A Good Samaritan

Submitted into Contest #97 in response to: Start your story with an unexpected knock on a window.... view prompt

0 comments

Fiction Christian

I'm at a red light, singing and playing the drums on the steering wheel. A woman knocks on the passenger window, pleading for help. I inspect her messed up hair, smeared makeup and rumpled top. Campfire stories of murderous hitchhikers or Granny's warning about damsels in distress who steal young men's hearts, then their souls were my first thoughts.

The car behind me honked. The ones in front had gone through the green light. She beat on the window, her shouts drowned out by the music. I unlocked the door. She plunged in, a stench invaded the interior.

My eyes burning, I crossed the intersection and out of routine merged into the turn lane leading to the highway.

She rubbed her palms together and peered around like a scared cat. I opened all the windows. Air rushed in, providing some relief for my irritated eyes and nose.

I spouted off questions. "Are you hurt? What's happened to you? Where did you come from? Where do you want to go?"

No reply.

"Okay, I'll decide." I increased my speed. "The police."

She shrieked "No."

The anguish in her voice caused me to veer left. I righted the car and considered my next question.

"What about the hospital?"

She wrapped her arms around herself and rocked.

What should I do? I was on my way home from work and wouldn't bring her there. Her shaking increased.

"Listen, Miss you must tell me something."

No reply.

Maybe I wasn't asking the questions correctly, but I knew someone who could.

"Church. That's where I'll take you."

Although she didn't reply, I felt her relax. I pressed the button on the steering wheel and said call home.

"Hi Honey. Something came up. I need you and the kids to meet me at church."

"You okay? You sound odd."

"I'll explain later."

"Be careful."

"Thanks."

I called the Pastor. He picked up on the first ring.

"Chaz, hey brother, what's up?"

"Are you available?" I asked.

"Yes. What do you need?"

"I'm bringing in someone. Can you meet us out back under the oak at the table and bench? Should be there in fifteen minutes."

"Sure thing man I'll be waiting."

Her hands clasped on her lap, head bowed and eyes closed. I wondered if she was praying.

The parking lot was empty. Wednesday evening service started in another hour and a half. I parked close to the office, out of view from the main lot.

She hesitated before getting out. Her eyes darted around the area, shuffling next to me.

He sat facing the building, standing when we approached.

"Chaz."

We fist bumped. "Philip, thanks for seeing us."

"No problem." He acknowledged my passenger. "Hi, I'm Pastor Philip."

She sat down and lowered her head.

He gave me an inquiring look.

"I was stopped at the light admiring the beautiful clear sky when she knocked on my window. Everything happened so fast and she wouldn't answer any of my questions so I thought of you."

"That's cool." He said.

We sat opposite her and Philip, with his patient demeanor, proposed the simplest question.

"What's your name?"

She looked from me to Philip. "Kay."

"Nice to meet you, Kay."

"Nice to meet you, Kay." I repeated.

Philip nodded. "Why did you choose Chaz?"

Her eyes downcast, she replied in a low voice. "I ran into the street. The first car was full, the next a man talked angrily into a phone. I looked in his car." She glanced at me. "He was happy, singing and tapping the wheel."

Phillip smiled. "Good observation. Do you think that's why he helped you?"

"I'm a mess." She ran her hand across her hair.

"Now can you tell us why you needed help?" Philip asked.

"What day is it?"

"Wednesday."

"He grabbed me Friday." She sniffled.

"Do you know him?"

She shook her head so fast I thought it would snap.

"If you would prefer talking with a woman, my wife's in the office. Do you want me to get her?"

Kay nodded.

He dashed into the building. Kay zoned out, probably reliving her torment. A few minutes later, Philip and Nam rushed down the walkway. He carried several bottles of water and she had snacks.

"Kay, this is my wife, Nam. Good thing I went for her, she had sense to get water and snacks."

Nam handed her a pack of crackers and water. Kay took them and cried.

Sitting beside her, Nam patted her shoulder. "We'll try our best to help you." She opened a package of sanitizing wipes and placed them in front of Kay. "Would you prefer the men leave so we can talk?"

"Nothing happened they can't hear." Kay wiped her hands and tore open the crackers. "I don't have family or friends." She bit into a cracker and shuddered.

"Philip said you were abducted?" Nam rubbed Kay's back.

Kay shivered before telling the events leading up to her, knocking on my window. Months ago, someone began leaving flowers outside her apartment every weekday evening. She reported the incident at the building office. The young man brushed her off, saying she should be happy to have an admirer at her age.

The first bunches she brought in and trashed. Later she'd leave them. In the morning they were gone. Fear kept her in the house most weekends. When she ventured out, there was nothing upon her return. Monday it started again. She thought about setting up a camera, but management prohibited it. So she left notes asking whoever to stop, but the gifts increased. Besides flowers, boxed chocolates and stuffed animals.

She hesitated going to the police. When she finally did, like the young man at her building, the officer insinuated, at her age and appearance, she should be happy with the attention.

"Do you remember who you spoke with at the station?" Philip asked.

I figured his thoughts were on several church members in law enforcement and how they would react knowing one of their brethren mistreated Kay.

"No." She said.

"Sorry I interrupted. Please continue."

Kay pulled another wipe, brushed it across her mouth and across her face, smearing the dirt already present. "My boss made me work late. I could barely see when I got home. He seized me around the neck, covered my mouth with a rough hand, and dragged me. All the lights were out."

We sat mesmerized while Kay replayed her ordeal. He shoved her into a room with blacked-out windows, padded walls, and door. She yelled until her throat hurt. It would be hours before he returned. No matter how much she begged, he wouldn't tell her why. He remained in the dark room for a period, breathing hard.

Kay lost track of time during her confinement, even though she attempted to calculate it during him bringing her a meal.

She didn't eat, but sipped water to stay hydrated. He wouldn't allow her to use the bathroom, but provided a large pail, which he never replaced.

Kay prayed, something she hadn't done in ages.

The death of her parents and husband within five years, followed by abandonment of the few friends she thought she had but realized were her husband's. A move to a different neighborhood, and church, didn't work out because the cliquish women ignored her, no matter how hard she tried to fit in. It was then she believed God didn't care about her.

She left her hometown, moving to the other side of the country. Although old enough to be Mother to her boss and co-workers, she enjoyed the job. She learned to be content by herself, but there were times she missed the days with her husband and their church friends.

After praying, she felt courageous and explored the room.

Kay remembered a self-defense class she took in her thirties. She prayed again, asking God to bring to her mind the moves, hoping after over twenty years they worked. She also prayed it would be daylight when she escaped and found someone willing to help her.

While she waited for him, Kay murmured thanks he hadn't touched her or tied her up. But as time went by, her courage waned until the knob jiggled. He entered. Kay held her breath, listening to him wheeze. Sensing where he stood, she rushed at him, wrist flexed, jabbed upward on his nostrils, he yelled, she jabbed his throat and kneed his groin. He fell to the floor. She ran through the apartment, located the door, struggled with the multiple locks before finally freeing herself, and racing down the stairs, into the street where she found me.

Nam patted Kay's hand. "Do you remember anything else?"

Kay shut her eyes for a few seconds. Opening them, she wailed. "My building. All that time I was in my building on my floor."

Philip placed several calls and within minutes, police cars and an ambulance arrived. I gave an officer my statement. Nam accompanied Kay in the ambulance while Philip directed people arriving for service away from the scene to the church.

I sat in the shade, delighted how I displayed the current sermon series. The Parable of the Good Samaritan. 

June 11, 2021 17:58

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

0 comments

RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.