Mr. Dennis

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short story that merely follows the day-to-day life of an elderly man.
I enjoyed writing about him. As with all of my short stories, if they do well, I will continue the story within that world.
All comments welcome.

Submitted: September 28, 2016

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Submitted: September 28, 2016

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He’d been waiting for hours now. His body was tired, down to his core. The sun felt blistering, though it couldn’t have been more than 20 degrees Celsius. His plaid checkered shirt was practically soaked with sweat even though he sat in the shade. He could hear all the insects buzzing from the grass and nearby trees. He tried to relax further back into his chair ignoring the heat. It was hard being in such an old body. It was hard being old, but he felt he’d lived in this town long enough.

 “Good morning, Mister Dennis.” The old man looked out off of his sheltered porch to see the mail man approaching his yard.

“Morning, Phil.”

“Just the one envelope today for you sir.” Phil handed Dennis the envelope after taking a step up onto the porch, then he stepped back down. Dennis thought Phil’s uniform looked thick and heavy. He wondered how the man wasn’t profusely sweating as he was. “I’ll be sad to see you go Mister Dennis. You've been here nearly 40 years now, sad to see your house sold and you moving away.”

“It’s time, the Arizona heat calls to me.” Dennis grimaced inwardly; the blasted heat.

“Well, all the best Mister Dennis. It was nice knowing you.” Phil began walking away from Dennis’ yard.

“Thanks Phil. You have yourself a good day.” Dennis croaked out the words, in his haggard and tired state.

“You too, Mister Dennis.” Phil waved at Dennis as he walked out of his yard, continuing his route. He seemed like a very pleasant man. He was still full of youth and vibrancy. Dennis scowled at his thought once Phil was out of sight.

Dennis tried not to think about it too much, the later the day got, the better he would feel. He hobbled up out of his wicker chair on the porch and shuffled his way back inside. He would take a nap. He wanted to be rid of the blasted heat.

Sometime later, Dennis woke up on his aged burgundy suede couch. He turned himself over and realized he’d left the TV on while he napped. A TV show was narrating criminal mysteries. The special tonight was a case on a serial killer who would have to be over 200 years old by now, killing a single, middle aged man every 40 years. Dennis laughed at the program and the bizarre narrator before forcing himself to get up off the couch to find to the TV remote.

After he turned off the ridiculous program he decided it was time to get his groceries. He groaned at the thought of having to go back out into the heat. At least in his home he could have his air conditioning on to keep himself cool. As Dennis pondered the dreadful heat he made his way down the hall to his bedroom, changing his dirty plaid shirt for another fresh plaid shirt. Dennis didn’t care for fashion very much, only the nice thin plaid button-up shirts were what he liked in his old age. When he was younger he would just wear a white under shirt and a white t-shirt over top, maybe a jacket over top if it was cold. He still had all of his old clothes from when he was much younger. It felt so long ago for Dennis, he wanted it back again. Nevertheless, Dennis put on his new plaid shirt and made his way to his old car. It was an ancient Buick by today’s standards, but he found it worked just fine for him after all his years.

The grocery store was much like his earlier encounter with Phil. All of the staff he ran into were wishing him well and were sad to see him moving. Dennis did his best not to scowl when they mentioned Arizona and how lucky he was. The weather as it was right now, he didn’t feel lucky about going to Arizona. He was still sweating despite being in an air conditioned grocery store. He didn’t want to go outside and walk through the automatic doors and feel the blast of heat.

Next, Dennis went to the bank and closed out his local account with them. This time the bankers seemed sad to see his money go rather than himself. He wasn’t too worried about it though, he would manage.

Finally, Dennis was back home and was tired of all the social interactions with people. He just wanted to be home alone in his nice quiet house and pack up all his things. It wasn’t that he hated the social interaction itself; it was how invisible he felt during the interactions. People noticed the elderly, but they never really paid attention to them. They always talked down to them like he was an infant. He grew upset at that thought. Dennis was older than them, by far, it should warrant him some respect. He was tired of it all. He was ready for it to be all over. For now though, he set his mind to getting everything packed up, including his beloved air conditioner. He wouldn’t survive Arizona without it.

After all the packing, Dennis grew tired again and thought having another nap would do him well, despite the late hour. He was too anxious tonight of all nights to be able to get a full sleep in. He knew he would be waking up in the middle of the night anyways so he didn’t bother to change into his pajamas. Dennis just crawled into his bed and tried to lay down, slowly straightening his back against the strain of his arthritis.

When Dennis awoke a few hours later, he crawled out of bed and went into his Buick and drove off into the night down the winding dirt road into the country. Dennis thought it was a nice night, noting that the air had cooled down but was still enjoyable. He didn't need air conditioning, he just left the windows rolled down and enjoyed the fresh air. Dennis made several turns throughout the country roads, finally stopping just down the road a bit from a house's driveway. He then cut the engine, using the opened car door he pulled himself out of the car, and began walking down the driveway. He left his car door open, not wanting to make any unnecessary noise in the night.

Eventually Dennis made his way down the driveway and came up to a small quaint house; all the lights were turned off and a window was cracked to let the night air into the home. Dennis smiled. He enjoyed the fact that people in this town were so trusting, unnecessarily trusting.  Dennis made his way with ease over to the window, only to be pleasantly surprised to find that it was the window to the bedroom. Dennis took his time and carefully made his way through the window, not making any noise.

Dennis was upset at how much effort it took him to get through the window, especially with his advanced age. The arthritis was flaring up in his wrists, his hips, everywhere. He grimaced at the pain it caused him to get through the window. He was sick of being old. Once through the window, Dennis took the time to catch his breath as quietly as he could. He then quietly shuffled over to the side of the bed and stood over the man sleeping peacefully there. Dennis was glad to finally be here, but he was very sad every time. Nevertheless, he wouldn't let it stop him.

Dennis reached into his jacket that he had brought along and pulled out one of his multi-purpose kitchen knives. Then Dennis slit the man's throat, followed by stabbing the man in the bed over and over and over. The man's eyes shot open at the shock of everything. Blood poured out his throat, choking him, making it impossible to cry out for help or breathe. Dennis met the man's terrified expression, satisfied with the amount of wounds he had inflicted.

"Thanks Phil." Dennis spoke over the sounds of Phil choking on his own blood. "You have yourself a good day." Dennis held his gaze on Phil the mailman until the gurgling stopped.

Just as the choking stopped, Dennis' age began reversing. His wrinkles began disappearing and he could feel the arthritis leaving and the youth returning into his body, his natural muscle coming back. Dennis looked as though he wasn't a day over 20. Finally, he had it back. Dennis hated murdering, but he loved his youth more.

Then as he always did, Dennis walked back to his car, opened the trunk to get the fuel and the matches, walked all the way back to the house, pouring gasoline all over the bedroom, dousing Phil's body with extra fuel and extra care, yet still dispersing the remaining gasoline throughout the house. Tossing the fuel canister onto the bed, Dennis hopped back through the window, and taking out the matches, he struck one and threw it into the bedroom, lighting it ablaze.

Dennis made his way back to his ancient Buick, and leisurely drove off. He turned the radio up, letting his now brown hair flow through the night air as it gusted in through the car windows.

 


© Copyright 2017 K. M. Florence. All rights reserved.

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