Tag Archives: old

Old St. Nick. Short Story / Happy Holidays!

Hey guys,

wanted to wish everyone a happy holidays and I hope everyone is having a wonderful time!

– Alan

___________________________________________________________

Old St. Nick. Short Story.

Nick watched the house until the last light went out, then he waited a little longer. After half an hour he quietly opened his car door and stepped out into the snow, he paused to grab his red sack then gently shut the door behind himself. It was a lovely area, large towering trees lined the street, it was hard to make out what kind of tree they were in the dark but from his daytime visits he thought they were some kind of oak. Christmas lights flashed and blinked up and down the street, carefully stuck to houses or artfully wrapped around trees. Though snow covered the gardens he knew that the grass would be perfectly manicured and the flowerbeds would be perfectly tended come spring. He crossed the road, snow crunching underfoot and made his way down the side of the house and over the tall wall that blocked the front garden from the back. The back garden was a wide open space, trees lined the walls, blocking the neighbours from peering in. He was tempted to walk across the fresh, virginal snow but he restrained himself, maybe later, on his way out.

The decking was covered in snow which was thick enough to provide traction, wouldn’t do to take a nasty fall out here. He paused at the backdoor, long enough to pull a key from his pocket, he slid it into the lock and he turned it. The door opened with a faint but satisfying click, he eased it open slowly, if he pushed it too quickly it would make a single, high pitched shriek. The kitchen was dark and the warmth of the house washed over him. He wiped his feet on the mat then stepped onto the marble tiles. He crept across the kitchen and went into the sitting room. A tree was set up in one corner, covered in decorations and lights that sparkled faintly in the soft street light from outside, he could just make out the outline of presents stacked neatly beneath it. He moved to the fireplace, not bothering to turn on any lights, he’d been here enough to walk through the house blindfolded. At the fireplace he picked up the glass of milk, beside it was a plate with a few cookies and a carrot, he carried the milk back out of the sitting room, careful that it didn’t slip through his gloved fingers, in the kitchen he emptied the glass into the sink. He returned the empty glass to the sitting room then picked up the carrot and broke it in half, slipping half into his pocket and putting half back on the plate, before he grabbed a handful of cookies. Munching on one he shoved the rest into his pocket as he moved from the sitting room and began to climb the stairs. On the landing he glanced out the window and saw snow was starting to fall again, smiling he turned from the window and moved down to the fourth door on the left. He eased the door open, it opened smoothly now, gone was that annoying creak, it only took a little bit of oil applied during one of his previous visits. He could see Bob and Kelly beneath the blanket, two softly breathing lumps. They would look so innocent in their slumber, he knew that from previous visits too. But they weren’t innocent, they were quite firmly on his naughty list. He put his sack onto the ground and reached around inside for a second before pulling out a thick metal pipe. He had to be quick, in and out, that was the rule. He raised the pipe above his head and with a soft grunt brought it down hard on Kelly’s head. It connected with a heavy crack, Kelly didn’t move. Beside her Bob was starting to stir, not fully aware of what was happening just yet. Nick swung the pipe again, connecting squarely with Bob’s temple. There was a meaty thud this time, Bob’s eyes opened, he moaned something as he struggled against the blankets, Nick swung again and again, grunting with each strike, feeling the warm blood splash across his face. When he finished his white gloves and cuffs matched the red of his suit, his white beard was stained with gore. Breathing heavily he placed the pipe back into his sack, then he picked it up and left the room, closing the door gently as he went. On the landing he paused and listened, there were no sounds in the house, the kids were still sleeping. Good, what ever their parents had done, they were still innocent. He went down the stairs and out through the backdoor, not bothering to relock it behind himself.

Outside he breathed in deeply, enjoying the cold fresh air, snow was falling heavily now, great thick flakes that made everything look clean, new. He pulled the pipe from his bag and smiling to himself, swung it around the white snow covering it in splashes of red. Almost as soon as he was finished the blood was covered by snow. He climbed over the wall and quickly made his way across the street. He got into his car and stripped out of his clothes, he pulled the Santa beard from his face and shoved it into the sack, along with the wire glasses and the Santa costume he had been wearing. Once he was stripped and mostly cleaned he put on a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a heavy jumper. Shivering in the cold he turned on the car, put the heating on full blast, then pulled out, it wouldn’t be long before the snow had filled in the tire tracks, it was supposed to snow until the morning. He flicked on the radio and found some Christmas music and singing along to it he drove off into the night.

Getting Old. Short Story.

Becky grabbed a napkin and used it to carefully pick up the knife, she didn’t want any blood getting onto her. The knife was speckled with drops of blood. Usually her father wasn’t this sloppy, but he was starting to slip in his old age. She brought the knife to the sink and covered it with bleach, then she washed it thoroughly. Once that was done she put it back onto the knife rack. She suspected her father was downstairs, she wouldn’t disturb him now but she would have to talk to him about his habits soon. Last week he had tried to grab one of the neighbours, they thought he was just starting to go a bit senile and that he wasn’t dangerous. Becky knew the truth. She had spent her whole life helping her father clean up after himself. She never indulged in his particular hobby herself, killing people just wasn’t for her, but she never really judged her father too harshly for it. He never made her do anything she was uncomfortable with and she was just fine with helping dispose of everything. Actually murdering someone was just a step too far for her. Her father told her that that softness had come from her mother.

Becky had never met her mother, her father was reluctant to talk about her. Any time Becky brought her up her father’s face would drop and he would become morose and distant for a few days afterwards. Sometimes he would bring her up himself, share a few titbits, mostly it was to tell Becky how much she looked like her mother.

Becky sat in the kitchen, waiting. Her father would be up soon for dinner, she would have the talk to him then. They’d have to figure out what to do. He couldn’t be sent to a home, that would be dangerous for everyone involved, but Becky didn’t have the time or money to look after him herself. That left the option of home help, an option that also wasn’t safe. Her father wasn’t quite gone yet, but what if he attacked the carer? It had been a few years since he had killed anyone, mostly it was just animals. Then again, that streak may have been broken today, she still wasn’t sure what was down in the basement with him.

Her father walked into the kitchen, he was smiling and using a blood soaked rag to wipe at his hands. “Hey love, how was your day?”
“It was ok, how was yours?”
“Oh just excellent. I started a new project downstairs, you can come see if you like?”
“No, that’s ok. Maybe after dinner.”
Her father nodded, he went to the kitchen sink and turned on the water, “It’s a lively one, man, you should have seen the struggles.”
He washed his hands slowly and when he was done he walked away from the sink to grab a towel.
“Dad? The tap?”
“Oh. Sorry love, I’m just distracted is all, planning. You know how my brain is always whizzing around.”
Becky nodded and smiled, she didn’t have the heart bring up his other little mistakes. She took a sip of her coffee, she would have to do it sooner or later. She sighed, “Dad, I wanted to talk to you about something.”
“Oh?” he sat down across from her.

“Yeah. I’ve noticed a few things lately and it’s making me worry.”
“About me?”
“Yeah, about you.”
“There’s no need to fret, I’m as healthy as I’ve ever been.”
“It’s not your physical health that’s worrying me. I’ve noticed stuff, like leaving the tap on.”
“Everyone has moments like that though.”
“I know, but you’ve been doing it a lot and it isn’t the only thing either. There’s half eaten foods left about the place because you forgot about them, you left a pan on the stove the other day. Luckily I caught it, it could have burned the house down.”
“I already told you I only left it for a second because I had to use the bathroom.”
Becky shook her head, “Look, it’s just for my piece of mind, we need to figure something out. Everyone gets a bit forgetful when they get older and there’s no shame in that, but I worry about you. I think we need to do something, maybe get someone in?”
Her father frowned, “What? Have someone in the house? Pawing through my things, poking their nose in my business? I don’t think so. I won’t allow it.”
“We have to do something dad, I can’t be here all the time, I have to work. We can set rules up, that they won’t be allowed into the basement, or they’ll just pop in to check up on you a few times a day.”
“No. It’s too dangerous.”

