The Road to Redemption

Friday Fictioneers
Photo credit Ron Pruitt.

The Road to Redemption

The old cowboy boarded the bus, hat in hand, boots freshly polished, his steps hesitant.
“Mind if I sit?” asked the young man in newly pressed black trousers, starched white short-sleeved shirt and black tie.
“You can sit anywhere you like but the only guidance I need at 90 is directions to the toilet.”

Undeterred he asked, “Have you found God, Sir?”
“Probably so, I’ve done my share of kneeling.”
They rode in silence another 100 miles.
Adrift in regrets, the cowboy asked the sleeping missionary, “This God of yours, you reckon he forgives rough necks and love-sick ol’ fools?”

For more flash fiction from the Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wiseoff-Fields, author of the lovely novel Please Say Kaddish for Me go here.

41 Comments Add yours

  1. A bus-trip like this sounds like the last chance for the old cowboy… Wonder if it helps?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see him traveling towards a woman from his past. I hope there’s still time for them.

      Like

  2. Great bus ride story.
    I’m sure god will forgive the coboy, no problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think all forgiveness comes from within and maybe this cowboy is ready to forgive himself.

      Like

  3. draliman says:

    It sounds like the cowboy is ready to take the first step to forgiveness on his own. He just needed a little nudge.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandra says:

    A really good story, that left me reeling at the prospect of being trapped next to a happy-clapper for a long bus journey. The most fruitful conversation would be the one where one of us was asleep. Such an original take on the prompt Tracey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ceayr says:

      A happy-clapper!
      Love it!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. If my Dad were still alive he would love that phrase. Happy-Clapper ha ha

      Like

  5. ceayr says:

    Great piece of writing, took us into the ol’ fool’s heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a sucker for old fools.

      Like

      1. ceayr says:

        Hey, we’d get on just great…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. gahlearner says:

    This is wonderful. I especially liked, ” the only guidance I need at 90 is directions to the toilet.” It’s moving, and funny, and thought-provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure what else matters at that age.

      Like

  7. Dear Tracey,

    This one left me with warm fuzzies and smiles. Your characterization of the old cowboy was pitch perfect. I could hear and see him. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then I think you would have liked my Dad. This was one of his stories. I think he did find redemption but not while traveling with the LDS missionary. He surprised us one day having taken the Greyhound from Montana to Nevada at 90 by himself. He had lots of angels helping him on his journey and I don’t think he really minded the young Mormon’s company. Maybe they both benefitted from the encounter. I do know that my Dad died a Catholic. 😉

      Like

  8. Dale says:

    Yep… I, too, would be worried, sitting to a man of God… lovely story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The bus ride alone would have killed me but a missionary – ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale says:

        Especially if he wants to bring you over to the light… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooo, that changes the tone completely. What if this was the cowboy’s last ride as in the last moments of his life and he didn’t reach out to the “Light”? We don’t really know what happens at the end of life. When my Dad was dying at home, he made several references to travel but this story occurred while he was alive but what if ….. This is why I love comments. Seeing your work from someone else’s eyes can take you down a different road. Thanks Dale.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh how delightful!
    Enough said.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s enough for me. Thank you Alicia.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. plaridel says:

    i felt for the the characters. they seemed so real to me. well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s because they were real people. This is one of my Dad’s tales that I embellished a little. Thank you.

      Like

      1. That makes the tale even more fun.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. rgayer55 says:

    I reckon He does. Now, if the woman will just forgive him . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think she probably did. Thank you Russell.

      Like

  12. ansumani says:

    Touching story – The 100 miles must have taken several years back . Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a heart-warming story, Tracey!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  14. rogershipp says:

    A moment in time ‘needed by both’ ? Only time will tell……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps so. People come into our lives for a reason I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Amy Reese says:

    You just never know who you will next to on a long bus ride. Maybe they sat next to each for a reason. Maybe it will be good for both of them. Well done, Tracey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tracey says:

      That’s how I see it too. I think a young missionary could learn a little about real life from an old cowboy. I think there’s more to the story.
      Thanks

      Like

  16. The road to redemption, all right. I hope it exists. Interesting story.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jack Flacco says:

    This was so beautiful, Tracey. I’m so happy you shared it with us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I do love a cowboy love story…sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely think there’s more to this story.

      Liked by 1 person

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