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Monday, May 18, 2015

Excerpt from the short story: "The Empath"

This is a short story that I wrote over twenty years ago. I am making it into a novel, so I went back and reread the original story. I thought I would post a segment of it here for all to consider.

Short Story: the final paragraphs of "The Empath"
by M Ray Holloway, Jr.
Told from the perspective of Ann Harrison, a character in the story.

     It's been several weeks since that day, and the empath has moved on to help someone else.
     Jamie, for we had learned that was the little girl's name, lives with me now, teaching me more every day about the joy of life. It was no easy task persuading the county to let me care for her, but Doctor Reese was so amazed at the change in me that he agreed to take on the responsibility of watching over us himself. I also suspect that someone in the county offices had felt the healing touch of the empath sometime in the past and had used his influence to get the papers through without a hitch.
     James, the empath, stayed with us for a while (Jaime and I both needed some further attention,) and it was during that time that I got to ask him why he cared so much for the people he helped. I knew of his great love for us, but I felt that there must be more. That's when he told me that he did it because someone had done it for him once. Of course, the idea of someone else with this gift was somewhat thrilling to me. How many more were there like him? But the more I asked, the less he would say. He would just smile and say that I would understand someday.
     On the day that he left, I thought my heart would break. For the first time in my life, someone really cared about me just because of who I was, but I knew that his purpose in life precluded any thought of marriage or settling down in any one place. So with a kiss for Jaime, he walked away, leaving me far more than he had taken away.
     What had it cost him? A lifetime of living with the multitudes of suffering that dwelt within him. What had he gained? Only the gratitude of a couple of more people, their love and prayers for his well-being.
     Prayers from me, you might ask? Yes, it seems that he left behind something else, for when I went back to my apartment after leaving him, I found the small cardboard box that he had left behind. Inside it was an ornately carved wooden cross wrapped in a piece of old paper. On the paper, he had written the following words:
     "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

     Now I understood. Someone had done it for him....

1 comment:

  1. Very nice work. I appreciate the subject and the depth of your writing.


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