“Well something has to be done, I can’t stay here forever dad, Tony asked me about moving in with him, I want to start a family in the next few years. I can’t keep looking after you forever and I know you don’t want to move somewhere new with me.”
“Well what about-”

“No, Tony can’t move in here. He needs a space for his work, he’ll want to see the whole place, including the basement. It’s easier for me to go.”
“I’ll be fine by myself if you do. I’m not too old to look after myself.”
“I know dad, but I’d feel better if there was someone else checking in too.”
He sat for a moment, looking at her. The kind of look that always made her feel uncomfortable, like he was trying to gaze into her soul. He shook his head, “Fine. You win. We’ll figure something out. Maybe set up interviews with a few different people, see how we all get along.”
Becky smiled, “Thank you dad, I’ll find someone great, I promise.”
“I know you will love.”
Becky stood from the table, “Dinner’s just about done, I put on one of those oven meals you like.”
“Thanks love.”

Becky opened the oven and grabbed out the foil tray, being careful not to burn herself. She turned and gasped, dropping it as her father swung the frying pan at her head. Her eyes widened, she didn’t feel the burns on her legs, she opened her mouth to speak just as he hit her in the side of the head. She crumpled, whimpering, before she could regain her senses her father swung the pan again and again.

When he was finally done he was gasping for breath, his old body wasn’t used to such exertion. That was one of the benefits of being older, people tended to underestimate you. He put the frying pan into the sink and bent over his daughter, “There. Now you can stay and look after me and we won’t have to get anyone else involved. Trust me, you’ll be happier here with me than you’d ever had been with Tony.” He grabbed her under the arms and started to drag her towards the basement. He had a lot of work to do and it needed to be done quickly, but it would be worth it, she’d be as good as new in no time.

Future Regrets. Short Story.

Sorry, again, that this is up slightly later than usual! I would like to say there is a valid reason, but really it’s because I’m not feeling great and had a How I Met Your Mother marathon.

Exams are almost over though, just three more and I’m done. Can’t wait for next monday and that’s it, no college till mid january, almost an entire month! Then it will be the final semester. Yes, that is unnerving. I shouldn’t be trusted with a map, but their going to trust me with a degree? If I ever become a teacher those children are going to think I’m awesome. “Ugh. I don’t want to teach today, you all probably don’t want to learn, so… movies?” “I’m tired, so today, we’re having nap time, someone closed the blinds and everyone else close your eyes and put your heads down.”*

*Yes, I did have a teacher do this once, but replace tired with hung over.

On with the show!

———————————————————————————————

Future Regrets.

She walked slightly faster, trying to keep warm, the wind was cold and blowing fiercely, robbing Jane of her warmth. She didn’t have much further to go, but at the moment it seemed miles away. Her hands were buried deep in her pockets, but still the cold found them. She paused at the traffic lights, waiting until she could go, trying not to shiver. As the light turned green she half jogged across the road, trying not to slip on the icy ground.

The door to her apartment building was protected with a code and, reluctantly, she removed her hand from her pocket, trying to press the buttons as quickly as possible, the door opened and she stepped inside gratefully. The door closed behind her automatically as she walked to the lifts, their chrome doors sparkling in the lobby lights. The area was slightly chilly but far warmer than outside, as the doors opened she stepped in, removing her jacket. Jane waited in the lift, shifting slightly from one foot to the other, she was wearing high heels and, though they were sensible, her feet were sore. She wasn’t that surprised really, she was getting on in years after all and she had been on her feet all day, running around the office like a loon trying to get everything done.

She slipped her key into the lock and after a few seconds, stepped inside. Throwing her coat onto the coat rack, she slipped off her shoes, sighing happily. She shrugged off her suit jacket and went to her bed room, she would need to hang what needed to be hung up and put things into the laundry basket. She changed into comfortable clothes and let her hair down, undoing it from its clips. Her hair was a dark grey with streaks of lighter colour running through it, she sometimes wondered if she should dye it, but she didn‘t feel the need to hide the grey. She went to the bathroom and wiped off her make up, she didn’t wear too much now that she was older, she feared looking like those women who plastered their faces with as much make up as possible. She saw them daily and it was never pleasant, thick foundation topped with large, red circles, their eyelashes becoming thick clumps as they stuck together, their lips smeared with a layer of lipstick. She knew she was getting wrinkled, but she preferred the wrinkles to looking like that. With her face clean she went to the kitchen, she was slightly peckish, but not quite hungry and decided she would get a head start on dinner. She planned on making spaghetti bolognese, it wouldn’t take long but once cooked she wouldn’t need to do anything else during the evening, only reheat the food.

