“Goddam kids are back, Harry.”
“Goddam kids are back and making trouble again, idle little turds. Where are the parents, eh? Don’t these kids have jobs no more?”
Harry sighed and glanced at his cards. The game just wasn’t the same without partners. He discarded a king.
Albert eyed him suspiciously.
“You leading me? I know you’ve got five more of those.”
Harry shrugged and Albert drew two.
“Anyway, they smoke and they drink and they wait around like something’s gonna happen. Nothing’s ever gonna happen for them…”
“Nothing’s ever gonna happen because they’re worthless goddam kids WITH BAD PARENTS AND NO FUTURE!”
He lifted his head and barked it across the street, where the teens had suddenly noticed the old men. Harry frowned.
“Shouldn’t a done that, Al,” he said.
The teens made a spectacle of crossing the street, dragging their feet and laughing as they came: five kids with jeans belted at the knee and T-shirts down to their asses.
“You got a problem old timer?” a tall boy growled. He was skinny and sharp, with a crooked overbite that made him look mean.
“My friend thinks your summer could be spent more wisely,” Harry explained.
The boy cocked his head to the side.
“Who are you to talk, grampa? Playing your cards? Me, I’ve got summers to spare—but I wouldn’t be wasting ‘em if I was as old as you.”
Albert discarded a king and Harry moved to pick it up. He pinched it with his index and middle fingers— the only ones left on his right hand—and started laying down his run.
“That’s the game, Al,” he said with a grin.
“Every goddam time…” Albert lamented.
Then Harry waved his mangled fingers at the kids like a priest making the cross and he smiled grimly.
“I’ve done plenty with my summers,” he said, and the boy with the mean face stared.
“Yeah,” Harry said. “Sit down and I’ll tell you all about it.”
(Photo credit: Andy Siitonen)
This is my response to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge: Idle. Let the record show that, unlike some of my previous posts, this one is in no way twisted or sadistic or indicative of a disturbed mind. Yes, I’m really something.
Check out the rest of the stories as they pour in throughout the week — there are some really talented writers in the mix and you shouldn’t miss them.
As always, comments and (especially) criticism are welcome, recommended, encouraged and embraced below!