Matching Set

A wee story wrote many moons ago.

It was a sunny day.
The old man pressed the button for his floor in the multi. He was coming back from the Doctor and the news was not good.
It was terminal.
He was going to die.
He entered the lift and saw a youth on the floor, his legs outstretched and his back against the wall.
He knew that one.
He was one of the ones who set the pit bull on Toby.
Toby his labrador.
His only friend left in life.
The old man was angry.
Who would look after his dog when he was gone.
No one.
The youth muttered something, but he was so far gone he was incoherent. The old man realised this and lifted his foot and brought it down on the youth’s head. The youth cowered instinctively, unaware of his assailant’s identity.
The old man owed him that, for the people, the people now, in the past and in the future, and when he would be gone, gone from this world where bastards like him make life miserable, with their drugs and their stabbings and their housebreaking and their pit bulls, which they train, train to kill, train to terrorise his Toby.
His only friend in life.
The old man was trained to kill.
He could kill again
The old man stared at the youth, as the lift approached the required floor. The doors opened and he pressed the button to stall the motion of the elevator. He bent down and put his arm under the youth to lift him up. He then dragged him into his house.
Toby growled as they entered, but on seeing the youth, the dog cowered back.
The youth came round, finding himself tied up at his hands and feet to a chair from a lovely matching set.
Your awake said the old man.
What the hell is going on.
You don’t know me, do you?
The youth struggled to get loose from the chair.
Why? Should I ?
Maybe you remember him, said the old man pointing to Toby.
Just let me go, ya crazy old bastard.
I am going to die soon you know.
Yeah, when I get fuckin, out of this you certainly are.
My dog is going to die as well.
The youth stopped struggling as the old man continued.
And so are you.
Listen, old man, there’s money inside this jacket. Take it.
What do I need your money for.
What is it you’re wanting off me then?. Wait a minute, are you an old paedo?
That’s a joke isn’t it, after all the misery you and your kind bring to the good people around here. You just offered me money, drug money no doubt, money you force little children to steal for, steal from their mother’s and father’s, sister’s and brother’s and you point at me. No lad, I’m going to die soon and so are you. I’ll die happy knowing I’ve taken at least one of you scum off the face of God’s earth.
You’ve been reading too many newspapers old man. I never deal with kids, and nobody’s forced to steal. It’s their choice
You’ve got a dog, one of those pit bull terriers, haven’t you?
Yes, but he’s only for show, he widni touch anybody.
But you set him on my Toby.
Not my dog, wrong, old man.
Not wrong, the dog recognised you when I brought you here.
He recognised me, he fucking recognised me. How did he manage to do that then?
Toby is friendly to everyone. Try shouting on him to come to you.
Toby come her boy, come here. Toby.
The dog whimpered a little while.
You see he recognises you. You scare him.
The old man rose from his matching chair and left the room.
The youth continued struggling.
You’re wasting your time trying to free yourself boy, the old man shouted through.
I’m a military man, good at knots and that sort of thing. Then you’ll not be aware of such knowledge, leading such a wasters life.
Look, let me go and I’ll go get my dog round and you can sort it out any way you like.
You are responsible for your animal, it’s not the dog’s fault.
So this is what this is all about, treatment of animals. Fuck all to do with drugs.
The old man re-entered the room with a roll of duck tape, a claw hammer and a length of rope.
Well, it’s said human beings are animals, but none so dangerous as the likes of your sort.
The youth tried to scream as the old man wrapped the tape around his mouth. Toby barked at the youths feet as he wrestled on the seat. The old man worked with the rope until he produced a noose at the end of a long length.
He smashed the glass panel above the living room door with the hammer and fed the rope through the hall door furthest away and hitched it onto the handle. The noose hung down in front of the youth who was pulled over underneath it, not directly underneath, just a little back into the room facing the hall. The old man sat down on one of the matching set, taking the claw hammer. He called on Toby. The dog went to him obediently but cowering a little. He told Toby to sit.
The dog did.
The old man looked into the dog’s eyes.
Goodbye Toby.
One blow of the hammer and the dog sunk.
The youth’s chair toppled as he was now trying to move the whole thing with crazed exertions. The old man lifted the warm dead dog and placed it across the youth’s face. He lifted one of the matching chairs and stood on it, placing the noose around his own neck.

He jumped off.

The youth could see over the dog just enough to watch the old man jerking on the end of the rope above him.

It was a sunny day.


2 thoughts on “Matching Set

  1. Sorry, Michelle, I actually lightened it up a wee bit from the original. Only happy stuff from now on.

    Then again, as the Scottish writer Agnes Owens once asked, what is interesting about happy people?

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