Another week of great entries from some of my favorite contestants and some new shining stars!

@ModernBard1024
@ghunibee
@SweetSheil
@LupusAnthropos
@solimond
@SiobhanMuir
@rastrohman

Read all of their amazing stories here.  Now lets get to the results!

Honorable Mention

__@rastrohman:
[His] reverse twist on pandhandling, while a bit brusque, does set things up adroitly.
@solimond
Nellie added a bit of flair to what started out as a familiar transvestite hooker encounter (my neighborhood is like this)

The Winner

_@LupusAnthropos
[For his] O. Henry story of getting his ass saved by happenstance

The Winning Story

_"Help a brother out?"

Andy was already having a bad day; he didn't need panhandlers asking him for money. Usually, he would have walked past beggars without even looking, but he was feeling different today. This morning, his truck had died and his credit application for a new one had been rejected.
_Today, Andy could identify with the homeless a lot more than he could yesterday. He had just paid five dollars to enter a raffle as maybe the only way he could possibly get the new truck he needed. Without the truck, he couldn't do his job. Without his job, he wouldn't have money for a truck, rent or even food. The events of this morning made him identify much more closely with the man now standing before him.

"Here you go, buddy," he said, handing the guy five dollars.

"Hey, thanks, man! God bless you, sir," said the beggar, turning around and limping away.

That left Andy with only just enough money for the taxi back to work and, for later, to go from work back to the raffle site. He KNEW he would win. He HAD to.

He did.

On his way home after the raffle, however, his new truck skidded onto an unfinished bridge and Andy flew out of the truck and into the river.

It was a day of double tragedy in which Andy's trucks had been the bookends. The next thing Andy saw was a very bright light.

This was different from the light and tunnel so many people have described. This was just bright and blazing and hurting his eyes. He closed his eyes tightly for a while, then opened them again. The light was still there.

"Good! You're still with us!" The hospital-room lamp was turned away from him and a nurse's face appeared. "Mister Overholt, are you able to hear me okay?"

"Y-y-yes," he struggled, attempting to use his elbows to lift himself up.

"Don't worry about trying to move too much right now, Mister Overholt. You were in a very bad accident and it's amazing you're alive. You don't even appear to be paralysed."

"Wh-wh-what happened?"

"From what the paramedics have told me, a drunk driver veered into your lane and crashed into two other cars. You turned your truck out of the way but wound up on a part of the bridge that was being repaired. Since you weren't wearing your seatbelt, you were thrown through the windshield and you wound up in the river."

H-H-ow did I get here?"

"Well, the first responders had no idea you were even in the water. They searched for a little while, but had to deal with the other victims who didn't make it, anyway. It was Sergeant Richardson who heard your splash and pulled you out."

Andy turned to see the wounded Iraq veteran to whom he had given the five dollars earlier and who had been living under the bridge.

"God bless you, sir," said the Sergeant.
 


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