Sometimes the inspiration for a story isn’t inspiration at all. It’s the story. There isn’t even any point in changing the names of the people involved. In those cases, what separates a good tale from a news report is the telling.
I hope this is a good telling.
Over Hill and Dale
I found myself traveling over the hill alone this morning. It was a combination of when I woke up and the nature of my mission that led to that state, it was only 8:15 and I was going to practice my offertory at the church. Not especially exciting for anyone else and, since we were on vacation, a bit too early.
But not too early for beer, apparently. As I drove down the hill into the quaint, 23 house dorf, I spied a man stumbling toward me. I slowed, wondering what sort of ailment had befallen him and discovered that 1) he was much younger than I had expected, 2) had a walking cast on his left foot, and 3) was carrying not bags of groceries for his starving grandchildren but instead a case of beer for himself.
The broken foot and youth are what swayed me. I asked if he needed a ride. I felt it was fairly safe, I didn’t have a specific time to be anywhere and, really, how far could a kid with a broken foot need to go?
Turns out it was only about 178 yards. Our conversation went like this.
M: Do you need a ride?
D: That would awesome. I just live up there, it isn’t far, but thank you. Thank you so much. [He climbed into the car] I’m really frustrated because the sheriff’s office doesn’t open until 8 and I’ve been trying to get a hold of them because last night I put my prescription meds on the windowsill and somebody stole them. Who does that? So I don’t have any meds and I’m trying to get a hold of the sheriff to get a report. You’d think it would be okay to leave your stuff out but I guess not. It’s the one with the blue mailbox.
M: That one?
D: Yes. I’m Dale by the way.
M: I’m John.
D: Thanks for the ride.
M: No problem. I’m sorry about your meds.
D: I just want to feel better. [He climbed out of the car]