Drama Fiction Sad

This story contains themes or mentions of suicide or self harm.

Part One

It was late in the fall of Oliver’s Kindergarten year. He was ready for school, but it was still half an hour before the bus would arrive. He had risen early to help his grandfather, Charles Walker, wash the car

The car needed to be washed before he left for work, because he has a very important meeting today

Oliver dipped his hand in the bucket and felt the cold, soapy water. He watched the suds float around while Charles scrubbed. His face was stern and unforgiving of the bird droppings on his windshield

Oliver listened to a bird singing in a nearby tree and tried to imitate the sound

His grandfather came back to the bucket to get more soapy water for his rag. Hey, I need to leave in just a few minutes. I’m going to show you how to use the hose, and I want you to rinse off this side while I scrub the other side. Ok? Think you can handle that?

Oliver’s face lit up. Sure can!

Charles demonstrated how to squeeze the trigger on the nozzle to send the stream of water. Ok, take over. Make sure you get all the suds off

Oliver smiled when he was handed the nozzle. He began to spray and attempted to imitate the sound of the rushing stream. Schhhhhh, schhhhhhh. He giggled to himself and watched the suds slide down the car

Charles resumed scrubbing the passenger side near the front tire

The excitement of the moment overtook Oliver and when his grandfather stood, he decided it was time to have some fun. He pointed the nozzle at Charles and held the trigger for several seconds, soaking his dress shirt, tie, and jacket. His grandfather screamed. Hey!

Oliver began to cackle and went back to rinsing the car

A second later, he was blinded by something smacking him in the face, directly between his eyes

He buckled over, began to wail, and frantically rubbed at his burning eyes. Through tear-filled, soapy, blurry vision, he saw the red wash rag lying on the ground near his feet. He looked up to see the grandfather and the rage on his face, still standing in the spot where he had been scrubbing. He stormed into the house, screamed his wife’s name, and slammed the door

Moments later, Oliver’s grandmother, Josephine, appeared from the front door. She put her arm around the heartbroken and injured child, and walked him inside to the bathroom to tend to his pain

The grandfather raged around the house, slamming anything that could be slammed. Yelling about how he’s going to be late now, and what could the boy have been thinking

With a clean, wet rag, Oliver’s grandmother lovingly wiped the soap from his eyes, then dried his tears

Why is he always so mad? Why is he always so mean? I was just playin

Well, I never really do much thinkin about the why of things. It’s just the way he is. You don’t need to worry your mind about the why either. Just do your best to not upset him and everything will be ok

But even little things make him mad, and he doesn’t stop bein mad for a long time

All you can do is control you. I’m sorry this happened. Do you want to go apologize for getting him wet? Maybe that will help him not be mad anymore

The boy sniffled. Ok

They walked outside to find the grandfather completing the rinse of the car. The boy stood half a dozen paces from the man. I’m sorry I sprayed you grandpa

The Grandfather spit. Go back in the house

Part Two

Oliver would have been preparing for his first week of college, but instead was sitting at the breakfast table with his grandparents, playing with his eggs

The calendar on the wall had slashes through each day, starting on August tenth. The small square had the writing in black pen. Dr. Bradley 1pm. Then in pencil. Three weeks

The slashes end the day before the current day, August twenty-fourth. Two times each week, the squares say the same as the one with the first slash. Dr. Bradley 1pm

Charles chomped on a bite of scrambled eggs and stared at the light from the ceiling fan reflecting off Oliver’s bald head

Is that what the kids are doing with their hair these days, just shaving it all off? He chuckled at his own wit

Oliver glanced up to him, then back down to his plate and said in a solemn tone, yeah grandpa, it’s the cool thing these days

They had already discussed it so many times and his grandfather never remembered, so he had decided to just go along with the question, several times a day

Oliver glanced at the two baskets of medication on the side of the table. One basket for his grandfather, one for him. He looked at the bottle titled RM C952TB – Ketamine

His grandmother had told him previously that Charles started having trouble sleeping. He forgets to sleep and would get up in the middle of the night. It became a problem and when no medication would work due to his blood-brain barrier being abnormally strong, she found a doctor that would prescribe the tranquilizer. Each night when it was nearing time for bed, she would mix a strong dose into a glass of milk and let him know his milk is ready. Then she’d get ready for bed

Along with forgetting to sleep, and forgetting conversations, the grandfather had also forgotten another thing. He had forgotten that he’s angry. Most of the days he’d sit in his recliner or at the kitchen table and listen to his wife or Oliver speak

On one occasion, when dementia was just setting in years before, Josephine was speaking. She stopped and looked at him. You’re sure not talkin very much

He looked sweetly at her. Cause I realized how much I like listening to you

Oliver snapped out of his trance. Grandpa, don’t you think it would be better if the good parts of life were at the end?

Oh sure

But how could we work it out so it’s like that, instead of the way it is now?

I think if you believe the things God said, then it won’t matter what happens to you. Cause you got his promises and you got him. Then if even the worst things happen, you could still experience more joy than what you felt when you were younger and good things were happening

The boy smiled and asked another question

Grandpa, how does hell stay on fire when everyone that goes there is so cold-hearted?

His grandpa thought for a few seconds. Maybe the true cold-hearted ones get something worse than fire

Yeah, maybe you’re right. He took another bite of eggs

Josephine spoke to her husband. I need to take Oliver to the doctor around 12:30 today. Do you think you’ll be ok on your own for about two hours?

Again? Didn’t he just go to the doctor a few days ago?

