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Old Brindle by Nathaniel A Miller A story of my Great Grandmother in Cica 1936 rescuing the family cow, their only source of milk dur... [1,559 words]
Ethel by Ekaterina Alexandrova Ethel by Kate Alexander. A man's struggle with his emotional demons finally ends in death of his much be... [1,407 words]
The Old Man
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Words To Die For... by Harvey Kennett The story of one man's obsession with words.... [571 words]
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Viewing Essential by Geoff Nelder New job, new town and a completey bizarre set of new problems for teacher John Forrister. Wha... [3,744 words]
The Stairs Of Woman Hill (Phnom Srei) by E Rocco Caldwell It's time we brought home all our missing Americans from the Vietnam War.... [1,208 words]
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The Last Revelation by Harvey Kennett An alternative look at when we die... [883 words]
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The Fallen Arc by Brotherman A story about a Brother with no excuses. Absolutely no excuses. [2,319 words]
Somewhere Else Than Here by Krige Van Rensburg This is a fast-paced story that beheads dull moments. (For lack of a better phrase) [3,361 words]
Not In My Name The Conclusion by E Rocco Caldwell He confronts the fireman in death that couldn't save him in life. The fireman hop... [1,402 words]
Not In My Name Part 1 by E Rocco Caldwell A spirit from the terrorist attack on the World Trade Towers must let go of the living in... [2,458 words]
New T.V. by Evilderry A brief glimpse into a married couple's decision to buy a new tv. [2,178 words]
Mr Brown, A Mentoring Tale by Brotherman A story to all of my mentors, who were better men than my father ever was. [2,972 words]
Manborg Menace by Randy Johnson An intelligent alien and his girlfriend travel to thirty-first century Earth and help the humans... [2,786 words]
Love's In Need Of Love Today by Brotherman A story about a grandmother and her grandson. [2,655 words]
License by Shelley J Alongi Aviation Story 14. Will Andrew ever get to hear the news that his niece has gotten her private pilot's... [2,947 words]
Ike And Lou's Barbershop by Brotherman A story dedicated to Sam and terry's barbershop in Tacoma washington. [2,842 words]
Forgive Us Our Debts...Part2 by E Rocco Caldwell - [1,525 words]
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Forgive Us Of Our Debts...Part 3 by E Rocco Caldwell A company of US soldiers block Coltrane's way into Topeka but going around isn... [1,274 words]
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What Lies Beneath The White by Alyssa Vonputtputt The Tooth Fairy. Those three words can mean a lot to one person, a little to anothe... [701 words]
Under The Full Of The Moon by Norman A Rubin A love goddess looking for new seed for the renewal of life. [1,771 words]
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The Reckoning Zone by E Rocco Caldwell A place we all must give a reckoning for the deeds you have done. [491 words]
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Cassius-The-Leg, Part Two by Buxton After an encounter with wild shop owner Dargeta, our young furry friend is in recover... [369 words]
Cassius The Leg, Part Three by Buxton Cassius had faced death at least 17 times, but his life was more under threat than ... [543 words]
Behind The Wheel by Harvey Kennett Tirenedness kills...take a break ! [556 words]
Another Crummy Day by Chris Flynn A seventh grader's view of a school day. [2,158 words]
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Alchemist. by Durlabh Singh Short story with Indian settings. [1,187 words]
A Caustic Silence Amidst Noël by Benjamin Allen Hale A short suspense story. This was written inspired by my friend Winny. The story... [1,489 words]

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The Old Man
A story on the end of a great man's life.
[775 words]
Tony De Lima
[January 2006]
Fisherman And The Gringo (Short Stories) A small-town fisherman has an interesting encounter in a cantina. [1,054 words]
The Old Man
Tony De Lima

The day was cold and harsh. The gloomy sky loomed overhead with an intimidating power. The tumbleweed rolled across the road. The beggar’s life was ruined, just as it always had been. Thundered upon and scorched, the man appeared to be. Probably from ceaseless days in the blazing heat and treacherous clouds. Everyday the aged old man would walk with his battered cane to the docks of San Patricio. Everyday, when the old man arrived at the docks, he would wait for the snapper boats.

            The snapper boats docked. Then the old man would rise from his bucket that doubled as a stool and walked crookedly toward the boat captain of the “’Ija de la Chingada” fishing trawler.

            “Jefe!” cried out the boat captain as his crew unloaded tons of wet, red snapper from the belly of the enormous trawler. “Como estas Sebastian, mi buen amigo?” the old man asked. The old man spoke with his three gold teeth that created a lisp. “No tienes pescado que me das pa’ vende’"? the old man asked quietly and rubbing his bony and vein-covered hands together. “Maldito ‘inche viejo! Siempre pide ‘inches pescados!” muttered Sebastian under his breath. “Ahí te va!” Sebastian muttered hurriedly and angrily as he tossed the old man a single bony snapper, yellow with disease. “Muchas gracias Sebastian, eres muy generoso” the old man said, his eyes twinkling with tears.

            The old man returned to his bucket. He skillfully sliced and gutted the fish. He used his callus-encrusted hands to rip the bright red meat from the fish’s cold and wretched body. It was still cold out. The old man wore nothing but huaraches, trousers almost as old as he was and a large brown leather jacket. The jacket was warm. It was a gift from a once loving and caring wife. Something caught his eye. It glimmered. There it was. Hanging out of the fish’s torn guts was a solid gold ring. The old man gasped. “’Ija de su madre!” The old man was sputtering tears of joy. He was on his knees. The old man whispered a prayer into the daunting clouds. The old man slowly slid the ring over his bony, skinny finger. It was ice cold. Nothing happened. Then, the old man curled his collar about his neck and curled up to sleep.

            When he awoke he rubbed his hands to warm them. The ring was still there. The man smiled. The crooked old man stood up. He felt powerful. He hobbled off to the plaza. It was empty, except for a few pigeons nodding their heads, scavenging for food. The man felt their pain. The old man asked his good friend Juan Vargas, the horseman, for a bale of hay to feed a cow that the old man sometimes looked after. Juan Vargas stared deeply into the old man’s eyes.“Tienes que ser un pinche loco! Vayase de aqui!” yelled Juan Vargas, waving his arm. The old man teetered on his cane. It was his only support in his wretched life. However, the old man felt squashed. Just as a fly on your morning bread.

The old man managed to walk to the open field on the calm bay. There she was. Maria was plump but beautiful. The man walked cautiously toward her. He patted her. She gave a short, soft moo. He sat next to her and rubbed her side with the back of his hand. “Lo siento Maria, no me dieron comida pa’ da’te.” Maria simply gazed at him with loving eyes as if to say “Its alright, I still love you.” The man slowly and painfully rose to his feet. He patted her gently. He saw his finger, the ring was now warm and fit comfortably on the old man’s hand. He squatted a few feet away from Maria on the sand of the beach. He gathered small twigs, lit a match and there erupted a small flame. It burnt for two hours. It kept the old man warm. When the fire was nothing more than smoldering hot ashes, the old man tossed a red slice of meat onto the coals. Snapper is good grilled on coals. He pulled a lime from the lime tree and squeezed it over his feast. The old man was happy. As he cooked he thought of the day. He sat cross-legged with his cane in his lap. He slowly chewed the snapper with his three gold teeth. Maria gave another soft moo and fell asleep. The old man, swallowed the last piece of snapper, curled the collar of his jacket about his neck, and fell asleep.



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© 2003 Tony De Lima
January 2006

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