Old Timer.

Daniel De Fendis sent us this creepy short story which we really loved and had to share.


Old Timer

I turned fifteen in this threatening mausoleum of a building, with its grim façade of iron and ice, rising up like a ship from a fathomless ocean every morning for five years. I sought asylum in lurid descriptions of sublime violence from cherished paperbacks. The smell of metal shavings, oil, oppression, regiment and hatred. Five days out of every week.

I was tired of it from day one, but as they say, you’ve got to keep on keeping on.

“Hope you don’t mind sir, but I’ve got to mop the floor ready for the evening class.”

The old man called me sir.

“Don’t mind me, I’m on my way.”

“You one of those surveyors then?”

“No, this is my old school. Just curious to see it again before they pull it down. It looks so small and irrelevant.”

“Aye, I used to teach here when I was young and fit. I go by the name of Snape.”

He held his hand out, I didn’t take it.

“Snape,” He said with measured pride. “Mr Snape.”

“I think I remember.”

“I was the metal work teacher.”

“Yes, that’s right. Tell me old man, have you had a happy life?”

The old timer might have been unnerved by the suddenness of such an odd question, but he just chuckled.

“Aye lad, I can honestly say I’ve had a happy life. And there’s life in the old dog yet.”

“I’ll bet there is Snape, I bet there is. Any regrets?”

“You know what son, I can honestly say, I haven’t got one single regret. I played the game and I accepted my role. I’m a good man. And you are?”

“Tell you what old timer, see if you can guess.”

“Guess? Bloody hell lad, my memory’s not that good; I’ve taught hundreds of lads over the years. Put them all on the right track as well. Destroyed one or two along the way of course, the ones who got in the way of the firing line, eh lad?” His heavily creased left eye winked at me, his entire face looked stupid.

I told him my name. He genuinely, could not remember me at all. I stood there, casting a black shadow and he held his eyes towards the sun. But there was no sun to speak of. Not even one single beam upon the dusty floor.

I asked him if he had a monkey wrench. He scuttled off to oblige me and came back with a beauty. He didn’t look surprised or alarmed at all when I kissed it, raised my arm above my head, brought it down and bashed him over the head with it.

I heard the sickening crunch of his skull crack open, as loud as if it was coming through a PA system, and sour bile rose from the back of my throat and dripped from my tongue.

His face, split down the middle now, in a gentle nod towards the nastier side of life. A sheer drop into the heady soil and soft rocks of snuff and beyond.

But when the slaughter came to a close, the scene of the crime didn’t smell like blood, or carnage, or murder. It smelt like metal shavings, oil and closure.

© DeFendis

About Pixie and Rotter

Pixie and Rotter Zine is a 100% analog Zine supporting analog artists and DIY of any kind. Created by Emma Elina Keira Jones and Amanda M. Jansson. http://www.facebook.com/pixieandrotter.zine Feel free to contact us: pixieandrotter@yahoo.co.uk

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