Act of Kindness
by Mark One
Terri Davis got out her car an stepped
into a pool of blood. "Oh, great!" she said angrily. "I
just got these shoes!" She looked down and saw
droplets of blood all along her sidewalk and driveway.
She then glanced up and saw the blood trail lead to
a large figure. A dog lying about a few feet away from
the side door to her house. Her initial reaction as
she approached the animal was that it was dead. But,
she soon realized that it was still alive, albeit barely
as its breathing was shallow and labored.
"Oh, damm!" she muttered under her breath
as she knelt over the wounded animal. "I don't
need this tonight!" Terri had a long day already
as she had to work overtime at the office. Then, her
car broke down at the foot of the hill she passes en
route to her home. That took several more hours because
the tow truck got lost in the woods that surrounded
the hill trying to find the car. Now, here it is, well
past midnight on this cold October evening, and she
has this to deal with. She cursed her bad luck as her
day of hell just would not end.
"You're lucky I'm a nice person!!" Terri
grumbled as she stared at the unconscious dog.
A closer look determined the dog was a male, as Terri
spotted a small wound over his left front side that
was trickling blood over his thick greyish brown fur.
It looked like a bullet wound to her, but she couldn't
be sure. She was sure of one thing, she had to find
a way to stop the bleeding if he was going to live.
She pulled her red scarf off her neck and wrapped it
tightly around the dog's left front leg and shoulder.
The action caused the dog to awake with a start and
almost snap away at Terri's face. But the animal was
too weak to attack and he slumped back on the cold
concrete and moaned.
"I gotta get you inside from the cold," Terri
said as she leaned into the dog's eyes. She noticed
how his eyes seemed to sparkle against the pale moonlight.
They were ice blue, a very unusual eye color for a
dog. It had to be a stray, she thought, since there
were no tags on him. She then stood up, opened the
side door to her house and pushed the dog inside her
one floor flat. "Boy, you must weigh a ton," she
thought as she pushed him inside to the kitchen.
Once inside, Terri grabbed an old green blanket from
the closet and draped it over the dog, who continued
to moan in pain. She then grabbed a bowl from the kitchen,
filled it up with water and tried to make him drink
from it by gently raising his head. After a few moments,
he was able to drink from the bowl. Terri then grabbed
some hamburger from the refrigerator and tried to feed
the dog. Once again, he was hesitant, but he was able
to eat a few handfuls. As he ate, the dog began to
stare at this stranger with a gaze of appreciation.
His moaning started to subside as he began to relax.
After another drink of water,
Terri started to rub the dog's forehead as she comforted
him until he fell asleep. She checked on the wound,
and saw that the bleeding had stopped. "Not bad, Dr. Davis," she
joked. All kidding aside, she knew she had to take
the dog to the vet in the morning and get that wound
treated. She wondered what he could possibly be doing
to have received a bullet wound and who would've been
so cruel to have shot him.
Terri looked at her watch and
saw that it was well past 2 a.m. She decided to call
it a night. "Goodnight,
buddy. Try to take it easy, OK?" she whispered
in the dog's ear as she got up from the floor and went
to her bedroom. As Terri walked away, she thought about
the prospect of keeping her newfound companion as a
pet. She hadn't had a dog since she was a girl, and
judging by its size, he would be good for protection.
Terri awoke the next morning
to check on the dog's condition, and to her surprise,
he was gone. He was nowhere near the side door where
she had left him. "He
couldn't have gotten out," she thought. "All
the doors are locked." Then, she heard a noise
coming from deep inside the kitchen. "Oh, there
you are!" Terri called alound as she walked towards
the kitchen. "Come here, buddy! What are you doing
The image of seeing a strange man, half naked and
leaning against the kitchen sink caused Terri to scream
in a panic.
"Who are you?!! What are you doing here?!!" Terri
shouted at the man as she frantically grabbed the frying
pan from the stove to defend herself.
"No! Wait!!" The man
said as he tried to balance himself against the kitchen
counter. He seemed to be more startled than Terri.
"Wait nothing!! I'm calling the police, you pervert!!" As
Terri reached for the phone on the wall, she saw the
man was wearing the green blanket she had given the
dog last night. She then noticed he had her red scarf
wrapped in his right hand. "The dog!!" she
exclaimed. "What did you do to him?!!"
"Ma'am, please! You don't understand..." The
man said to Terri as he inched towards her.
"Don't you come near me!! I'll bash your head
in, you... " Terri tried to finish her sentence
when she saw the man's eyes. They were the same ice
blue eyes she stared into last night. "It's you..." Terri
said in complete shock as the frying pan crashed to
the floor. "But how? You were a dog last night..."
"I was a... wolf, ma'am." The man said,
correcting her. He spoke in a soft, almost stilted
voice. He was holding his left shoulder with his right
arm, wincing a little in pain each time he spoke. His
pale complexion was covered in blotches of dirt from
his head down to his feet. "I was chased, no...
hunted... by someone last night. Someone who... doesn't
want people like me around. I was shot... I remember
the bullet going clean through my arm. I... would've
been killed for sure if I didn't hide out in that hill.
I climbed out through the woods and went into this
neighborhood. I remember... walking towards a house...
my mind... gets a little hazy after that... I must've
blacked in and out. The next thing I knew, I woke up
here..." He paused. "You... you were the
one who found me, right?"
"Um... yes!" Terri said, obviously floored
by the young man's story. "I... found this dog...
uh, I mean... you, and um... took care of you last
"Yes, I remember...", he said with a smile. "You
gave me something to eat... and helped with my wound...
Thank you, ma'am... for your kind gesture. Most people
these days would not have cared... or would've left
us out to die. But you did not....Thank you for that."
"Um... you're welcome," Terri said, feeling
rather embarrased. "Um.. can I get you something?
Give you a ride... or get you some clothes? I don't
think they'll fit you, though...
"No. This will do," the man said. "I
think my car's just over that hill there, along with
my stuff... If you don't mind though, I like to hang
on to the blanket."
"No. No. I don't mind at all," Terri said.
Her face turned a deep red. "Here, let me show
Terri led the man towards the
front door and unlocked it. "I'm glad I was able to help," she said
with a smile. "Are you sure you'll be alright?"
"I'll be fine," the man said as he rubbed
his left shoulder. "I just have to be a little
more... careful, ma'am."
"You know, you don't have
to call me ma'am. My name's Terri."
"OK, Terri. My name's Jason."
"OK, Jason." Terri smiled again. "Um...
is there any chance... that I could see you again?"
Jason smiled and laughed. "Perhaps,
Terri smiled as she saw Jason walked out the door.
As she closed the door and watched him walk towards
the hill and out of sight, she couldn't help but feel
good. After all she had been through yesterday, what
she did last night -- saving someone's life -- made
it all worthwhile. She had heard somewhere that an
act of kindness is worth its own reward. And, even
though she didn't know whether she would ever see Jason
again, Terri liked the prospect of what the new day