Wednesday's Three Word Wednesday

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are amaze, frail and sacred. Somewhere, there's a better story in this than what came out.

Street Prophet

For all his craziness, he didn’t direct his gestured outbursts at those who passed on the street, but into a mobile smartphone.
Curious onlookers stole sideward glances. He wore the obvious cloak of homelessness: The scruff of a beard gone to wild seed, two pair of pants, a dirty coat, white plastic shopping sacks wrapped around cheap high-top basketball shoes.
A camouflaged backpack hung from frail, hollow shoulders. Its weight served to press him forever forward in an awkward hunch.
And the stench, it arrived well before he did - old beer sweat, urine, cigarette smoke - something else more sinister, like ripe cheese that’s filtered through an unseasonably hot day next to garbage cans.
He barked orders into the phone, to the amazement of those who parted, watching this wretched wreck use his left hand to drive home the points he was making into the phone.
He spoke in Aramaic, the sacred language of Christ and his Disciples. Not that those on the street knew it; to them it sounded old, foreign, guttural. A troubled man in troubled times.
He made a final plea into the handset, flicked a button with his thumb, hooked the mobile to a plastic holster on his belt.
He threw a cocked thumb into a nostril, blew a wad of snot onto the street and wiped his nose with his thumb and index finger. Moving toward the middle of a busy street corner, he fished for a torn cardboard sign from inside his jacket and unfolded it.
“Those Who Follow Are Saved” it read, scrawled in red crayon.
Those who passed gave him a wide berth, hurried the cadence of their steps.
The mobile rang and he smiled.
“I’ve got to take this,” he whispered to no one in particular.

22 comments:

anthonynorth said...

A great image you created there.

Just someone said...

Your fiction writing is just great! :) each better than the other...

Miss Alister said...

Dude’s got a direct line to God’s red telephone and he’s puttin’ prayers in to the holy Trinity; hell, maybe he’s the third wheel! Heh. That’s how I see it, anyway. And it’s your usual kickass writing, T! Love the way you put things : )

maglomaniac said...

m d 1 follwing:)
vividly superb,as always:)

Jared Branch said...

Hm, so, who's crazy, him or us?

Lilibeth said...

What a vivid picture.

Crybbe666 said...

Fantastic piece of flash, Thom. You may be right about there being a bigger story in this but it works wonderfully well the way it is.

Stan Ski said...

Powerful image, superb descriptions.

lissa said...

there is are realism here and as much as hate seeing people like these, they are out there

Thomma Lyn said...

Brilliantly done, Thom. You brought him to life. And with him the question: prophet or madman? Or both?

b said...

This very interesting. My daughter in law had the opportunity to speak with a lving Budha somewhere in the mountains of China. The man had been in the company of the Deli Lama at one time. As she was sitting with a group of students speaking of spiritual things his cell phone rang. I think he said just what your character said..."I have to take this." After he finished with the phone call he said something of the nature that he was a spiritual man but he was also a very important man. Interesting!

b

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

A call from God, perhaps? The mind boggles. I love how you leave a bit of ambiguity in your stories.

Julie Jordan Scott said...

I used to work with the mentally ill, and I oftentimes said, "Who am I to deny that what they are saying is true?" I never denied them. Ever. You just never know.

My guess is this guy IS the "third wheel"! as an earlier commenter suggested.

Dee Martin said...

If he starts eating locusts and honey I'm going where ever he goes even if he does stink! Great story and I love how you leave us wondering.

Andy Sewina said...

Dead good! And the hot line to the almighty ~ takes the biscuit!!

Jay Thurston said...

Very descriptive and vivid. Blowing the wad of snot onto the street... graphically gross! I thought the explanation on his odor was well done also.

Andy Sewina said...

Love the way you extracted the anagrams of the three little words and placed them in the story.

Aramaic zeal serf! and Lama fires a craze!

Daily Panic said...

This is fantastic! The descriptions made your character so human. when the phone rang it changed the dynamics... in a good way.

one more believer said...

dynamite thommy...had me laughing...tho the smell in fact is overpowering....one man's stench is another's sweet perfume...hey, i think i saw this guy on the streets of san diego a while back ... as always yr stories inspire...my heart sez yes jesus is always available

Zouxzoux said...

I want to know more about this man as I do many of the homeless I pass on the street. What happened (or didn't) in their lives that led them to this place?
In the case of this man the overwhelming question is, is he *really* homeless? Or just eccentric. The smartphone kinda gives him up.

Tumblewords: said...

Vivid imagery, as always. The character comes alive. I'm debating. Think I'll leave my phone behind when I'm forced to hit the streets.

Tim Remp said...

Hey Thom,
I’ve always found the homeless to be a great source of writing materials, mainly as backdrops for comments about society.

Your piece is very vivid and powered by senses not commonly used by writers such as smell. I enjoyed it a lot!

-Tim
My 3ww:
http://timremp.blogspot.com/2010/03/old-world-were.html