A Very Bad Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Abandoned

A mean old man has his life turned upside down when somebody decides to play a practical joke on him.

Submitted: December 10, 2017

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Submitted: December 10, 2017



Turning on the faucet to fill the coffee pot the old man found that he had no water.  He went to head to the basement only to find the light wouldn’t turn on.  He grabbed a flash light as he noticed nothing that ran on electricity was working.

The breakers were all on so he thought it might be the whole neighborhood.  He went out to his front porch just in time to see the gas company truck pull up.  The driver got out and grabbed his tools before coming up to the house.

“I have a work order here to shut off your gas and remove the meter.”

“What?  This is late fall, why would you be removing my meter at this time of the year?”

“Says owner demanded we remove it.”

“Show me that.”

The driver handed him the work order and it looked right.  He reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone.  He went to call the gas company when he noticed he had no service.

“I need my paper work back, sir.”

The old man flung it at him and stalked into the house to grab up his landline.  There was no dial tone.  Slamming the phone down he went out again, the driver was working on the meter.

“Stop that!  Stop it right now!  This is a mistake and as soon as I can call the gas company I’ll have this all straighten out.”

“I’m sorry sir, but I have seven more service calls to make so unless you can make that call right now I’m going to have to do my job.”

“Then let me use your cell phone.  Mine isn’t working.”

The driver scratched his head.  “I’m not real comfortable lending my cell phone to you sir.  No offense, but you seem a little odd.”

The old man stalk down the steps and headed next door.  The Howards would let him use their phone, they best let him use it or he would deal with them.  Tod Howard answered the door.

“Hi.  A little early for a visit.  Did Timmy get too loud last night?  I’ll talk to him-“

“Shut up and give me your phone.”

Tod’s hand shook as he handed over his phone.

The old man snatched it.  “Now go away.  I’ll bring it back when I’m done.”




The gas company wasn’t the only one, all his utilities had been shut off and they all said that their records indicated he had called and requested they cancel his service.  They had all been so polite as they told him they would be happy to have him reconnected if he would only pay a service fee.  When he tried to pay he found his credit cards had been cancelled and then he learned a freeze was put on his accounts so he couldn’t get any money out of the bank.

He had decided to drive to the bank to straighten that out first.  Two blocks from his house he was pulled over.  The police pulled their service pistols as they exited their car.

“Please exit the vehicle and keep your hands where we can see them.”

He obeyed wondering what was happening.

The cops approached him.  “Hands on the hood of the car.”

“What is this about?”

“You know what this is about.  Didn’t think anybody saw you snatch that little girl did you?  They got your license.”  The one cop said.

“Give me a reason you sicko.  I wouldn’t even think twice about putting a bullet in you.”  The other growled.

The old man was completely confused, but he obeyed.  They patted him down and cuffed him.  He protested as he was taken to the police station to be processed.  He hated doing it, but he called his son when they offered him his one phone call.

When his son arrived with a lawyer it became clear something was wrong.  Finally, a ranking officer enter the room he was waiting in with his son and the lawyer.

“I’m completely sorry sir.  Seems somehow a false report had been entered into the system indicating your car was used to snatch a six-year-old girl.  No such crime took place.  You have our deepest apologies.”

“All you youngsters are going to pay for this indignity.  I want the names and badge numbers of them two idiots who arrested me, now!”  The old man shouted.

“Dad calm down, it sounds like somebody was playing a joke on you and used th-”

“Shut up and just sit there.”

“Sir since this seems to have been resolved I’ll be leaving, but I would advise watching what you say.  Say the wrong thing now and you will ruin your chances at a court case later.”  The lawyer looked at the old man’s son.  “I will send you a bill for my time.”

It took an hour to get out of the police station.  The son wanted to take his dad home, but the old man insisted they go visit his bank.  It was a national bank with their corporate office in New York city.

The old man was livid by this point and when he entered he announced at the top of his voice.  “I want to speak to the manager now!”

A guard moved to deal with him and the old man turned on him.  “You touch me I will sue you and this bank.  Get me the manager this minute.”

A portly gentleman came out of his office.  “I’m the manager how can I help you?”

“You can give me my money.”  The old man regretted his words the second they left his mouth.  The guard drew down on him.  The manager threw up his hands and somebody hit an alarm.

It took two hours to clear up the misunderstanding.  The son had stepped in taken the lead as his dad sat in a chair staring off into space.  He was wondering how his life had gotten so out of control in one single day.

The bank problem was that he was dead.  Not really it seemed somebody had hacked their system and made it look like he had died and his accounts were to be frozen until a next of kin could be located.

The problem was cleared up and his accounts were unfrozen.  The son next took him to the cell phone store and had his service turned back on.  After that it was several calls, all made by the son to get his utilities turned back on.  These calls were made at the son’s house and after dinner he drove his much-subdued father home.  They pulled up in front of the house to find that it was all locked up.  The notice taped to the door said it was being sold for non-payment of property taxes.

© Copyright 2018 Ian D. Mooby. All rights reserved.

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