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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Weary (05/03/12)

TITLE: The Weary Wayward Traveller
By Tendi Rice


He stood at the edge of the busy street, seemingly watching the cars as they whizzed past him. Each time it appeared as if there were no cars coming, he would step into the road, obviously trying to cross; but then suddenly a car would emerge, honk at him and drive past, occasionally shouting insults at him for standing in the way. He would step back, evidently distraught at another failed attempt to make his way across; then he would start watching the road again for another opportunity.

He was elderly with a long scruffy beard that had not been shaved in ages. His hair was uncombed and uneven, tied into a small bun at the back of his head. His clothes were old and tattered; you could barely make out what color they had once been. He wore one shoe on his left leg and a bottomless sock on the other foot. He had two bracelets around his wrist, possibly once shiny and meaningful to him. He held two large paper bags, probably full of everything he owned. He had one strewn across his shoulder, supported by draw strings he may have woven himself and the other he dragged on the ground as he went along.

He had probably been a tall strong man once upon a time, so despite his hunched back and bony shoulders, you could tell he had a strong build. His brown eyes and high cheek bones told that he was a fine young man in times past. He seemed polite, every now and again giving way to other pedestrians, who all passed him, barely noticing him or stopping to give him a second look.

A siren was heard in the distance and at first everything continued as normal, obviously undisturbed by it. As it got louder, both motorists and pedestrians looked around to see where it was coming from. As each person caught sight of it, they all stopped by the roadside to give it way. As the ambulance sped past, it left an empty clear path behind it.

The elderly man took this opportunity to make his way across the street. His walk had a limp as though his left leg hurt, but he still try to go as fast as his legs could carry him, though it was not very fast. Just he managed to get himself to the curb on the other side of the road; the cars behind him had built up again, all continuing busily as they had before.

He dragged himself to the street bench nearby and as he slumped himself into it, he heaved a sigh of relief, obviously grateful to finally get to a place to rest. He lay back on the wooden bench and despite how uncomfortable it seemed, I watched him drift to sleep in no time. Surely he must have been very exhausted, that weary wayward traveler.

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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/12/12
I loved this "poetic" descriptive piece. I could see the entire scene unfolding in my mind's eye.

Great job...and very moving entry.

God blessd,

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/13/12
This is a really detailed piece. The beginning drew me in and I could picture your character easily. Though I can see it as an allegory for life. Oh how busy the roads can be and how we can feel lost in the shuffle, never able to reach our destination.

However, I feel some may miss the message in your piece and just think it is a good description of a homeless man crossing the street. I think you needed a brief description at the end to kind of sum up the message you wanted to leave the reader with.

This is definitely on topic. You painted the perfect picture of weary. The beginning drew me in as I began to connect with your character.