Gary’s War Paint
by Michael Tetzlaff
Gary sat at the window watching Mr Godanski walk painfully up the street. Gary was feeling miserable and seeing the old man huff and puff wasn’t helping.
He’d been confined to quarters after his nephew had drawn spaceships all over his face. Unfortunately the four year old old had used the only permanent marker in the house to do this, and as a result his uncle Gary now resembled a cross between an Apache warrior and a maniac from some dystopian future.
“Oh alright, I get the point,” he said out loud, as he decided the point was that there’s always someone worse off.
He went out and approached Mr Godanski to ask if he could help with carrying anything for him.
“Can I -” said Gary, but was cut short.
“Get away from me you gangster,” shouted Mr Godanski and swung his walking stick with considerable force and accuracy. It caught Gary on the side of the head and little white sparks flew before his eyes like fireflies. Mr Godanski prepared for another swing but Gary stumbled backward and fell over the low wall at No. 13.
“Ow,” he shouted as he scraped his leg and landed on something hard; his keys.
“Oh, it’s you Gary – I am sorry. I thought you were one of those gang people.”
Gary imagined the old boy had been watching too much Netflix. “It’s OK Mr Godanski, I just wondered if you needed a hand.”
As he got up he realised he’d landed in something soft – left by the neighbour’s dog, no doubt.
Mr Godanski realised too, “No thanks Gary – I think you need to get cleaned up. Anyway, I’ve got to do this bit of shopping for myself – use it or lose it.”
Gary, wondering if there really was someone worse off, watched Mr Godanski carry on with his painful walk up the street.