Jane lived alone, she had never married, never really dated either, not since her fiancé left her anyway. She didn’t have any pets, dogs were too needy and she wouldn’t be around enough to give one the attention it needed and cats were too independent, never really caring for you until they needed something. She lived alone but she wasn’t lonely. She had friends and saw them every Saturday. She had the people she worked with too, though they weren’t friends she liked some of them. They didn’t really associate with her and she understood why, they thought she was old and slightly mean, really she just wanted to make sure deadlines were met. She didn’t like what they thought of her but there was no real way to change that now. She accepted it.

When she was a child, Jane never imagined herself turning into what she was, she had plenty of dreams but they withered and died, there was never time in which to do it and now there wasn’t enough time left. She wasn’t blind, she could see she was getting on in years and she was well aware that she could get sick or have a bad fall, it came with the territory. Sometimes she wished things had worked out differently, but really, how could it have changed? if she had been married she would have become a bitter old woman, knowing her husband was out with other women but not saying anything. She would have ended up like her own mother, who advised her to go through with the marriage regardless of Thomas’ cheating ways. Jane was glad she found out before making such a horrible mistake but really, that was it for her. The love of her life destroyed any chance of another, how could she trust any man when a man had completely broken her trust. She knew it was silly, that not every man was like that or could be like that but still, there was always a chance it would happen again and she didn’t think she would be able to bear it.

The smell of food was filling her small apartment, she took a small bit for now and after eating she carefully portioned the left over’s. It would do for dinner tomorrow and she could freeze some of the cooked sauce for later. Happy with the work she had done, she went to the sitting room, she had her soaps to catch up on. She knew that they were ridiculous but they were interesting. None of her other friends watched them, but they had husbands, children and grandchildren’s lives to distract them. Sometimes she heard the other girls in the office chatting about them but she was too afraid to join in. They didn’t think she’d watch that kind of stuff and, though she knew it was her fault as well, she still resented them for it. They never tried to ask her questions or get close or even invite her to things. It happened frequently, they’d be going somewhere after work and despite her being well within ear shot, they ignored her, never extending the invitation. She liked to think that, should she ever be invited she would go, but she knew that wasn’t quite true. It was too late now, at least for her, to feel comfortable around them. It’s not like she could let her hair down, they would just think she was a weird old woman who couldn‘t let her youth go.

She lost herself for a few hours to the dramatic lives on screen, watching deaths and births and attempted murders and affairs. She managed to keep up with most of them and, when they were over, she looked around for something she watched when she could. There was so much to watch and, though she didn’t like to say it, sometimes it felt nice, like she was a part of things happening on the screen.

When her shows were over and the television sat in darkness she decided it was time to go to bed. She began her routine, carefully applying creams that were designed to help her look younger, she didn’t think they worked but they kept her skin soft and she liked pampering herself a small bit. The creams were expensive but she could afford to be extravagant, she bought so little of anything else. She rarely had to buy presents for others and it was just her living in the apartment. She changed into her pyjamas and got into bed. The electric blanket had heated it up nicely. Jane propped herself up with a few pillows and picked up her book, she was about half way through it now. She had always loved books, you could immerse yourself in their worlds so easily.

When she was done she turned off the light and settled back, getting ready to drift off. She would get up in the morning and go to work, afterwards she’d cook dinner and watch her shows. That’s all she really did. She’d meet up with the girls on Saturday. She was looking forward to it of course, but afterwards, she always felt a little sad. She was reminded of how lonely the rest of her week truly was. She spent Sunday watching old movies or rewatching soaps. When Monday came she’d be in work again and busy for the day, it helped her forget, truly forget, just how empty her life had become. But she had her work and her books and soaps and that was enough. Wasn’t it?