The Wing

People helping people

The bright morning sun had melted the overnight snow but the chilling wind froze it again. The parking lot of the 30-shop strip mall was a sheet of ice when the stores opened. Shop owners had thrown out a bit of salt in front of their shops, but the larger parking lot was still a mixture of ice covered with snow, and now the precipitation was turning to sleet.

Emma hadn’t realized how slick it was until she closed her car door. At 81, she wasn’t in the habit of making fast moves under these conditions. Still, she made her way around the car taking tiny steps, but the dollar store she had her mind set on was still a hundred feet away. She took one step further, even tinier than her multiple steps around the car.

“Here you go, young lady, grab a wing,” a gray-headed man in tennis shoes said, holding out a bent elbow for her to grasp onto.

“Thank you so much, sir.”

Emma grabbed his elbow, took a step, and grabbed it with her other hand.

“Don’t thank me yet, Ma’am. You do know that if I go down, we both go down?” he said. “And vice versa.”

“But you’ll soften my fall, won’t you?”

“Ha ha. I’ll do my best.”

“This ice is just so slick. You’re very kind.”

“Thank you. Just doing what needs to be done until the salt and plows arrive,” the man said. “Help is on its way. Story of life, isn’t it?”

“Indeed it is,” Emma said.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *