Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write for the ACTION and/or ADVENTURE Genre (11/13/14)
TITLE: THE THIRD MAN
By Gloria Pierre Dean
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I traded my silks in the markets along the way making great profit. My beautiful wife and I, together with our two daughters, my mother and sisters grew silk worms at home and wove beautiful silk fabrics. This was an old family business which my father taught me.
It was a dangerous journey at times so I usually attached myself to the salt caravans; after all there was safety in numbers. Alpheus my servant usually traveled with me. He was not with me that day.
One night I was very tired as I crawled into my makeshift bed to sleep. I woke up to find the caravan had left. I had not even heard the noisy camels leave. Yesterday’s large evening meal and spiced wine at the inn in Bethany had lulled me into a deep sleep. I hastened to catch up to the caravan and failed to look around for potential attackers.
On a lonely tree-lined stretch of road that was steep and treacherous, I was attacked by Barrabas and his hooded men. They pounced on me from above. There must have been about ten of them hidden in the branches of the trees above the road.
They beat me up with sticks, stole my purse, my donkey and mule, my shoes, my coat and all of my goods. I was dragged to a shrubbed area in the lower road where I would not be seen by other travelers. At least I was alive, barely alive.
“I think they left me for dead” I thought to myself. I lay there in agony breathing shallow breaths in the rising dawn. My ribs, legs and back ached severely. Blood oozed from my cut lips and my nose. My clothing was torn in many places.
I prayed that God would send me help. I wanted to live and return to my family. I wish I had Alpheus today.
I heard footsteps in the distance so I cried out “Help, please help me”. The man I saw in the distance through blurry eyes was a Pharisee, a priest of the temple leaving Jerusalem. He hurriedly changed directions and tiptoed away; he went to the other road holding his nose and did not look back.
I was covered in blood and the flies were beginning to gather. Vultures were circling, creating ominous shadows in the sky.
About ten minutes later a Levite priest came by. He was humming and muttering to himself. He ignored my cry for help. He averted his eyes and hastened his gait.
The next thing I heard was a donkey’s loud braying. A man had stopped. He was a Samaritan. Samaritans were outcasts. I was sure that this man would finish what the robbers had started. I was wrong.
“Hello friend, let me help you” he said.“I can see that you have been overtaken by that roving gang of thieves. I will clean up your wounds and take you to the inn just one mile from here". My name is Justus”. He spoke incessantly in a soothing voice which calmed my agitated mind.
"Why did the other two men not help me? Justus is not of my race" I thought to myself. He was the third man and he had saved my life with his kind act. I will never forget him.
He put me on his mule and took me to the inn. The excruciating pain was severe. I lost consciousness. I woke up in a comfortable bed. I was all washed and clean. The inn keeper’s wife served me cool soup and a pain reducing drink. I drifted off to sleep again.
Over the next week Justus came to see me twice. When he was sure that I could walk without pain he said goodbye. He left me a donkey so that I could travel home.
To all who hear this story let us remember never to judge by appearances. As the lawyer had asked Jesus “And who is my neighbor?”
Justus who was an outcast in Jewish culture but he was more than my neighbor, he was my brother, my doctor and my friend all rolled up into one.
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