The old bench in the park

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 17, 2017

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Submitted: October 17, 2017

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The Old Bench In The Park

by Henry Duthler

 

Every day at exactly 8:30 in the morning, old Mr Beasley walked into the Endview Park, next to the apartment building where he lived. Mr. Beasley had become a very predictable man ever since his wife died a little over five years ago. It was like clockwork, the way he would show up at the park to feed the pigeons every morning. When he got to the park, he always sat at the same bench and he always sat alone. This was always a sad sight to see, but for some unforeseen reason, although he never looked happy, he seemed strangely contented.

In a big town like this, no one ever stopped to talk, so he has often been seen making idle conversation with himself. No one ever heard what it was he was saying, because it was more of a mumble, he mumbled more and more as the days went by. At first it was clear and understandable, but it had diminished to something so incoherent that only a word or two could be understood. He would begin feeding the pigeons and he would keep himself company for a while, then about 30 minutes later, he would leave. Clockwork. but to him it was different, to him it meant more, much more.

Old Mr. Beasley wasn't well known, and this would explain why these mystical appearances have never been interrupted. No one ever knew that he was a World War II veteran, and nobody cared about the scars he had to prove it. These scars were not necessarily physical scars, but mental scars - that never fully healed. Many Vets will tell you about the flashbacks they used to get, well, this old man still got them.

It wasn't until he would sit down on the park bench when the flashbacks would come, and when they came, they came hard. These flashbacks were tearing through his brain, and were followed one after another; increasingly faster and faster, he couldn't tell them apart they were going so fast. Each of them brought back the ache, and the anguish that he had felt so long ago. Visions of the war weren't the only thing he had flashbacks of, he also thought of the times when his wife was still alive, and how she was so happy. Entangled in with these flashes were images of that night when he mistook her for a German spy, confused and disoriented - killing her with a single round from the shotgun that he always kept on the top shelf of the bedroom closet. He saw all of these things almost begging them to stop. pleading for the pain to stop, such excruciating pain, such merciless pain - but there was more to come, so much more to come.

Flashes of dragging his dead wife in a plastic garbage bag, across the parking lot and out to the park, staggering, still blinded by the onslaught of flashes, and burying her beneath that very park bench. Each flash piercing violently through the others. A dizzying frenzy of horrible images, each hitting harder, and harder. Relentless. Senseless. Rendering him more and more defenceless. The flashes were coming so rapidly, and from every angle, he could no longer control himself. The sting of such unforgiving pain piercing every nerve, sending icy chills up and down his spine, paralyzing him in fear. Every bone in his body numb with pain, Ever muscle tense with fear every conscious thought tingling with a sense of intense reality. Every moment more spectacular than the rest, struggling to clear his throat, unable to breathe, gasping for air, barely hanging on. He jumped up from the bench scaring the pigeons he had been feeding unconsciously for the past half hour, narrowly escaping the flashes. His eyes still clamped shut. Swinging his arms to somehow protect himself from his own thoughts. Then all at once, almost as it were a cruel joke, the flashes disappeared. The silence was overwhelming. Old Mr. Beasley faded back into reality. As his eyes opened, he slowly lifted his head to see that two joggers who had stopped were standing in front of him, they had probably been there for quite a while. They didn't say anything, they just stood there with the look of both fright and confusion. The expression on their face was something like the one you'd make at a dishevelled homeless man on the street as he walks past you talking to a shoe he found in a dumpster somewhere.

Mr. Beasley started to mumble again to himself, and began walking back towards his apartment building. The joggers, still in shock at what they had just seen, heard him mumbling as he walked past them. They could barely understand what he had to say to himself, but they did hear a few words, that made very little sense. It sounds a little like, "See you tomorrow, honey."


© Copyright 2018 Henry Duthler. All rights reserved.

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