside followed the ball bounce back and forth, all through the day, with no more duties or worries than they who played outside from dawn to dusk.
In the same street coexisted people of widely different beliefs, not caring much about what their neighbor thought or did. All of these followed the same patterns and ritual week by week, and he was so used to it that all of it seem to be in the perfect order of nature. While he ran following the ball he saw Ms. Gray, who always could be seen on Sunday mornings walking with her family and friends to Mass; next to her was Mr. Crawford, and on Monday's nights a group of strangers came to visit him from somewhere, and music and incantations could be heard since midnight until morning; now the ball flew, by reason of a poorly executed kick, right towards Ms. Blake and her three-year-old grandson, and she was in fact who regularly complained to everyone (this is, everyone except Mr. Crawford) about decapitated chickens and other animals that appeared on the street every Tuesday morning.
Only in the deep of the night people returned to their homes, and the smells of the stews and the casseroles replaced the smells of the orchids and lilacs, and the sounds all around receded into quiet murmurs, only interrupted now and then by the occasional domestic argument, the occasional magical incantation, or by the teenager who, in a fit of anger, slammed a door and broke a window pane or two.