Welcome, Reader Friends and New Subscribers! Enjoy D.I. Telbat’s new short story.
Hundreds of Sons
by D.I. Telbat
Raul Markel needed money and a fix. Old woman Andrea Douglas in his previous apartment building seemed like the perfect victim. He knocked on her door and gripped his knife tightly.
The door opened and he forced his way into the apartment. Andrea couldn’t have weighed more than one hundred pounds. He plowed her backwards and kicked the door closed behind him. By the collar of her nightgown, he held her close, his knife under her chin.
“Your cash, lady, now! Everything you’ve got!”
“You want what I have of value?”
Raul shook her roughly. Normally, people he robbed face-to-face acted more terrified, but Andrea didn’t fight him at all.
“I know you’ve got money. You’ve lived up here for years, doing nothing, never leaving to spend it. Get me my money!”
Releasing her, she stumbled toward the kitchen. With anticipation, he saw her open a cupboard above the stove. She kept her cash in a pot? Crazy lady.
“Have a seat. This won’t take long.”
“It better not!” Raul waved his deadly blade. “Or I’ll go crazy on you!”
“Well, we’re all a little crazy,” she said, then opened the fridge. Had she forgotten where she kept her cash? “The Lord knows He couldn’t give us too much sense or we’d just use it to make bigger messes for ourselves.”
“Hurry up!” Raul sat at a dining table cluttered with greeting cards. “What’re all these cards for?”
“Oh, I send those to people for their birthdays.” She stood at the stove.
“What people? Family?”
“Spiritual family. Mostly, they’re for prisoners. No one much cares for prisoners, but I send them cards and pray for them.”
“What’s taking so long in there?” Raul picked up a card. It had a cross on the front. Inside, Andrea had sketched a man on his knees under a handwritten poem. “Prisoners don’t care about this stuff.”
“Oh, yes they do, young man. If everyone else in the world ignores you and pretends you’re dead, you welcome a little human connection through the mail. Christians don’t stop loving even the dirty ones, because Jesus Christ has the power to clean up anyone.”
“Just bring me my money! You write these poems?”
“After I spend time praying for each man or woman, the poems just come. Jesus is so sweet to me. No situation is the same in His eyes, so every poem I write is different, yes.”
“There’s hundreds here! I wrote some poetry once. It was stupid. All this is too much. You can’t enjoy a life like this.”
“Of course I enjoy it! I spend time with my Savior and I warm the hearts of condemned men and women in lockup. How could that not be enjoyable?”
“Some envelopes here don’t have any names on them.”
“They will eventually, unfortunately. Maybe even your name will be on one of those.”
“Shut up! What are you doing?” Raul charged into the kitchen. The smell of eggs, sausage, and hash browns made his mouth water. “You’re fixing breakfast? It’s nine o’clock at night!”
“When was the last time you had a good meal? You’re the one who said you wanted something of value. Now, sit down and wait for your food. Go on, now. Go read more of those cards. The Lord knows you need some Jesus poetry and decent cooking. You eat sausage and eggs?”
He stared down at the little woman who seemed to ignore the knife in his fist. With the smell of the food cooking, even he was tempted to forget his whole thieving enterprise.
“Yeah, I like sausage and eggs.”
“Well, I can’t cook with you hovering. Go on. And don’t think this is the last meal you’re getting, either!”
“What do you mean?” Raul sat at the table again.
“There’s no way you and I are going to get to the bottom of your bad habits unless you come here for a good meal once in a while. Does anyone else care about you?”
“Not really,” he mumbled. “What do you know about my habits?”
She approached him with a sizzling pan and set a plate in front of him.
“I have hundreds of sons in prison. Some of them write after they get a card from me. I know just about everything there is to know about a young man’s bad habits. Now, put that thing away and eat.”
She slid fried eggs, hash browns, and sausage onto his plate. The smell almost made Raul weep with . . . some emotion he’d long forgotten. He set the knife aside and picked up a fork.
“Dear Lord,” Andrea said, her hand suddenly on his head, “touch this man’s broken heart and open his eyes so he can see how much You love him. And please don’t let him die before he learns how You can clean up his filthy life. May this food give him energy to think right and act right. Amen. Amen?”
“Amen.” Raul wiped at a tear as it rolled down his nose. “Crazy old woman!”
“Does crazy fix eggs like that?”
“No.” He glowered with a full mouth. “I guess they’re good.”
“You bet they’re good. Now, listen up. You eat and I’ll read. This is the wisdom of God through King Solomon . . .”
~The End of Hundreds of Sons~
You can find other short stories by D.I. Telbat at Extractions and Other Longer Stories.
See the PrisonerAlert.com site to see how you can send letters to Persecuted Christians suffering in prisons for their faith.