It was almost dawn. Zender, older now, more experienced, and with spirit ascending, was out much later than he normally liked, but it had been necessary.
As he walked through the cool, autumn fog that was forming in little pockets along the road, a car came up from behind him and drove by. But further on it turned around and came back toward him.
“Oh, oh,” thought Zender.
Despite his uneasiness, he was awed by the beauty of the sparkling reflections of the lone street light in the droplets of fog upon the hood of the moving car. That is, until the car stopped across from him on the other side of the street.
A young man jumped out, ran up to Zender, and waving a knife, he barked, “Hey you! Give me all your money! Right now! Or I’ll do ya!”
“Whoa now! Just let me get my wallet out, K?” replied Zender, calmly.
“Hurry up man! Do it!”
“Yeah… Look, I can see you’re kind of desperate here so let me see if maybe I can help a bit, K?”
The mugger hesitated a fraction of a second, looking at Zender with a fleeting quizzical expression. Then he hollered, “What? What the fuck you talkin’ about! Just hand over the money!”
Slowly, Zender reached for the wallet in his left back pocket. “I’m getting it see? Moving slow so’s you don’t get rattled, K? Listen, I have a proposal for you.”
“What the fuck is a pro-pos-al? Just give me you’re fuckin money man!”
“Almost there, K? Look… you can mug me and risk going to jail for what, maybe a few bucks I might have in my wallet? Or, what if instead, I give you some money… free and clear… as a gift. That way you get the money without robbing me. And if you think about it, that’s a heckuva better deal than going to jail.”
“Huh? What the fuck you talkin about asshole?”
“Just that you can mug me or you can accept a charitable gift and get the cash without mugging me… or…”
“Or what? You gonna a-rrest me? Just shut the fuck up and hand over the wallet!”
“Nope, not just yet… like I was saying, or I can just look you in the eye, like this… and inform you that you should notice…” In his peripheral vision, Zender watched a small bluish light, like a miniature star, come shooting down from the sky toward them. “…notice right about now…” as the shooting star touched the hood’s hand. ”…that your hand and the knife are immobilised.”
As a realization formed in his mind, the young thief’s expression changed from anger to a rising unsurety. A moment later he tried to move his hand. Nope. Neither his hand nor the weapon would budge. He tried stepping forward. His body and arm moved, but the hand did not – as if it were frozen fast to an immovable pole. He tried backing up. Couldn’t. Then he tried twisting his body around his hand… his body moved but his hand would not budge and all he managed to do was produce a sharp pain in his wrist.
“Careful bud, you might hurt yourself. You see, your hand, and the weapon of course, are anchored in space. Nothing you can do will make it move… sort of like being a solid part of a massive invisible rock wall. Get it? So if you try to move too hard, you might actually break your wrist… or maybe worse, accidentally tear it right off… so I’d be careful, K?”
“I’m gonna kill you you sick fuck!”
“Really? K… How? And perhaps if you try, something else may happen…” Another bluish-white shooting start glided in and touched the thief’s chest. “…like your lungs could freeze up… making it very difficult to breathe. K?”
A slight gulp, a look of fear, and then a nod… while slight tremors shimmered over his body.
“K, good. Now here’s the deal. You can stay here, stuck like this for a very long time, or you can maybe have your hand cut off so you can go home. Gory, I know… definitely not a great scenario. Or… to alleviate your present difficulty, like I said, you can accept my charitable cash donation and you go home. End of episode. Which would you prefer?”
The kid gulped again and said, “OK! Whatever you want you crazy fuck! Hey look, you can even keep your money… just let me go!”
“K… So here’s oh… I don’t know… how about two twenties? That good? Yeah, that should do it. K, here you go. No not that hand, not yet. It won’t move remember? Try the other one. Now, while I have your attention… if you believe in God… or if you don’t… I suggest you think about why and what that means… especially in light of what’s happened here.”
Then, having never touched the hoodlum, Zender released him, and sent him on his way, “K, now go… and hey! Remember what Jesus said, ‘go and sin no more’.”
The kid’s jaw was slack and his mouth hung open loosely… as if he had some extra empty space between his ears. But he managed to nod and turn away, walked back to the car, eased in, and drove off slowly.
Zender took a deep breath, serenely exhaled, and whispered, “Well I guess that’s one way to ‘nourish the people’… thank you Father. ” Then he turned and continued on his way home, the light fog swirling gently around his feet.