The Grumpy Old Man


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McLean and I were out riding our bikes at about 12 or 13 when we found ourselves at a KOA campground and decided to stop to grab a little junk food. There was some kind of confusion about where to put our bikes, and for some reason we couldn’t leave them near the front door. Most of the camping spots were empty so we dropped them in the nearest one.

We returned to our bikes and as we stood around munching our candy bars an old man came out of nowhere. “What do you think you’re doing?” he shouted.

“Huh?” we both said at once. “What are you talking about?”

“Why would you do that?” his face reddened as his voice went louder. “I saw you right here. I was right there and you saw me!”

“What?”

“Don’t play dumb with me!” He beat his fist against some invisible table. “I’m not an idiot! I was right here and saw you and you saw me!”

“We don’t understand–”

He cut me off with a loud grunt. “I’m not gonna play this game with you! You punk kids think you can just go around and get away with anything–well I’ve got news for you, this is gonna catch up to you, and you’ll have to pay eventually… I mean, I have half a mind to…” he drifted off with a shake of his head.

“Ok,” McLean said. “We’re sorry.”

“Yeah, I hope you are!” He replied, only slightly calmer.

“Yeah, we’re really sorry,” Mclean continued. “We won’t let it happen again… we promise.”

He grunted again and turned toward the store. “See that it doesn’t,” he said as he walked away.

Mclean and I reached for our bikes without taking our eyes off him. The man shot us another angry glare just before entering the building.

“Dude…” Mclean started slowly. “Do you have any idea what he was talking about?”

“Not a clue,” I replied. “Why’d you apologize if you didn’t know?”

“What else was I supposed to do?”

“So how do we keep this from happening again?” I asked.

“We’re gonna get the hell out of here is what we’re gonna do.”

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KalinBooks.com is the ramblings of Kalin Ringkvist, a science fiction author with a passion for peace and freedom.