This 99-word Flash Fiction was written in response to this week’s prompt: Nurturing a neighborly relationship and also #1000Speak on the topic of Nature or Nurture.
The Adult Education Centre where I work is in a low income neighbourhood with rampant unemployment and social problems. There are many families living in tiny dwellings in ugly blocks of flats trying hard to make ends meet. Social security is often not enough to cover their needs, and those closest to them, their neighbours, frequently decide to help out, as well as, or instead of, their families. The Red Cross, and many other charities and religious and volunteer organisations are also offering some relief. My schools regularly collects food for a food bank in the neighbourhood, which gives it to families in need.
I believe it is in human nature to be compassionate and help others, even though you may be struggling yourself. It’s easy to look the other way, but it’s also easy to ‘chip in’ however you can, and lend a hand to someone who needs it. The events narrated in my flash are not uncommon, in fact it was inspired by an event a colleague of mine told me about which had happened recently, and I know it is not an isolated case, there are many more generous people altruistically helping each other.
‘Where are you taking that roast chicken and the cake you baked?’
‘Down to Dolores.’
‘Stop meddling. It’s none of your business.’
‘But he’s done it again.’
‘He’ll be back.’
‘Not this time. It’s been over two months.’
‘She’ll sort it out.’
‘How? She’s got three children under eight, and she’s unemployed.’
‘She can claim social security.’
‘She has. She gets 400 Euros a month and she has four mouths to feed.’
‘Do you really think we can feed four more people?’
‘Just once every two weeks. It’s our turn today. The neighbours have all decided to chip in.’
Have a look at some of this weeks other stories on the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge