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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

I entered this short story in a compassion contest and won! I put a lot of time and energy in this and really rnjpyed writing it. I hope you enjoy it to!

Submitted: October 29, 2017

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Submitted: October 29, 2017



Written by: Juliette Soleil Molina
“Of all the things, why a chicken bus?” complained Benjamin moodily.
“It's not... that bad.” Josephine said, holding back tears.
Josephine and Benjamin were going to see Josephine's aunt in Paraíso, México. She and Benjamin had been engaged for nearly 2 months, yet he had never met her aunt. 
“I'm thirsty!” a small girl with red hair complained to her father. 

All the passengers had been on the bus for over 14 hours. They had no food nor water in this stuffy, manure covered, chicken infested vehicle. Josephine sighed and looked out the window. The sight that greeted her was surprising. Galvanised sheet metal held up by wooden poles stood near the side of the road. Underneath, what seemed to be a substitute for a house, were the happiest looking children Josephine had ever seen. They were all so beautiful that she hoped her children would one day be at least half as beautiful as them. 
Suddenly, the bus swerved to a stop. Grumbling voices filled the bus as people reached their breaking point. 
“What's going on!?” came Benjamin’s annoyed shout.
“There - seems - to - be - a - problem” the bus driver grunted as he pumped the gas pedal. 
“Daddy! I needa go potty!” shouted a little boy from the back of the bus. The father looked helplessly at the bus driver.
“Go ahead, this will take awhile” said the bus driver, as he opened the doors. Everyone in the bus filled out. As they walked towards the woods, the little red head girl suddenly fainted into her father's arms. 
“¡Dios mío!” (Oh my goodness!)  someone cried in the darkness. Several people looked around in confusion. An old woman hobbled over to where they were, abandoning the clothes she had been trying to hang on the clothes line. She must have been the poorest person in the world. 
“Ven conmigo, te puedo ayudar.” (Come with me, I can help you) she said.
The father looked at her, trying to find truth in her eyes. He reluctantly followed her, with the rest of the group shuffling behind. She led them to a shanty much like the one Josephine had seen earlier. The old woman started rolling out all the mats she had on the dirt floor. She directed the father to lay the little girl on one of the mats and covered her with an old, oversized shirt. Then she got to work. The stranger prepared herbal tea for the little girl, then carefully poured it into her mouth. 
Someone's stomach groaned in the crowd. The old woman turned to face them.
 “Esperar aqui” (stay here) she said as she signaled for them to stay. She disappeared behind the shanty, then came back with her weekly quota of bread and cheese wrapped in a cloth. She carefully unwrapped the food and broke off pieces for everyone to share. She disappeared again and came back with a jug of milk. Josephine noticed the old woman had nothing to eat herself. The woman built a fire in the middle of the shanty and dug a hole just outside for people to relieve themselves, all the while muttering to herself rapidly in Spanish.The bus driver soon walked in. They all drank and ate like starving animals. When they were done, Josephine and Benjamin lay on their mat. Josephine squeezed Benjamin’s hand. 
“Do you have ten dollars in cash?” She whispered 
“Yeah. Why?” He asked as he handed her the ten dollars. 
“For her.” Josephine smiled, taking it from his hand.  
 The woman went back outside to finish hanging up her wet clothing. Josephine approached her but stopped to take in the beauty of the scene. The old woman was in a brown pillowcase like dress and was barefoot. Her grey hair flew behind her in the gentle breeze and the moonlight cast light down on her. Crickets could be heard from a nearby bush. 
“Gracias, por cuidar de nosotros. Por favor acepta esto ” (Thank you for taking care of us. Please accept this)  Josephine said, handing her the ten dollars. 
The woman gasped, “No...No puedo” ( No, I can't) she said, trying to hand the money back to her. 
“Tómalo” (take it) Josephine said, more forcefully than before. 
“You have feed me for full week” she whispered in bad english with tears in her eyes. “Gracias!” (thank you!)  She clutched the ten dollars close to her chest. Josephine smiled and sat down on the dried up grass. She thought they must look like a peculiar pair. A young woman dressed in fine clothes next to an old, shabby woman with her dress ripped at the bottom. The two talked long into the night. 
The next morning the bus was repaired and all the passengers prepared to leave.
“¡Adios!” (good bye) the old woman said, hugging each one. Then, as the bus started to move, they peered and smiled out the window. They were so touched by the woman who had showed them so much kindness and compassion, even though she had very little. She would always be with them, always, in their hearts. 

© Copyright 2018 jul soleil molina. All rights reserved.

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