Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Story #29: "Running Away From Homeless"

Okay, I'm almost there. It's still Day 30, and this is now Story #29 of my #astoryaday June Writing Challenge. One more story left to write. This one here derived from a (supposedly) clever title I'd come up with weeks ago. I finally thought up an appropriate story (supposedly) to accompany said title. Hope you like it. If you don't, that's okay. Thanks for sticking with me this far if you have.  ~  JH

"Running Away From Homeless"

I have this recurring nightmare in which I am running at top speed from a dingily dressed man waving a cardboard sign that reads: "HOMELESS VET PLEASE HELP GOB BLESS." 

It's not the man himself that frightens me, or even the way he is dressed. It's that typo on his sign that frankly scares me to death.

Did he mean to write "GOD BLESS"? That would be the logical conclusion, and one can only hope that was his intention. But what if it wasn't?

Could it be that the man is actually a life-size turkey disguised as a human and the sign is supposed to read "GOBBLES"? Could he know that I am terrified of all species of birds, but most especially the kinds that walk on two legs and fly infrequently? Oh, the horrors!

Or maybe the message means just what it says. That his goal, in chasing me down, is to "BLESS" me with a "GOB" of…of what? Phlegm? Partially digested bananas? Blood? I start to shudder just thinking about it again! And no matter how hard I try, I can't stop thinking about it!

I've made various attempts to send myself off into a peaceful slumber, free from this terrifying reverie, by reading about completely unrelated things right before I fall asleep. Like An Ecological Approach To Turnip Farming, for instance, or the latest issue of Stamps Monthly. But it's all to no avail.

Perhaps I am doomed to sleep, perchance to dream of the homeless vet/turkey-man/phlegm-spewer every night for the rest of my life, and there is no way to make him go away. 

Or maybe, just maybe, the next time I see an actual person in need in my waking hours – whether it be a homeless vet, a struggling single mother, or whomever else – I should extend my hand and if needs be the contents of my wallet to help them. Maybe my reticence to do so is the greatest purveyor of nightmares of all.

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