Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
Playing along with tiny pranksters in Vienna.
The Nice Thing About Strangers
On the 92A bus, a gruff Austrian soldier keeps his pack on as he watches intently for his stop. Two elementary-aged boys on board spot an opportunity and sneak up next to the soldier. They connect a loop on his backpack to a plastic strap at the empty wheelchair-accessible seat. The boys await the soldier’s stop with ill-concealed glee. They ride beyond their exit in anticipation, whispering about riding the line back again. The solider stays oblivious, staring out the window, and when he rings for his stop, the boys can barely contain themselves. As the doors open, the solider is shocked. He’s stuck, moving forward but being held back.
I reach over and free him–no Samaritan since I’d seen what the kids were up to and smirked along with them. At the next block, the boys fly out the doors in triumph. An old man commiserates with me about…
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