I watched him depart as my chest deflated with the lost hope of saving another poor condemned soul.
His back was so arched that his gaze fell upon the floor just before each shuffling foot as he went about his own little routine, leaving me free of my intended burden and with a sense of hollowness inside.
He would die later today. I knew that for a fact, yet my premonition and well-meaning offer of assistance to try and save him from that void which lies beyond could not dissuade him from the path he progressed along.
My heart beat heavily in my chest as I tried to turn my thoughts to the next endeavour I’d set myself for this day, trying to forget about the poor old seafarer and his fate.
No, some days you just couldn’t make a difference but it should not deter you from at least making the attempt, for along the line of failures there may be the one soul you do manage to pull from the jaws of death.
To cheat the reaper of his prize.
I glanced after the departing figure, only for a moment, then turned away to regard the vibrant city teaming with life, amongst which there were other souls in dire need of my services.
The student, the banker, the homeless man with the dog…
I set one foot before the other and moved back within their number, my goal defined and my mind resolved.
Before this day was out I would save at least one of them, if not all.
“The Crooked Seafarer” © 2019 Paul J. Fleming