Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)
TITLE: Good Samaritan, Bad Samaritan
By Rachel Barclay
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The traffic slowed and veered around a van with it’s hood raised. Tarry watched a handful of young kids clambering around in the back. Chase kept on driving.
‘Well, pull over, for goodness sake!’ Tarry urged.
‘He’s got a mobile phone. They’ll be alright,’ Chase remained neutral. Tarry knew he didn’t want anything to interfere with what he’d been planning for the past month.
‘I like the way mobile phones justify the elimination of Christian charity,’ Tarry was disappointed that Chase could be so deplete of compassion.
Silently Chase steered to the side of the road and reversed to where the shaking van sat.
‘Thank you,’ said Tarry, as she opened her door.
‘No, it’s ok Love. I’ll go.’
Chase went to talk with the man, but Tarry could tell by the way he peered in the van that he’d left the children alone.
Joining Chase, she opened the van door.
‘Hey, kids. Where’s your Mum and Dad?’
The children looked scared that a stranger had approached them in their car.
‘It’s ok. I’m Tarry. Chase and I stopped to help,’ Tarry spoke reassuringly.
The oldest boy found some courage.
‘But a man already stopped to help. Aren’t they still looking at the engine?’ the boy developed a new fear in his voice.
‘No,’ said Tarry, ‘You’re here on your own. But we’ll stay with you till your Dad gets back.’
Tarry turned to tell Chase to call the police, but he had disappeared. She walked towards their car to see if he was already calling.
The bush land nearby was undisturbed. Above the noise of traffic and the bellbirds, a skidding, revving noise was distantly intermittent. Motorbikes on the trails, thought Tarry, knowing they were typical for a Friday evening.
Chase wasn’t in their car. He’d disappeared. She hadn’t heard anything, or sensed any movement near them. Tarry felt her fear rising to panic. While she still had some control, she ran to the traffic and waved hysterically at the cars straining past the two parked vehicles.
Immediately someone pulled over. Tarry didn’t give the man time to talk.
‘Look after these kids. My husband’s gone, and so’s their dad. Call the police. I’ve got to find them.’
Tarry ran into the bush land. She couldn’t see anything except peaceful nature. Panic was taking over. The scenery wasn’t registering properly, but she did notice sirens growing louder.
God, please show me where Chase is. Please keep him safe, and these kids’ Dad. Tarry’s panic screamed in her head to her Father.
Tarry stumbled onto a dirt road. Fresh tyre marks had serrated the mud.
Not knowing how she could ever catch up, she began to follow them as they wound through the trees. They turned with the contour of a sharp bend.
Suddenly, Tarry remembered the distant revving and skidding. It was much louder now. The police appeared as they caught up with her search.
A purple sedan was relentlessly spinning its wheels in a deep puddle a few hundred metres ahead.
‘Chase!’ Tarry screamed.
Strong hands held her from running to free him. Now she could hear banging from car boot.
Thank you, Father, for keeping him.
Sobbing gulps collapsed her as police helped Chase and another man from the boot. They cut Chase loose from his ropes. He didn’t notice his bleeding wrists as he ran to Tarry. The stranger outran him. But he stopped before he passed Tarry.
Tarry and Chase stopped their fierce embrace as he spoke.
‘Thank you for stopping,’ said the man with an angry fear in his eyes, ‘People don’t believe in the Good Samaritan anymore. Not now that there’s mobile phones. Now the world is only filled with Bad Samaritans. But thank God, this one didn’t get away with it.’
Tarry and Chase couldn’t reply. The stranger’s eyes and arms were opened only to his children who the police were bringing to meet him.
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