Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)
TITLE: The Truth is in the Jellybeans
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“Of course, that’s why we’re here.”
“Someone poke him.”
It’s been said a man’s life flashes before his eyes when he’s about to die but nobody ever said anything about animated jellybeans.
Charlie felt a tiny prod against his sun-weathered cheek. He grumbled something unintelligible and rolled over so that his face was pressed into the cooler surface of the rubber raft. “Go away.”
“Sorry, we can’t do that.”
He felt them hop upon his side, and roll lazily along his backbone until they reached the base of his neck. Three little plops quickly followed as they landed neatly into the raft. He could imagine them lined in front of his face but refused to open his eyes to confirm his suspicious.
‘Charlie, please wake up so we can talk.” Blue was always so polite.
Rubbing his eyes, Charlie rolled over, draping his arms across the back of the raft. He blinked at the three jellybeans looking up at him. “Hullo.”
Red executed a tiny hop, setting himself upon Charlie’s chest. “It’s about darn time.”
“Be nice” Yellow followed, giving the other a disapproving nudge. “He’s been through quite a bit
Blue chose to position itself upon the edge of the raft, an odd rolling movement bringing it to rest only a few inches from the man’s face.
The jellybean stared sternly at him. “You fell asleep before we could finish our conversation.”
Charlie rubbed a hand over his stubbly chin. “Talking candy is a little too weird.” He peered through slightly parted fingers, “…even for me.”
“We are all you have right now.” Blue wiggled its bottom end as if to get more confortable.
“Don’t I know it.” Charlie laughed; a flick of his arm indicated the ocean around them. “There’s nothing for miles.” He paused, his next words only a whisper, “I’m going to die out here.”
We're not here to talk about death." Red jumped up and down on his chest, the abrupt movement causing the man to blink in surprise.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Charlie made an attempt to squelch his own sarcasm. “What are you here to talk about?”
“We were discussing something before you fell asleep,” Yellow piped in. “Don’t you remember?”
“Ah yes,” Charlie smiled slowly. “No good deed goes unpunished.”
All three beans frowned simultaneously.
“It’s all in how you look at it.” Blue was speaking again, “You see-“
“No.. no.. “Charlie interrupted, shifting for a better view of the calmer jellybean. “Let’s review my life’s experiences, shall we?”
“Very well.” The bean seemed unaffected.
“What happened when I stopped my truck at an intersection to help that guy in a wheelchair across the street?”
“You got a ticket for obstructing traffic.” Red bobbed back and forth with a movement resembling a nod.
“Yeah!” Charlie jabbed a finger toward the jellybean. “How fair was that?.”
“It wasn’t” It was Yellow’s turn.
“Then there's all the time I put into helping the new guy at work. He was a scared little mouse and I gave him the skills and confidence he needed.”
“I know some mice that might take exception to that comparison.” Red wiggled a bit.
Charlie sat up abruptly, sending both Red and Yellow flying into the bottom of the boat. “They promoted him and he hasn’t spoken two words to me since.”
“That happens. You can’t control how a person is going to react to you.” It was the calm voice of Blue.
The other two jellybeans hopped upon the ledge beside their companion.
“Let’s not forget my absolute favorite,” Charlie was ranting now, arms flailing. “I’m outside my apartment and notice an elderly woman struggling with her groceries. Naturally, I walked over and offered some help.
“She chased you for a block while beating you with her purse.” Blue’s tone was resigned.
Both Yellow and Red giggled, their bodies quivering slightly.
Blue shushed them with a quick glance, “What people do with your kindness isn’t your concern.”
“Kay…” Charlie squinted at the preaching candy, “Then what’s the point?”
"It’s your warmth and compassion that’s been noticed.”
“By whom?” Charlie shrugged.
“You know Who.” All three jellybeans spoke in unison.
“He has your back.” Blue had to speak against the whirling blades of an approaching helicopter. “Especially when it seems like nobody else does.”
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