Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1198779-Old-Years-Eve
by SueVN
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Fantasy · #1198779
A driver spots an old man with a scythe on New Year's Eve
Prompt for the Dialog 500 contest: Driving home from a New Year's Eve party you pickup an old man who claims to be the Old Year.

“Hey, Mister!  Need a ride?”

“Heck, no.  I’d rather walk, you idiot”

“Sorrrrry!  Just trying to help.  What’s that you’re carrying?”

“Scythe.  Just what you need in this snow and ice.  Why?  Want me to use it on you?”

“Uh, no.  I just hate to see an old guy like you out in the cold.”

“Well, I’m in no hurry to get where I’m going, so you just go on.”

“No.  You need to get in.  I’ll take you home.  It’s something like four degrees out”

“Geez!  How do I manage a Good Samaritan at this point?  Okay.  On one condition.”


“You can’t go anywhere.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, stay here until I get warmed up.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No.  That’s my condition.”

“Okay, get in.  Throw that thing in the back seat.”

“Hmmmm.  Could you turn up the heat?”

“Yeh, sure.  Why don’t you want to go home?”

“Nosy one, aren’t you?”

“No.  Well, yes, I guess.  Just seems odd.”

“What seems odd?”

“Old man, on highway, freezing to death, doesn’t want to go home.”

“I don’t have a home anymore.  I’m Old Man New Year.”

“Right. What do you mean, you don’t have a home?  Everyone has some place.”

“I did, but I was kicked out by the kid.”

“Kid?  Your kid kicked you out?”

“Not mine, moron.  THE kid.  The one with the banner on him.”


“The one that says ‘Happy New Year.’  Doesn’t know what he’s in for.”

“And you do?”

“Big time.  Tough year, this year.  Actually, I hope he fares a little better, but I doubt it.”

“Why do you think he’ll have a tough year?”

“Geez, you blind?  Let’s see, the war, terrorist attacks, people starving, politicians interested more in fighting for their career than helping the country, a hurricane here, a tornado there.  Want me to go on?”

“Uh.  I see what you mean.  But there are a lot of good things out there, too.”

“I guess.  Look, what time is it?”

“2:05 a.m.” 

“Oh.  Well, thanks for the warm-up.  I have to get going.  Think I’d just as soon walk.  Certainly not in any hurry.”

“Do you have to be somewhere?”

“You don’t want to know, but I need to be there before it is January 1st around the world.”

“Really?  Sure I can’t take you there?”

“Nope.  It’s not your time yet, but it is mine.  Good night.”

“Good night.  Careful of the traffic!” 

408 words

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