Generosity (April Page 10 )

The sun in April is already blazing, burning your tender alabaster skin to the color of freshly steamed lobster.  Hustler or vagabond, it doesn’t matter. Your need grabs my attention before you speak. You stumble over words in a quest for assistance.  Just three dollars, an odd sum and one likely to garner you a larger bill in any case.

Your cause is just.  A child, ill and in need of food. Just three dollars between you and the goal.  Three dollars is all you ask for. Your target, a woman, not too old or two young. Someone likely to have children and not yet over whelmed or maybe just in deep enough that she can see the desperation in someone else’s voice.  It is there. In your voice, in your question, desperation.  It doesn’t matter if your story is a lie or the truth. The desperation is real and thick in the air between us.

Reaching  into my bag, I don’t even wait for you to finish your plea before I but the money in your hand. I look only for a moment, lingering for just a second on the crisp twenty and then it is yours.  You talk for a moment, I answer your questions, hoping you will listen, knowing that the chances of you seeking assistance where I direct are slim. Still, I spoke the words meant for you and say my peace.  Grateful you haven’t thank god for my assistance.

Smiling as I go. It wasn’t a Christian thing to do. It was the right thing to do.

And I know by the laws of the old Gods that if you were lying and took my money, then the trick is twisted against you.  Enjoy the web that you have woven.

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Intervention

His eyes averted themselves from me as I strode on the porch. The young man accompanying him did the same. I hadn’t bothered to turn down the music before I came out from the darken house.  There was a bounce in my step as I reached for Luther’s collar.  The lab-pit mix took note of his correction and moved to wait patiently behind me, thumping his tale in anticipation. The man, gray haired and balding, stammered out an invitation to his church and tried to push the pamphlet into the gap between the screen door and frame. His hands were still trembling when I opened the door all the way.

“Thank you, but I have my own church.”  I said looking at a face not looking back at me.

He looked at my chin, careful not to make eye contact or let his gaze linger on my breasts loosely contained in a tank top. It was Saturday. Cleaning day and I like to be comfortable when I do it. No bra, just a tank and yoga pants.   Speechless and tried to pass back the flyer.  The young man still was not looking at me.

“Please sir, take your flyer back. I don’t need it.”

“Perhaps your husband…” He glanced towards my rounded belly.  I knew the implication and wasn’t offended.  There were others who needed saving in the world. Some that I was sure lived just down the block from me. I just wanted him to save his flyer for them.

“I am not married.” Suddenly, he straightened himself up and met my hazel eyes with his glassy blue ones.  He had met his enemy and I a lost soul.

“Still you should…  you should cover yourself.” He declared his voice moving from kindness to authority “The Lord, our God …”

“Why? It is only the stain of sin that makes us see our natural selves as wrong.  God made us all beautiful.” I replied with the same even tone that I had begun the conversation with. I could have traded verses back and forth him. Let anger rise in my heart at his presumption of judgment.  It would have been easy. Easy to toss my knowledge at him and call it wisdom. Instead, I just stood there and met his fierceness with love. I took the flyer and pressed it back into his hands.

“May God be with you, sir. “

“And with you as well” The young man replied.

If you’d like more information on Lucinda’s work subscribe to this blog, follow her on Twitter or like her page on Facebook.  Her new novella, Blood Child is available on Amazon.

Papa (Flash Fiction)

**Update – 7/26/2013 –  Please note this is a bit of flash fiction I wrote. My own beloved, Papa, is home.

Papa died in the morning and in the modern fashion he was buried two weeks later on a muggy afternoon ignoring every command he gave.  People wept, wailed and their eyes were dry before they hit the parking lot. His wife, children and grandchildren huddled by the grave until the director had them leave. Insurance purposes, he said.

He said it, but it was a lie.

Now you have Papa’s liver and I have to tell you something. He was an alcoholic. Drank a twelve pack a night sometimes more if his team was losing, it was just cheap beer, Milwaukee’s Best,  mind you, but the liver really doesn’t care if you drink the good stuff or not. They should have told you as well that it was harvested just past the expiration date; meaning Papa was cold when they cut him open. So really I am doing you a favor.

Yes, a favor. This liver won’t have lasted.  It has already begun to poison you.

Now, Papa, he wanted to be cremated Viking style on the Indian River and all I could afford was this old dingy which I am not even sure will burn.

So breathe deep. I am told asphyxiation is like dying in your sleep.

Papa, he died in his sleep.