256 Words

The Blindman

M. Stanley Bubien

We rushed the doors. Like a storm. Thundered through. But the landscape, it stared back at us. Perplexed. Empty.

"Yes, I have," the old lady had answered. Just moments before; from the front row even. She creaked to her feet. But once up, stood there like a tree.

"Outside." Smith, her name. Suitably plain. "Him, it was."

"Aye?" Pastor O'Shanahan drawled, spiritual in a singularly Irish fashion. "Our Lord? Out there?" He pointed, anticipating a blinding thunderclap.

"Asked for some money, he did. Sure thing. Right at the entryway!"

Eyes toward the heavens, a smirk, a nod. Understanding. That was me and everyone else. Unified. Of one mind. "Blindman Joe. He's," I explained. "Always there before Church," Nancy Hannon went on. "Meetings. For a handout," Miguel Garcia Rodriguez continued.

"But he drinks it away," Lady Smith finished. "I know." She shrugged. "I talked to him, I did."

"And you gave the money?" Rhetorical question. We all saw her. She and the Blindman who saw too. They stood in the entryway, after all. Had to pass them to get into the Meeting.

"Him," she said, a tree still, yet touched by a breath of wind. She grasped at her handbag. "It was." And in her hand, she produced the Book. Open. A specific passage. And she made to read. But everyone knew. Heard it before she started, so many times before.

And the desire. Inspiration. From such words. Sweet to the tongue. But fleeting.

We were turning, then, desperate. Of one mind. Unified. We rushed the doors.

Copyright ©2000 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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May, 2000
Issue #49

256 Words