Author Topic: Old Man Malone  (Read 735 times)

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Mundane Memoirs

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on: 08/18/19, 07:50 PM
"Hey, get away from there", the command barely registering to the delinquents as they continued their vandalism. I sat up from my place at the the porch table and waved a fist in the direction of the youth "Don't make me call the police you little shits, get moving"! The pair of teenagers eyed me up and down with a look of bemused indifference, the taller of the two males even raising a hand to throw a distasteful gesture in my general direction. My eyes narrowed and my head began to found as I stepped off the old porch and headed in their direction. The Baxter's two boys and a recurring nightmare for me on my retirement, the lanky and pimple encompassed Adam and his squat greasy sidekick George. The two had been a pain my ass ever since moving to this back woods road to nowhere, having no one else around for miles it seems they had been looking for someone like me to come along. "Shove it Osborne you old freak" the crusty faced tooth pick yelled through yellowed teeth, the soaked monstrosity to his left chortling that ridiculous laugh like a malfunctioning car engine.

My teeth grit as I reached the dividing fence that separated us and grasped it firm. The old and rusty metal rattling as I craned over to better leer at the pitiful pair. "You had best get back to your house you assholes or I so help me god I am gonna do something I regret" the last part emphasized with another large knock to the decrepit fence. The youths finally seemed to catch on that it would be unwise to continue their activities, Adam freezing like a deer in the headlights while the ball of butter cowered behind him. A sigh escaped my lips as the twin horrors tore like bad across the road for their home. The sounds of them crying and the threats of their parents ire earning a chuckle while I leaned on the old railing. I watched the fading steam as my breath dissipated in the brisk autumn air, swirling and writing around itself before being swallowed by the wind. Have regained my composure I decided to hop the fence and inspect the damage.

The object of the children's abuse just so happened to be an old and battered scarecrow left on the neighbors lawn, high and vigilant among the overgrown grass and weeds that blanketed every other corner of the property since the year previous. Old man Malone, the oh so creative name I had dubbed the decrepit bird watcher had long stood a sentinel along the fence that separated my house from the old barn next door. A subject of much ire and disappointment to the people who put it up I imagined. Given the sheer number of crows and other wildlife that thrived in the aftermath of the previous families departure. Sighing I stepped up to the old scarecrow and frowned, glancing at the damage done by the children. The old sack that once made up Malone's head had been drilled through with a handful of heavy rocks, splattered through with a vile substance. The faded featureless cloth beneath soaked through and dripping with the foul smelling liquid. I wrinkled my nose in disgust, dreading another cleaning session I grasped the scarecrow.

Holding onto the worn and ragged post driven into the long wild grass below I yanked upwards. The scarecrow came loose from the grown with a resounding groan of the aged wood, lifting the mass of hay and old clothes I turned back towards my home. Rising up the steps to my dilapidated home letting the cool air give way to the musk of the inner halls I proceeded onward. Along narrow halls and through the tiny kitchen of the old one story home, stopping to catch my breath I laid Malone down on the old dusty table. The furniture creaked sending that shrill noise through the dusty air of the old home, used to the sounds of the old house I simply retrieved my tools from the fridge without a word. Gathering up the assortment of bottles and metallic instruments into a small bag I turned my attention back to the scarecrow. Grimacing at the tears in his yellowed flannel shirt and baggy jeans, the brown of the damp hay mixed with the torn yellow material only emboldening the contrast to the oozing liquid dripping onto the floor.

Lifting the scarecrow with both arms and a grunt I urged my tired body onward. Leaving the cramped kitchen and into the network of narrow corridors once again, taking my time to enjoy the assortment of pictures and Polaroids nailed to their surface. The neighbors and their annoying kids playing in the yard, my workshop when I had finished setting it up after moving in, an assorted collection of my prizes from a long life of work. Leaving the pleasant memories behind I reached out for a small handle jutting out from the wall, practically hidden among the posters and old warped wood I grasped the knob and pushed. The small door opened to reveal the neglected steps to the basement, dust and cobwebs thrown into the air in a violent frenzy as my passing disturbed their long rest. The dim light of the hall above had not the ability to pierce the darkness of the hidden away refuge of my workshop, the cold and damp walls filling me with a form of nostalgic happiness. Stepping off the old steps and into the abyss before us I effortlessly found my way to the old stainless steel table at the rooms center. Dropping Malone onto its surface with a resounding thud I turned for the light switch, feeling through the blackness for the small desk lamp took some time but not so much as to kill my bliss. Finding it at long last I pulled the small chain, the bulb struggling for a moment before weakly blinking to life.

Illuminated in the shine of the lamp I could see Malone's face, almost visible through the faded cloth seeped thin with the substance oozing from beneath. Unflinchingly I tore the layer of cloth and shoddily stuffed hay away from his frame, clothes soon after leaving nothing but his bare naked frame on the cold table below. I had to admit I had not expected the body of Mr Baxter senior to still be holding blood this long after death, a good chunk of his skin and outer flesh already long since decayed away. I chocked up his pulp to the traits he shared with his sons, a greasy and odorous mound of bulk in life, it had taken me ages to shave off enough to fit his form into the dam scarecrow. The rest of him had been eagerly accepted by the wildlife and scavengers of the abandoned homestead next door. His gargantuan mass must still hold some clotted arteries from a lifetime of misuse I mused as I strapped on a pair of stained rubber gloves. This time I will have to do better in preserving the body, if a couple stones were enough to nearly reveal the identity of my master piece. Well it wouldn't be long before old man Malone had himself a pair of farm hands in that field as well.
What can save you is entirely a matter of perspective, will you fall to the light, or be freed by the dark?