She sighed, looked down to her plate and touched the tips of two fingers to her forehead

Oliver spoke up. Yeah, they just want to do a follow up to be sure everything is better now

Josephine sighed again

Oh, ok that’s good. Yeah, I’ll be fine here. I’ll just watch some TV or something

Later that day, on the drive, Josephine asked Oliver, why do you ask him those same questions every day?

Because I like the answers. And they never change. It’s like they’re ingrained in him. And I want them to be ingrained in me before I go

Back at the house, Charles was sitting on his recliner, watching TV. He was confused about what was happening on the show, so shut it off. He began to wander around the house. He called Josephine’s name. He looked out the window to find that the car was gone

He checked Oliver’s room and saw that he was gone also

He then went to the dining room and sat in his spot at the table. He wondered how long they had been gone and where they went. He looked up to the calendar and saw the slashes. He saw the writing and remembered that they went to a doctor’s appointment for Oliver

He noticed that there were many appointments. Every Tuesday and Friday. He stood, pulled the tack holding the calendar to the wall, set the calendar on the table, and began to flip through the previous months. Every week had the same writing. Dr. Bradley 1pm

He flipped back to August and saw the square that read, three weeks

He looked up from the calendar to find an abyss in front of his eyes. Then a moment of clarity

The Grandfather put the calendar back on the wall, sat and began to sob into his palms

He remembered the question that Oliver had asked and spoke the answer to his opened hands

I think if you believe the things God said, then it won’t matter what happens to you. Cause you got his promises and you got him. Then if even the worst things happen, you could still experience more joy than what you felt when you were younger and good things were happening

By the time he had finished crying, he had forgotten what he was crying about

Later that evening, he heard Josephine call from the dining room. Charles, turn off the TV and come drink your milk. It’s almost time for bed

He went to the dining room

I’m going to go get washed up. Sit, and drink your milk. I’ll meet you in the bedroom in a little while

Charles sat and looked at the glass, then up to the calendar and read the words again. Three weeks

Clarity hit him more quickly this time. He walked to the kitchen, poured another glass of milk, and set it next to his. The grandfather walked to Oliver’s room

Will you come sit with me at the table? I wanna talk to you

Oliver sat with him. The grandfather handed him the glass of milk

The boy drank and his grandfather spoke to him of God, the spirit, love, and life

Grandpa, I think the order of life is messed up

How do you mean?

Well, when we start, everything is peaceful. People are healthy, and they fall in love. Then at the end, people get sick and lose the people they love. I think it should go the other way so the good is at the end. Just haven’t figured how to work it out yet

I think if you believe the things God said, then it won’t matter what happens to you. Cause you got his promises and you got him. Then if even the worst things happen, you could still experience more joy than what you felt when you were younger and good things were happening

Yeah, maybe you’re right

When he was done speaking, and the milk was finished, he said, ok I love you boy. Give me a hug

I love you too, grandpa

Now go give your grandmother a hug and get into bed. I’ll take care of the glasses

The boy yawned. Ok grandpa, good night

Oliver stumbled slightly to the side as he made his way down the hall

After lying in bed for hours, unable to sleep, The Grandfather got up from bed and went to sit in his recliner

Part Three

On the same day that the autopsy revealed a lethal amount of Ketamine in Oliver’s blood, a homicide detective and two sheriff’s deputies stood in the living room of Charles and Josephine Walker

The couple were asked who gave the boy the glass of milk

Josephine looked to her husband. He looked at her, then up to the detective. I guess it was me

One of the officers took a step forward. Please stand, Mr. Walker. We need to place you under arrest on suspicion of first-degree murder

Clarity hit the grandfather again. He saw light reflecting from the officer’s badge. He heard the tick tick of the clock’s hand

He saw his wife’s thumb touching the tip of each finger, one by one, back, and forth - an image of a spider, missing legs and dying

He understood that clarity is now something he will fear

Charles stood and asked if he can get his wallet and glasses from his bedroom. The deputy allowed it

In his bedroom, he sat on the edge of his bed and opened the drawer to his bedside table. He looked at his lonely wallet, then up to the photo of Josephine and himself on their wedding day. He saw his reflection in the glass

He left his room, stood at the entryway of the hall, and asked his wife to come say goodbye to him

She arrived with tears in her eyes. He hugged her, then kissed her. I don’t want you to worry, everything is going to be ok. We will see each other soon

A moment later the officer spoke up from the living room. Ok, let’s go

Josephine began walking toward the officer. Is there any other way? There has to be another way!

The Grandfather called out. Josephine

She turned to him

Yes, there is

He put his hand over his mouth and sent her one last kiss

Then, with his arms crossed over his chest, he let his body fall straight back. His skull cracked on the hardwood floor. He momentarily convulsed, then stopped

Blood began to pool around The Grandfather

June 18, 2022 13:49

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Ace Quinnton
22:44 Jun 22, 2022

Let us take a moment of silence to mourn the death of The Grandfather and of Oliver. This was an interesting story, and I like how it was written. Little details that mean big things. Great job Michael!


Michael Typist
00:02 Jun 23, 2022

Hey Ace, thanks for reading and for the feedback! :)


Ace Quinnton
00:07 Jun 23, 2022

No problem. If you feel like reading something interesting, I suggest that you go check out my Seemingly empty series (Parts 1, 2, and 3 currently). Or you can read anything else on my profile if you want. I accept all critique, encouragement, and opinions.


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Orchid Krizan
13:32 Mar 11, 2023

Great story! I loved Grandfather’s answers.


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