Out of the Dust (Part Four)
Stranger was sitting on a bench outside of one of the stores in town when an older woman approached him. "Do you mind if I sit down with you for a spell?" she asked.
Stranger told her it would be nice to have someone to talk to. "I grew up here," she said. "It is a peaceful town but not as peaceful as it used to be. We have had some crimes in town that never happened years ago." She told stranger of some of the things that had happened. Stranger seemed kind of surprised. Before the woman got up to go on her way she added, "I was in the restaurant this morning. Petunia would like to talk with you. I think she is upset about something."
Stranger watched her go on her way. She seemed very spry for a woman of her age. There was something about her that gave Stranger a smile. He had a feeling that he would be seeing more of her. He was sorry that he didn't ask her what her name was.
He wondered what Petunia wanted so he made his way to the restaurant. Petunia saw him come in and asked him if he wanted something to eat. He told her that all he wanted a cup of coffee. Petunia told him that she would prefer that they sat in a corner booth if that was alright with him.
"I hear that you wanted to talk with me," Stranger replied.
"Yes, I have a problem that concerns my son. I don't know if you can help, but I thought I would ask you anyway."
"What is wrong?" he asked.
"My son is eight years old. He is getting bullied in school. It has gotten to the point where he will come home with his clothes torn, scratches on his face and arms. I am really worried, Stranger."
He asked if she knew who was bullying him.
"It is a ten year old boy that has a bad reputation in school. I am scared that if it continues that it may get worse," Petunia said. "He has a few friends that is usually with him."
Stranger put his hand on her's and said, "Don't you worry one bit. I am sure that I can take care of it. What is your son's name?"
"His name is, Treavor."
Stranger walked out of the restaurant and made his way toward the school. It was a little before school would be over for the day, so he sat under a tree and looked around and waited.
Soon he saw a boy walk out of school. Some boys were chasing after him and he just knew that it was, Treavor. The boys circled around him and a large boy went to the middle of the circle and pushed Treavor down. The large boy pushed Treavor's face to the ground and moved it back and forth. Stranger got up and walked toward the boys. Stranger said, "Let him go."
The large boy walked over to Stranger and said, "Look at you. Are you some kind of a freak? Look at how you are dressed."
Stranger did nothing but stare at the boy. The other boys started to move toward Stranger. He lifted his right hand and pointed it toward them. The boys stopped and couldn't move. They were frozen in the position as they were walking. "Now, what is your name big boy?" he asked the lead bully.
"I don't have to tell you my name, freak."
Stranger pointed both hands at the boy and lifted him off the ground. Soon he was seven feet in the air. He was moving his arms and legs like he was going to get somewhere. "Let me down, let me down," he kept saying.
Stranger went to the other boys and said to them, "I don't like bullies. Do you understand me? If I hear of any of you boys bullying anyone. I will come back." He pointed his hand toward them and they were able to move again, but they just stood there scared. "Go home boys."
He turned to Treavor and asked him if he was alright. Treavor said, "Yes, I am, thanks mister. My mom told me about you. She said your name is Stranger."
"That is right," Stranger said. "Now you go home and tell your mom that everything is taken care of."
"Thank you, Stranger," Treavor said as he left.
Stranger started to walk away. The large boy still dangling seven feet in the air screamed. "Are you going to leave me here?"
"That thought did enter my mind," Stranger said. He lifted both hands pointing toward the boy and the boy fell to the ground with a thud. Stranger knew it hurt when he hit, but the boy acted like it didn't. Stranger continued, "Son, I believe that there is good in all people and I believe that there is good in you. I don't know why you bully, but it does concern me. Now, I don't ever want to hear that you are bullying anyone again. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"
The boy said, "Yes Sir, I understand. By the way my name is, Josh."
"Nice to meet you, Josh, I hope that the next time we meet it is under better circumstances." Stranger turned and walked away. He was several hundred feet away when he turned around. Josh was still sitting there on the ground with his mouth open. Sometimes, it just takes drastic measures, Stranger thought.