Day two of my Christmas present to you all. Enjoy the read. This is titled, The Day After…
It is what it is. Just another day to most, but for those who have little to nothing, Boxing Day was Christmas, Easter and Birthdays all rolled up into one. For me it just means junk, trash, garbage, all out by the road and waiting for me to pick up. I try to wait until later in the day so those less fortunate can pick through the stuff the wealthy no longer want. It also helps me extend the day on into evening when my delivery is to be made.
I see them in the streets, their heavy rags like blankets, their bodies bent. They always take care to pay attention to their surroundings—some of the rich play pranks on the homeless or run them away from their precious leftovers, as if even their trash is too good for the downtrodden. I hate them the most and they are my targets.
Today it’s Mr. Barnheardt, the older gentleman with the perfect silver hair and tan skin, who doesn’t look or act his near seventy years of age. He puts nice stuff out beside the road—a tease for the wayward souls who have nothing. When they come snooping he chases them off with a cane or when he is feeling especially vile, his shotgun. Today he’s using the gun. I guess the homeless have figured out he’s older than he looks and no longer fear the cane. Looks like he may have figured this out as well.
I pull up in my van, no longer waiting for the vagrants to visit him. I get out and start rummaging through the goods. And they are indeed good. A nice lamp, a cushioned chair, a silver cigar case, a couple of Cubans still inside, nice shirts and clothes, even a pair of leather wingtips.
He sees me and comes out of his house. Yeah, he has the shotgun in hand. I act like I don’t see him, hoping he doesn’t take aim and pull the trigger. I don’t think the gun is loaded, but I’m not all that certain it’s not.
He’s yelling at me. I glance at him. His tanned face is reddening and he hurries down the steps of his porch. I pick up the lamp and gaze at it a moment before throwing it in the road. It shatters, bits and pieces of crystal skitter about the black top.
That does it for Barnheardt. He’s marching this way, his shotgun held in both hands. He stops ten feet from me and yells something about getting off his property or he will shoot me, put the damn gun to my head and pull the damn trigger. I nod and pick up the cigar case. I open it, take out one of the cigars and tuck it between my lips.
“You gotta light?” I ask.
He yells more, his voice rising and steps a little closer. I guess he doesn’t have a light after all and I search myself for a match. I know I don’t have one, but I do have something else in my coat pocket. I turn around, reach in and pull it out. I flip it on and turn around to see Barnheardt approaching me. He sticks the barrel in my stomach and sneers at me.
I taze him.
Barnheardt jitterbugs and screams. Spittle flies from his old mouth. I step forward and kick him in the head twice. Two teeth pop out and blood spills from his nose and mouth.
I look around. No one in their right mind is going to say anything. Then again, you never know what people are capable of doing. I lift him over my shoulder and carry him to the van. I take the cigars with me.
Night creeps up and I drive along a country road that’s not much more than a dirt path with deep ruts. The van vibrates so hard I think it’s going to fall apart before I get the goods delivered.
The house is beyond creepy, its windows boarded up, the porch planks rotted away, the steps are crumbling cement. The door hangs on by one hinge, the blackness beyond it not inviting at all. Weeds and dead plants dot the yard.
I get out the van and hurry to the side door. Barnheardt is still dazed and not sure of where he is. I tie his hands and feet and roll him onto his side. I duct tape his mouth shut. I lift him over my shoulder and carry him across the yard. My feet sink into the soft dirt and my skin crawls.
At the edge of the house I set him down. I lift his hands set them in a spike, securing him to the porch so he can’t escape. He’s fully awake now and making all sorts of screaming noises. Thank goodness for the tape. I yank it off and put my hands to his lips.
“You want to be quiet right now, buddy,” I say.
“Don’t tell me what I want—” he starts.
I punch him hard in the nose. It breaks and blood spills down his face and the front of his shirt. Barnheardt cries and moans and cusses.
“I’m telling you, you want to be quiet right about now.”
He ignores me. What am I to do? I shrug and walk back to my van. I lock the doors and turn the vehicle around. From where I sit I can see them rising, the corpses of the family I used to be a part of it. My wife is the first from her hole, her blond hair hanging in clumps from her skull. She’s still beautiful even with her face sunken in and her breasts sagging and maggot eaten.
The kids follow her lead and stumble their way to the porch, to Barnheardt. He screams as they approach him, gets louder as they take their first bites. I smile. It’s nice seeing the family eat together again.
“Happy Boxing Day,” I say and drive off.