Prompt for week 2: 12th January – 17th January 2015
Prompt: Good Samaritan
Show what happens when someone helps someone else. Does the story end there, or go on? Is the help useful and in time? Is it embarrassing? Some people are afraid to do a good deed, afraid that it will involve them in someone else’s life. Some people are afraid to help an injured person because they could be sued by that person or her family, injuries blamed on their efforts?
What would happen if we helped a little old man who has fallen down on the sidewalk, or calmed a toddler who has become separated from her mother, or instituted a neighborhood-wide effort to help a family in trouble? When we’ve got money, would any of us think to anonymously pay for the groceries of a poor mother with a grocery cart only half full of the most basic foods and several hungry-looking children trailing her?
In 500 words or less describe a good deed and its consequences.
In your critique consider whether the writer has described both the situation and the emotions. Do we ‘see’ the people and place? What do we think of the character’s efforts to help someone? Would we have done the same? Does the piece make you want to read on and find out what happens?
Here is my take on the prompt… 🙂
I walked out of the building and saw the middle-aged man seated in his usual spot. He had reclaimed his space in the world. His corner.
“Hi Sam… good to see you. How are you?”
“I am well, thank you, Miss Amul,” he smiled.
I stood at the zebra crossing waiting for the walkway to clear and a memory-slice flashed, from our first meeting last fall.
I was in my first year of Masters’ and we were six girls sharing an apartment above the pizzeria across the university. Next to the pizza place was the Bank of Canada with fenced parking space. The guy would sit leaning against the fenced- parking-corner. He’d spread his cardboard convertible mattress and sit on it squatting cross-legged. He didn’t have the shabbiness of a homeless guy nor would he win the clean and immaculate contest. He religiously took his spot at nine in the morning and stay-put until six in the evening and packed his stuff and left. I noted his routine and inquired my roommates.
They all gave me a different version from the rumors they heard.
Some said he lost his family in an accident; others said his wife committed suicide and since then his mind went berserk; some others said he lost his wife to infidelity and so on…
Also, they said he came here only between April and November and reappeared after winter. He was like a homeless migratory bird. I was intrigued and struck a conversation the following day and since then, he and his corner become part of my routine. However, I could not get the real story out of him. He had no recollection of his past.
“Miss Amul, the light turned green twice already.”
“Yes, Sam… Thank you I noticed,” I replied, jolted out of my thoughts.
“What about the 100 bucks? I want some winter clothing you see…” he said aloud stretching his neck like a crane.
“I’ll think about it,” I dismissed his custom of nagging as I crossed the road and walked into the university.
For a few more weeks, he continued to pester for the 100 bucks trying to invoke the Good Samaritan in me.
One day, I caved into my own emotions and handed him the 100 dollar bill. His smile travelled from his lips to his eyes culminating into a twinkle.
“Thank you… Miss. Amul… Thank you very much,” He said pocketing the money.
A week later my roommate Angela woke me with the news, “Sam died last night – Drug over dose.”
For rules on how to participate, please check https://ushaveera68.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/project-52-2015-write-every-week-for-a-year-week-1/