Scriptor and Joe Collaboration Four
Hi all! It is that time of the month again, time for another collaboration between myself and the wonderful Scriptor Obscura whose blog you should most definitely check out.
Anyway we both each contributed different paragraphs to the story. Try and guess which parts are from which.
My grandfather Eddie had the unique distinction being the only adult I knew as a child who never told me anything true. He seemed to be of the opinion that teaching facts was the responsibility of others and that his job was to foster my imagination. Everywhere he took me held dragons and monsters and everything else a small boy found fascinating. Every walk to the shops would descend into another tall tale.
But there was always the faintest trace of an accent in his voice, the way he always wore long sleeves and a jacket even in the heat of summer, sweat glistening down his neck, leaving large dark stains in his clothes, the brim of his fedora.
We spent a lot of time in department stores, the supermarket, anywhere there was air conditioning. Sometimes he’d stare off into space, blinking. He seemed to snap out of it when I asked him something, and he’d always answer with a happy smile. He never talked about himself, his childhood, but I always wondered.
“Son!” he’d tell me, after I had asked one too many questions, which was often enough “Sometimes you have to realise that the world has many monsters , some you can’t recognize.” He had a habit of playing with the sleeves of his shirt when thinking deeply, making sure that it was down as far as it could go. “You have to spot them before it is too late, before they can hurt you.”
One Sunday, we stood waiting for the bus home. The sky’d already turned dark, rumbling. A thickly-muscled man stood next to us, head gleaming in the streetlight, tattoos darkening his biceps. Grandpa stiffened, stared straight ahead, knuckles white over my hand.
“Ow,” I squirmed, wriggling under his grip. Grandpa darted a glance at the man.
“What’cha lookin’ at, fucker.” Grandpa turned away, jaw set.
I heard the swish-flick before I saw it, the glint of metal into cloth, the whish, thrust.
As the bus pulled to the curb, grandpa staggered, clutching his arm.
“Mein gott…,” he whispered, head clanging as he tumbled into the lamppost.
The bus door opened, “Jaysus Mister! Are you alright!” The driver emerged holding a small bag. “I know first aid! He said to us and shouted at everyone to keep back. “Anyone got a phone? Call an ambulance now!”
The driver opened the box and rapidly put on a pair of gloves. He took a small scissors and started to cut away at the fabric of the sleeve.
Grandfather, until then almost catatonic started to move in protest and to get away. “Nein! Nein!” he murmured. The driver lifted the fabric off the wound.
The SS lightning bolts and black Gothic lettering stood out on grandpa’s slashed skin, blood leaking onto the sidewalk. I blinked, staring. Grandpa looked away, closed his eyes as the paramedics lifted him onto a stretcher. A Garda knelt beside me.
“Son I think its time we take you home. Your grandpa’s being well-cared for. We’ll make sure we’ll go after whoever did this. Come.” He put an arm around my shoulder, led me to the patrol car.
That night after the Gardai left, mum and I sat at the table, staring at the floor, the silence punctuated by the radio announcer’s baritone.
“Former Neo-Nazi leader Edward Halloran has been hospitalized tonight after a knife attack at a bus stop in Dublin. Mr. Halloran’s grandson who was with him at the time was unharmed. The Gardai are seeking a heavily tattooed man believed to have ties to Mr. Halloran’s former group who was seen fleeing the scene on CCTV-”
“I never knew,” mum mumbled, blinking. “I never knew.”