Porcelain clinked against wood with the unmistakable sound of a mug being set down. “Well, that’s peculiar.”
At the bemused tone in my host’s voice, I glanced up from where I had been scanning the spines of her myriad books. She stood hunched over, peeking out beneath the half-opened blinds on her living room window. Rain pattered against the pane and the muted afternoon sunlight painted her in charcoal shades. She had one hand upraised, as if considering pointing but remembering her manners. Her mug steamed on the windowsill beside her.
Leaving my own mug, I got up and padded to her side, socks whispering soft against silky wooden floorboards. She shifted aside for me a little so we could both see out the narrow window. The delicious, earthy scent of coffee cut the cool air.
“Down there,” she said, quiet. “The man in the delivery uniform.”
The sidewalk below the apartment was a multi-colored sea of passing umbrellas. But I picked out the man she meant because he stood at a crosswalk, waiting to go, sans umbrella or even a rain jacket. This, it seemed, was because a sphere of dry air surrounded him, not a single raindrop willing to fall on his head.
“Huh,” I said.
As we watched, more people arrived at the crosswalk. One or two had clearly been caught by the rain and were soaked through. A woman holding her purse over her head eyed the sphere of dryness around the delivery man. They exchanged words and then she stepped in with him. A businessman did the same. Soon the delivery man had an entourage of damp but grateful people crossing the road with him. I could see his smile from here.
“I think,” I said, slow, “that he’s just having a very good day.”
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Featuring an exclusive Hopeful Wanderer short-story!
For over 100 years, Texas High Plains Writers has been a part of great storytelling in Texas and beyond.
This year, our anthology offers a collection of short-stories, memoirs, inspirational essays, and poetry filled with hope.
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Great heroes of legends past sit side by side in these pages with the unsung citizens showing kindness to strangers. Humor, adventure, and nostalgia combine to remind us all that hope can be found anywhere.
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