"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

8/21/09

Friday Fiction: "Glad She's Crazy"


Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted by Lynn Squire at Faith, Fiction, Fun and Fanciful. Make sure that you head over to her blog and link up with your own fiction. Or, if you just want to read some great fiction (ALWAYS great in my opinion!), head over to Lynn's blog and check out the links there.

As usual, This piece was originally for the FaithWriters' writing challenge. I wrote it almost two years ago, and the topic was "Gifts(of the spirit or service)." The MC in this piece still fascinates me, and I'd like to think I would do the same thing she did. But I really don't know. (hope I've got you intrigued!)

GLAD SHE'S CRAZY

Yelena grabbed the hem of her ankle-length skirt at the seam and tore up about six inches. She then ripped horizontally around its bottom until she had a workable rag - and a calf-length skirt.

She turned toward her patient Samuel, who had already lost consciousness. She tore the rag in two, using one piece to wrap his bleeding arm. His knife wound was deep, and he had already lost quite a bit of blood. She continued to put pressure on the wound. After a minute or two, the blood flow slowed dramatically.

She wiped the sweat from her face and looked out into the distance. Other than the small oasis a few hundred yards east, all she could see was sand. There wasn't a soul in sight, and she had no way to communicate with anyone.

The heat was almost unbearable. The shortening of her skirt was a welcome relief to her legs. She grabbed the skirt's new bottom and tucked it into her clothing's waistband.

Samuel needed medical attention; of that she was sure. He also needed water. His breathing had steadied, but he was perspiring heavily.

Lord, I need to go to that oasis, but I don't know if I should leave Samuel, even for a few minutes. Guide me, Lord. Give me the wisdom to know what to do, for I certainly don't have it on my own. In Your Son's precious and holy Name I pray.

She opened her eyes and looked at Samuel. The corners of his mouth were turned up slightly, as if trying to grin.

Yelena closed her eyes and sighed deeply. "I guess that means you'll be okay for a bit."

Yelena picked up the other portion of her torn dress, put Samuel's empty canteen over her shoulder, and trod toward the oasis. Every several steps, she glanced back at Samuel. Her gait quickened the closer she got to the haven, until she practically ran into the water.

She stopped when she was ankle-deep in the cool pool, kneeling down and splashing water on her legs, arms, and upper torso. She smiled for the first time since she had arrived in this desolate place.

Removing the canteen from her shoulder, she filled it with the pool's water. She drank the canteen dry, refilled it, and closed the cap. Next, she held the rag in the water, allowing it to saturate with fluid. Without wringing it out, she exited the water and looked back out into the desert.

She could see them from her vantage point. Her smile immediately disappeared. Lord, help me keep my focus where it should be: where You want it to be. Breathing deeply, she walked back, her eyes fixed on Samuel as she approached.

Arriving at his side, Yelena knelt beside Samuel and rubbed the wet rag on his forehead, along his cheeks, and under his neck. She unbuttoned the top two buttons on his shirt and placed the cool cloth there as well.

The canteen, hanging from her shoulder, swung as she worked, coming within inches of striking Samuel's temple. Noticing this, she took it off and placed it next to him. At that moment, he opened his mouth a bit. Yelena opened the canteen and put a few drops of water into his mouth.

Samuel's uninjured arm shifted slightly, and his head moved toward Yelena. She backed away somewhat as his eyes cracked open.

"You!" Samuel was clearly trying to yell, but his voice barely reached a whisper.

"Don't exert yourself, Samuel." She looked down at him somberly. "You must conserve your strength."

His eyes ablaze, Samuel attempted to lift his arm, groaning as pain shot through his body.

"Joseph?"

Yelena pursed her lips and glanced off to their right, where a lifeless body lay in a pool of blood. "Dead by your hand."

"And you did this?" Samuel glared at his knifed arm, and then at Yelena.

"I bandaged and tended to your injury, yes. The wound, however, was inflicted by Joseph, in self defense."

Samuel's look changed to confusion. "I killed your husband, yet you cared for my wounds?"

Yelena nodded. "You are his brother."

"His brother who wanted him dead for being an infidel to Allah. I don't understand."

"It is what Christ would have me do. My gift to you."

"A gift for your enemy? This Christ is an odd man, yet you follow Him. Are you crazy, woman?"

"Perhaps. But today you are glad I am crazy, are you not?"

**

Thanks for reading. Be sure to stop by Lynn's blog for more great fiction.

9 comments:

  1. I love the way you can retell these Bible stories to make the characters come to life! Intriguing story.

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  2. I love this one, Jo! The ending surprised me again because I couldn't remember the details of it--only that there was a twist. =) Good job! =)

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  3. This is excellent. I want to read more.

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  4. What an interesting twist. What a great character you created!

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  5. Very thought provoking! Well done!

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  6. Love it - you made me connect with and feel for the characters in so few words. Ok, Dee said it was a Bible story - which one? I don't recognize it.

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  7. Sounds like there is a longer story hiding in there somewhere.

    Good one.

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  8. A good pondering, especially in light of a recent story I read about a 17 year old Muslim girl who fled to Florida because of her Christianity to hide from the threats of her father to kill her. She's being sent back.

    Seems like your fiction isn't so far from the truth.

    peace~elaine

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  9. Hey girl, loved your story. (of course) And I wanted to tell you that there is a mini-discussion at FB on my note containing by blog about blogging. Some interesting thoughts there!
    Loved the remake!!!
    Hugs,
    Pat

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