Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"The Other Half of the World"

Jose V. Ayala

Hunger. Feed his wife and children. Rice left over from sacks that had leaked their grain. The darkness of the hold of the barge. The pain of scraped arms and hands as he gathers these stray grains mixed with rust from the hold and blood from his scrapes. Then a guard appears with a flashlight which discovers the starving man trying to feed his family. The man attempts to run and falls. The guard mistakes the motion of the man’s hand as reaching for a gun and he fires three shots.

A crowd tramples the man’s spilled rice in order to see the body, its face covered with a newspaper.

Comment: The story behind the brief headline announcing an “incident” of a beggar having been shot while trying to steal a meal for his wife and children. RayS.

Rating: *** out of *****.

About the Author: Jose V. Ayala is from the Philippines where he is well-known as a professional writer and painter. He has garnered several literary awards and a number of his paintings hang in the National Museum. Mr. Ayala, a many-faceted, talented person, has taught on the college level and is presently with a research center. P. 115

Short Story International #27. Ed. Sylvia Tankel. (August 1981), pp. 107-115. 

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