“Here,” he says holding out a fifty dollar note towards him, the mans eyes light up. He leans forward, confusion, excitement and fear all run across his face in matter of seconds, he nervously reaches out a hand. His eyes dart from the note, to the strangers face, and then, back to the crisp fifty dollar note. He gently takes it in his fingers and grips it as the stranger releases his.
“Why? Because, you called, that’s way,” he says, he sees a flash of teeth, white, bright teeth from within the man’s shadowed face as he smiles.
“I called? I don’t understand?”
The stranger laughs as he pulls a packet of cigarettes from his coat and offers him one, which he quickly takes. He runs it underneath his nose, then, with a strong whiff, he draws its toxic, wonderful fragrance into his face, leaning back against the alleyway wall and allows himself to smile.
“Of course you understand, you see, I wouldn’t be here if you didn’t,” the stranger says, as he lights his own cigarette, the flame of the match lights up his face, his skin looks soft, un-blemished, like that of a teenager, but his features are that of a man in his late forties.
“I-I-I, I really don’t understand.”
He smiles, “Derek, I can call you Derek, can’t I?” He says, Derek nods his head slowly.
“H-H-How do you know my name?”
“I’ll take that as yes, how long have you been living on these streets? Six, seven years?”
“How many times have you wished, prayed, begged for a miracle?”
“Everynight,” he says softly, as his eyes begin to well up with tears.
“Well, tonight will be the first night where you won’t, as I’m here because your call, your pleads, your cries, are to be answered. In other words, welcome to your new life,” the man says, suddenly the alleyway around them transforms into a dining room. A plethora of food lies on the table, food he hasn’t seen for years, and every dish, everyone, are his favirouties. He turns to the stranger and cannot hold back his tears any longer.
“I don’t know how I can thank you, everything you’ve done today will not be forgotten,” he says, looking up at him, tears running down his cheeks.
“I’m not being generous here sport, this is what you’d call, a building experience for everyone,” he says with a uncomfortable, wry smile.
“A, building experience?”
The stranger laughs, “This is your new life, but, to hold onto it all Derek, you will be doing things that, you’ll wish not to remember. Things that will bring suffering to others, things, that, well, let’s just leave it at that, for now.”
“I don’t understand, you said you were sent from God, why would he ask things of me that would do wrong to others?”
“Derek,” he says as he smiles, his wide, white, toothy smile once again. “When did I say God had sent me? For, he, that sniveling, pathetic, scum fucker, was not the only one you called to, you also, called to me.”
If you want to read the original 50 word story, go HERE.