The Old Man

A Short Story

The old man showed up just after Billy Clyde knocked me out. School let out early and it was too hot to take the bus. Burt, the driver, always sweats real bad, and on days like this he would stink to high heaven.

I was outside of Cassiel Park when I saw Billy catching up to me, so I made a beeline for the gate. I figured I could lose him by the horseshoe pit. There’s a small hole in the chain link fence, behind the bushes, and nobody else knows about it. Even if they did, most kids are too big to fit. If Billy followed me there, I could squeeze through and leave him in the dust.

My plan didn’t work though. Billy disappeared after I crossed the playground and I didn’t see him again until I was at the bridge. I don’t know how he got ahead of me, but he was right there, just waiting for me. There was no way for me to get past him, and I didn’t want to look stupid by running the other way, so I put my head down and raced toward him just as fast as I could. Then everything went black.

Billy was gone when I woke up. My ears were ringing and my face was covered in dirt. The sun was so bright that I had to squint just to see. I closed them again, and started picking the grass burrs out of my hair when I felt his shadow over me, and the smell of orange and vanilla filled the air.

His voice was loud and deep. “Let me help you up son.”

All I could really see when I looked up was his big white beard. My eyes made their way up his wrinkled face and then his bright blue eyes came into focus. He had an old red fishing hat on with its strap hanging down past his shoulders. He helped me up and walked me to the gate just to make sure I got on my way, and then he waved and said the darndest thing.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I decided to move forward with another story using word prompts, but this time I’m using something I wrote before- but never finished. I thought of an ending a while ago but have never been in the mood to write, so I thought it would be fun to go back and re-write and finish it now.

My illustration is very basic, boring, odd… whatever. I didn’t stress over it, I just wanted something to go with the story. I really only wanted to do the hat, and I should have stuck with that. It would have been one cool hat. I’m tired of drawing women for awhile too, and men are much more difficult, so I might try objects and scenery for this one. Hopefully the best part will be the story.

Anyway, I apologize if you’ve already read this (in parts of the story I shared before), but I’ve changed a few things so that it works better with the ending I have planned and it’s more present tense. I also needed to add the Daily Spur word prompt, which is strap.

This will move along just like the other, but each piece might be slightly longer and I’m not going to force myself to do it every day.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy, and I really hope to get this one finished this year!



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