500 Word Short Story
Once an Asshole...
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

He hadn't seen his old man since 1998.

Twenty years ago, without warning, his father handed his mom divorce papers and walked away from his family. Twenty years ago Marcus swore he would never talk to his father again. At the time, Marcus had no clue as to what was going on in his fathers head. He just saw the physical manifestations of those thoughts. And from what he could see, he believed his father was a full blown asshole.

The decision not to talk to the man again may have been irrational. One made by a stubborn and contentious twenty-five year old, but for the next twenty years, he held himself to it.

Age tended to mellow Marcus. It allowed him time to reflect. Realizing his hatred toward his father may have been unfounded, he decided to find him. Marcus needed to know the truth.

His father had tried to bury his whereabouts. He apparently didn't want anyone finding him, but Marcus was adept with a computer and public records being what they are, he managed to come up with some assorted information including an address. It was in a very small mid-western town. He had changed his last name, remarried and had two kids. His wife's name was Beth.

Marcus took a few days off and drove to this small town. He went into the local cafe and took a seat at the counter and ordered something to eat. An older woman waited on him. Business was slow and she was talkative. He was surprised to find out that the waitresses name was Beth. Maybe it was just a coincidence, or maybe providence.

Among other things he gleaned from the conversation was that her husband picked her up each night. Out of habit, he would eat a piece of pie before they left. Turns out his name was Mack...his fathers name.

Marcus decided to linger until Mack showed up to have a piece of pie. Marcus guessed he would order a piece of the cherry pie he had noticed sitting in the cooler.

When Mack walked in the door he took a seat at the counter and ordered the cherry pie.

He smelled of cheap liquor.

“Have you been drinking again,” Beth asked. She was visibly upset and didn't care who heard her.

“What's it too you anyhow. I got a right.”

“You say you're going to quit, but you never do,” she countered.

As Marcus recalled, Mack used to have a short fuse and a temper. He still did.

Mack shot back. “I don't need any more of this grief from you, woman.” He shoved the pie at her and stomped out.

Marcus followed him. “Mack Sheridon?”

Mack turned. “Who the hell are you?”

“I'm your son, Marcus. Remember me? I thought we might talk. Thought maybe you'd changed over the years. I guess not. You're still the same asshole I remember.”

Disappointed, Marcus walked off. He never saw the old man again.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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