Before I sat down to write these words, the ones you are reading, I experienced a mild episode of inner conflict. I didn’t have an immediate task in front of me, so I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t feel like doing anything. I didn’t feel like applying myself, I didn’t feel like engaging my mind. But for some reason I felt like writing. The following is the first short story I have ever written.
There was a tan carpenter. He had callused hands and a small child at home. It was the end of a long day at the end of a long week. In the office the phone rang and the carpenter picked it up. A command: “George, I’m going to need you to work a few extra hours on our client’s roof today.” George sighed; he knew it would be more than a few hours. Yet he set down the phone and drove to the hardware store where he could buy the supplies he would need for the roof. George bought many supplies and filled several canvas bags full. The bags were cumbersome. On his way back to the truck George tripped and fell and the bags were split. Supplies scattered everywhere. Some ended up beneath the truck, others rolled away. A kind voice spoke from behind, “Here, we saw what happened, let us help you”. And kind hands lifted George to his feet. The voice belonged to man in his thirties. He was with his wife and she smiled kindly. Together, the three of them picked up the supplies and loaded them into the truck. George thanked them for he knew people didn’t often reach out to help each other anymore. The young couple replied that they were glad simply glad for the opportunity to perpetuate kindness. The woman got in the driver’s seat while her husband entered on the passenger side and they drove away in a small blue car. George drove to the client’s house and worked on the client’s roof for several hours. George was too tired to put forth quality work. He was also resentful because he worked harder than his boss while his boss made more. Life just wasn’t fair. These thoughts gnawed at him while he labored. As a result, some shingles were not aligned nor all the tar properly placed. There would most likely be a leak. But the weather was warm. George knew it would be months before the rains came and anybody noticed the poor roofing job. How could he be expected to work hard when life was unfair? After packing the left over supplies and buckling his belt George began the drive home. On his way back, he saw a homeless man without any possessions on the side of the road. The man’s arms were crossed, his mouth in a flat line, his jaw rigid. George ignored this and kept driving. He passed a small blue car going the opposite way. George was tired and wanted to go to sleep.