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Roxanne M Sackville

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The Red Scarf
by Richard Mason

A Christmas story set in 1944 told by a 12 year old paperboy. A nostalgic, humous and touching story of a poor county boy's special Christmas...  
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By Roxanne M Sackville
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Roxanne M Sackville
· Watery Grave
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When times are tough, some gain the courage to overcome their obstacles, others....fight to survive.

By RM Sackville

Sitting on the cold, damp concrete beneath an old, tattered umbrella Timothy watched the hordes of pedestrians pass by him. Most of them turned their nose up at him or shook their heads. Only a select few smiled at him, reaching deep into their pockets and withdrawing the smallest amount of change to throw at his feet. He did not beg. That was not his way. He had no cup before him with a weathered note on it pleading for change so he could eat. Even though his life was not as affluent as most, he could not complain. At least he did get to eat three square meals a day unlike most of his street colleagues.
Many of the other homeless people around him wondered how he never seemed to be hungry. His belly was as bloated as a rich man who spoils himself with fried chicken and cold beers. Yet, he had none of those luxuries.
“Why is dat Timody?” asked an older man known only as DJ.
DJ had been on the streets longer than anyone Timothy had heard of. His clothes were torn and muddy, his hair dirty and falling out in chunks. With no teeth left in his mouth, his words were slurred and barely audible. DJ was exactly what Timothy had always expected a homeless person to look and sound like.
Timothy did not know how to respond to the old man’s inquiry. He did not want his secret out. To do that would be foolish—like a rich man throwing his money out his second story bedroom window just for fun.
He was homeless, not stupid.
“I guess I just luck out on finding the decent stuff?” Timothy had responded.
DJ shook his head.
“Dat not right Timody. I been here so long. I look in dis hole and dat barrel and never find nothin good. I go sleep hungry more than not. You been here one month and you seem fuller than when you come.”
Timothy tried to hide his smile, but he knew the old man saw it.
Disgusted with Timothy’s frequent strokes of ‘nourishment’ luck; DJ had turned and stumbled off.
Not a day had gone by since their conversation where Timothy did not meet the curious eyes of DJ. DJ kept him close now. He always watched Timothy, hoping to find out the big secret. Timothy was smart though. He knew what the old man was doing and he refused to allow him even one slight hint that would lead the old man to his stash.
Watching DJ stare at him from twenty feet down the rain drenched street, Timothy could not help but throw him an evil glare. After months of being stalked by DJ, Timothy was losing his cool and his mind. He was afraid to nod off before DJ for fear he would come and kill him. Timothy knew how dangerous the streets had become, especially when food was involved.
Once he had even watched two homeless men fight in the middle of an alleyway over a partially eaten chocolate bar. The fight ended brutally with one man dead while the other sat atop his bleeding body shoving the chocolate prize in his mouth.
Timothy swore he would do the same if provoked to protect his food. He had worked hard each and every night to get it. He rarely slept anymore. His mind and body controlled by his need to eat and protect his treasure.
With keen eyes, Timothy watched DJ. It was getting late, and soon the old man would no longer be able to fight his drooping lids. Then Timothy would spring up from his seated position on the cold concrete and get to work. He had lots to do and very little time to do it in.
Minutes passed. Finally, as the rain began to fall in torrents all around him, DJ succumbed to his exhaustion. Timothy stood up stealthily with one hand hidden behind his back. Slowly, he inched closer to DJ’s snoring body. He could not help but smile. He knew it would not be long before he added more food to his hidden stockpile.
Closing in on DJ, he began his transformation. His mind darkened. His eyes took on a devilish glint and began to protrude from their sockets.
Pulling his hand from behind his back, he held out the large piece of blood stained glass. Pieces of dried flesh from his last destitute victim still clung to the jagged edges.
“I am doing nothing wrong,” he began to speak aloud in a voice that even he did not recognize. It was then that Timothy knew the transformation was complete. He was now stronger, bolder and unstoppable. His mind was free of guilt and reasoning, leaving him with only the raw power of his survival instincts. “All I am doing is dwindling down the homeless population.”
With one swift movement, he lunged towards the unsuspecting old man, shoving the sharp glass deep into his chest. DJ’s eyes sprung open, his hands reached towards the glass, his mouth opened wide allowing a gasp to escape.
Timothy held tightly to his weapon, making sure the old man would be unable to pull it from his body. As the old man stared with pleading eyes at Timothy, he leaned towards his victim, putting his lips inches from the man’s dirt stained ear.
“You wanted to know how I always seemed to find food, didn’t you old man?” he whispered. “I bet you never noticed the streets getting emptier and emptier, did you? Didn’t you wonder what happened to all those you used to sleep beside?” Timothy paused as he chuckled to himself. Memories of all his prior victims flooded through his mind. “The streets are a bit cleaner now and food is much easier to come by these days,” he added before pushing the glass deeper into the man’s chest.
Without moving from the man’s ear, Timothy listened as DJ took his last breath of air before his body went limp, his hands falling to the ground at his sides.
Hours later, Timothy wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead. After many hours of chopping, bagging and hauling, he finally lifted the last bag into place. Climbing back down the broken rungs of the dilapidated and abandoned tree house, he smiled to himself. He had done what many other homeless people had not—he had secured himself food for years to come as well as a perfect hiding place for it. In the event of serious weather conditions, he even had a place to stay that would keep him reasonably dry and warm.
However, he knew not to get to arrogant about his scheme. It was not fool proof. Nothing was.
Walking back from his tree house hidden well in the city’s surrounding forest, he could not help but laugh. His laugh sounded like it came from an insane person but Timothy did not think he was insane—he argued that he was just smart.
Timothy’s belly let out a loud grumble, startling him. He could tell he had worked up an appetite from all the hard work he had just completed. Stopping in place, he reached deep inside his pockets and fished around for the treasure he had stashed for later. Grasping it, he pulled his hand quickly from his pocket. With it inches from his face, he smiled. The single index finger looked delicious. Timothy’s mouth began to water and saliva dripped from the corners of his mouth. His eyes danced at the sight before him. Without wasting another moment, he popped the finger into his mouth and continued down the road.
The only sounds Timothy could hear were his own content humming and the sound of bones crunching between his teeth.

       Web Site: RMSackville

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