It takes one to know one

Written in response to: Start your story with the line ‘Back in my day…’... view prompt

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Bedtime

This story contains sensitive content

If your mom's watching Gordon Ramsay and she changes to Disney when you walk in, don't read the following.

"Back in my day, we played with sticks," he said, watching his grandsons argue.

"Give it here."

"No, it's my turn. You had it all day. Take the truck."

"I don't want the fucking truck."

The old man gasped. 

"Billie, what did I say about cursing?"

"You said not to. Not when mom and dad are around."

He chuckled. 

"That's right. It will get you grounded. Now, why are you yelling? My mom would have beat me up with the garden hose if my brothers and I had made this racket inside."

He wore a checkered wool sweater and a fancy shirt with the collar popped. His aftershave brought tears to everyone. That's why he didn't smoke; he would combust.

"Bighead won't share."

"Get your own. Mom bought it for me."

"She bought it because you were being a dick and wouldn't shut up about it."

"Billie, it's in your brother's blood to be like that and yours as well.

"Grampa, were you a dick too when you were our age?"

He twirled his oiled mustache.

"We come from a long line of notorious dicks. My father sold whisky to the President back when it was prohibited. His great-grandfather, Lord James Dickinson, stole Tesla's notebook and sold it to Edison. His great-great-grandfather cut the head off some rich French motherfucker in the revolution."

"Wow," the kids said.

"Let old Chuck tell you a story. The year was 1944 and -"

"Oh, man, not a boring war story."

"It's a good one," the old man said, winking. We were stationed in the countryside, where the forest is both cherished and feared. Legends told of mythical creatures that dwelled in the mountains."

"Like goblins and dwarfs?"

"Nothing like that. Folks were terrified of the forest at night. They would lock up, hang garlic on the door and hide under the bed."

"Were you scared, grandpa?"

"I wasn't at first, Billie. Me and the boys were looking for a good night out. The sergeant said it was ok to take a little R&R. We had the enemy on the run, so people got on with their lives. Inside the town, there was a large inn. I remember it being packed that night. All manner of folks were drinking and singing. They even had a band that played a mean fiddle. We sat down and took it all in while beautiful women brought food and drinks. As she handed me the cup, the tavern girl whispered something about a man standing at the bar. She said he's a well-known, esteemed gentleman. "

"So who was he? What did he want?"

"Calm down, Billie. I'm getting to it."

He called both of them Billie.

"Turns out he was a noble. He owned the castle in the woods, high atop a mountain face. He needed someone to exterminate an infestation and said he would pay a considerable amount to get it done that night."

"He gave you a quest to kill ten rats?"

"Billie, I'm trying to teach you something here. Would you rather hear about the first time I poked your nana?"

"Oh God, no. I'm sorry, grandpa."

"Alright then. Only I took him up on the offer. The rest of the lads enjoyed the party. I borrowed my friend's motorcycle with the sidecar, and machine-gun still mounted and dashed for the castle. The road climbed through the woods up to the gate. I parked near the entrance and pushed the massive oak doors open. The place looked ransacked, full of broken furniture and cobwebs. I stepped on broken glass walking through the main hall. As I was studying a large painting on top of the stairwell stood the noble. He welcomed me to my final resting place."

The boys glanced at each other.

"So it was a trap?"

The old man leaned in.

"That fucker sprouted wings and dove right at me. I shot a full clip and dogged at the last second. He was fast, but bullets lowered his enthusiasm. He chased after me and threw a punch. I've never been hit harder in my life. It knocked me flat on my ass and into the courtyard."

"Oh no…"

"Believe it, Billie. He was boasting about something. I'm not sure because I couldn't hear him over the rattle of the fifty cal. I tore more holes in that thing than swiss cheese. The barrel glowed a fiery red when I ran out of ammo. "

"What happened? Did you get him?"

The man wiped his forehead with a handkerchief.

"He was still standing. I was a goner. However, I did mislead him back at the inn. My boys played their part perfectly. I swear I can't forget the look on his face when the tank rolled in the courtyard. It blasted his enchanted ass to bits."

The two brothers laughed and clapped.

"And that's not all. The fort was in pristine condition. We looted all the paintings and gold and then turned it into a shithole, haha."

"Wow, grandpa, that really was a dick move."

"I know, Billie. That's how I got the money to build this bitching house you live in. I was supposed to report to my superior, but instead, I lied and said we found the last enemy stronghold in the city. We just happened to be in a tank when we did. The owner was never seen again, and the people were happy to be rid of him. They knew something was up with that castle."

"Wow, did it happen for real, or are you lying to us?"

The old man rose and grabbed a book off the shelf. He carefully fished a black and white photo from its pages. A group of four men stood next to a pile of paintings, and one handsome-looking fellow held up a portrait of a beautiful woman.

"The boys and I made a lot of money selling those things. People who buy them are always discrete. Anyway, that's my story."

"So I should share my toys with my brother because there will be a time when we have to stick together."

"That's right. But don't lose that attitude. Not many people have it these days. It takes a certain amount of dickiness to succeed in this life."

November 17, 2021 19:09

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