Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)
TITLE: Looking Up
By Robin Ocasio
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Then with a deep breath and a voice that was surprisingly strong for the petite figure peering out the kitchen window on tiptoes. “Ed, come hear and look at this.”
She bellowed as if an intruder might slay her within minutes. As is her adoring husband were three states away. Rather than three feet away, calmly sitting at the table, sipping coffee, enjoying the morning newspaper, watching his young family flying thru their morning routines.
“What’s that Judy dear?”
“That creepy old man is pawing thru our trash again.”
Ed knew exactly to whom Judy referred.
Penny and Lucky Fergusson made their abode in a series of run down shacks along side such well to do establishments as Cliffside Manor, Rolling Woods Estates, and Hillsides Manor.
A dilapidated weather beaten old sign marked the entrance to the Fergusson property, boasting the name “Good Fortunes Inc.” Only the truly interested would notice the washed out wording beneath. “All good things come from the Father above.” Those who did would typically snort and shake their heads. Not seeing “good fortune” as having come to the Fergusson’s, from above or otherwise.
Indeed, Penny was often seen slowly walking thru town, bent over, and meticulously scanning the ground for loose change. Lucky, also made a daily circuit, dumpster diving, collecting recyclable cans and bottles. Apparently this was how they made their living.
A few of the “good folks” in town, feeling sorry for the unfortunates, would “salt” the streets with change or buy a few extra can goods to throw away. Most folks steered a wide berth around the couple, fearing they might catch some disease or simply trying to avoid the surrounding aroma. The local children where especially cruel, frequently calling out taunts or playing some joke - like super gluing a hundred pennies to the sidewalk.
Ed, a medical examiner, felt sorry for Lucky, as his beloved Penny had recently fallen ill and passed away in the night. It was especially sad to him, knowing that Penny would have survived the illness, if only she had received medical treatment.
Now, Lucky roamed the streets, expanding his route. Yet for all his labor, he seemed to be growing thinner and more haggard by the day. His face was gaunt. He looked like a skin and bones covered in rags. Or was that old potato sacks stitched together to make clothes?
“Ed” called Judy, “Something weird is going on out there! A channel 22 News van just pulled up beside that old coot.”
“Oh my goodness, Lucky is going to be on TV!” She exclaimed in astonishment. “Why Ed, What is so important about him? I hope this doesn’t reflect badly on our quiet little town.”
Looking up from his newspaper Ed replied, “I expect it has something to do with this article Judy.”
Judy rushed over to the table to read the headline.
“Scholastic Outlook Looking Up for the areas Local Youth!”
“Resident Hermit and Unknown Billionaire, Lucky Fergusson sets up trust fund in memory of late wife Penny Fergusson to enable youth from Bethel Alabama and surrounding towns to a full scholarship to a college or trade school of choice…...”
Ed looked at Judy, her eyes grew big and a mixture of shame and joy played across her face. Tears filled her eyes.
“Oh Ed,” she spoke quietly “I guess we never know when angles live among us or how the Father will work to bless others.”
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