The boy could finally rest. The sweat running down his forehead and a satisfied smile reflected the tiring, but enjoyable night's work. The newly risen sun had already lit up the well presented store that the boy had built. Only hope remained.
The day dawned and gradually trading came to life. Announcements were shouted in all directions. A middle-aged man was the first to notice the new store. Curious, he approached.
Man: "May I have eight bread rolls, please."
Boy: "I don’t sell bread, sir."
Man: "How can it be that you do not sell bread? What the hell kind of store is this? "
Boy: "I only sell grain, sir. If you want I can sell you wheat and you can make your own bread. "
Man: "Obviously I would not come to buy them if I wanted to make them."
Boy: "I'm sorry, sir."
Man: "Sorry? Well, lo and behold! He's sorry for not being able to sell me simple home made bread rolls! "
An old man with a surly reputation, had just bought the newspaper from a stall next door and soon interrupted:
Old Man: "What's going on here?"
Man: "This kid does not want to sell me the bread I asked for!"
Boy: "But I already told you that ..."
Old Man: "Let me tell you something boy. I am old, and I know things. Our financial situation is not the best. The prices that we have to pay are the highest in the last few years and look how many people around you are in need of housing, food and decent clothing. Look at how much misery there is! And do you know why?
Boy: "Please, sir ..."
Old Man: "Because of people like you who contribute to their economic vulnerability."
Boy: "For the last time ..."
Old Man: "Do you not see that this deplorable misery is the product of the seeds that we ourselves have sown? That attitude of yours not only disrespects this man, but all of us! "
Boy: "I give up!"
Old Man: "You give up? If I had this wonderful opportunity at your age to build a store like this one, with such promise, 'giving up' would be the last thing I would do!"
The intriguing discussion caught the attention of others passing. A girl walking briskly by, came amid the trouble.
Girl: "I say, and I repeat: this new youth is totally lost! Not only do they despise the work as not to even think of what's next! Life expectancy is short and no one, however noble they may be, gets a glimpse of a dignified and consistent destination. "
The trouble increased.
Another: "Maybe the store belongs to the boy's father!"
Another: "Yes, it is likely that he is just learning to manage it."
Another: "Leave the boy be! He looks confused! "
Man: "But the only thing I ask for are simple homemade bread rolls!"
Another: "What has the boy done wrong?"
Another: "It seems that he has increased the price of bread."
Another: "But this is nonsense! Unacceptable!"
Another: "Is he praying?"
Another: "Who was it that won?"
Another: "How much is it?"
Shortly after, the old man who until then had moved away, returned with two foremen who grabbed the boy by force. A nun intervened:
Nun: "What is all this? What are you doing? "
Old Man: "Get out of the way! This boy is an affront to humanity! "
Nun: "Calm down! No one should sin with violence for any reason! "
Old Man: "Any compassion should be ignored so that justice can be served! But you would never understand that, so get out of the way!"
Nun: "Are you crazy! My brothers and I pray that God shines the light of sympathy and mercy upon you!"
Old Man: "Enough! Lead this boy from here and sacrifice him!"
Another: "The nun is right Look, the boy is crying. Whatever the reason, it is not sufficiently convincing to sacrifice him so! "
Old Man: "You ingrates! I'm doing this for your sake! And for the good of your children and grandchildren!"
Another: "Kill the old man!"
An intense fight began in front of the newly opened store. Not so new. It collapsed under the weight of the people. The security guards arrived soon after. The fight was stopped.
Security: "Okay, what is the cause of this trouble?"
Old Man: "That brat! That brat!"
Security: "What about the boy?"
Man: "He would not sell me simple buns!"
The guard looked at the boy. He was mute, frightened and panting frantically. They took pity on him
Security: "Everyone disperse!"
Gradually, the boy was recovering his breath.
Boy: "Hey. Sir."
Boy: "Okay, you won."
He opened the small clay oven and gave him eight bread rolls.
Boy: "These are on the house!"
© Copyright 2016 Richard Lowenthal. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Other
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