Definition





For the A to Z Challenge I generated a list of random words, and I will be writing a short story incorporating those words. Each day a little more of the story will be unveiled. You can read the full story, to date, here. Here we go:


“What do you know about that?” Mark demanded.

The old man, who claimed to be him, sighed again and looked up. Mark saw nothing of himself in those eyes.

“When you were eleven, your dad left you with Nana. His mother. It was his weekend, but he got called in to work for a few hours, so he figured it would be ok to leave you with her. Except, Nana scared you. She was old, she smelled funny, her house was always spotless, and you were afraid to touch anything because she would yell at you for making a mess. She was the definition of cantankerous.”

“So,” Mark said again. A lot of kids were creeped out by old people. In fact, as it was being proven just now, a lot of twenty-one year olds were creeped out by old people. He refused to believe what he had been told. This man wasn’t him.

“Just as stubborn as I thought you would be,” the old man said with a mix of pride and irritation.

“That morning, your dad left you with Nana, and she spent a good thirty minutes yelling at you to sit still, but you couldn’t because of the ADHD. You hadn’t been diagnosed at that point, and she probably would have just seen it as just an excuse for bad behavior anyway. After a while, you were so stressed out you asked to play outside. She let you go, and you ran around the backyard for a while, wishing she would just drop off the face of the planet, and when you went back inside you saw her.”

“Stop.”

“You saw her. She was choking on one of those butterscotch candies she was always sucking on. She was choking, and you just stood there, too afraid to move. You didn’t even move when she stopped making noises and slumped over in her chair.” 

“Shut up!”

The old man shook his head sadly. “Eventually, you started crying, and you went and sat on the front porch and cried until dad came back. You couldn’t tell dad what had happened, and he assumed you had just found the body. I couldn’t tell him I had watched her die, too scared to do anything. Not even call 911, or him. For years I had nightmares about that day. You had those nightmares. And let me tell you, you’re going to keep having those nightmares.”

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