You can’t kill a dead man – a Short story

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“There is not a more repulsive spectacle than on old man who will not forsake the world, which has already forsaken him.” ~ T. S. Eliot 

You certainly haven’t met Mr. Flo, if you did, you wouldn’t forget him in a hurry. He wore a map of wrinkles on his face like a badge of honor, that told of a man who had travelled through seven decades to that very moment, to stand as an old, beaten and forlorn senior citizen.

For fifty years, he woke up every day to work at the rail station, climbing up the corporate ladder in a painstakingly slow progress that defined his life. He worked hard and his heavily lidded eyes that were weighed down with wrinkled folds told only half his story.

He fought retirement like it was his final chapter before death, which was why he kept on working at the same job for many years. Due to the poor bookkeeping and records at the administrative building, his age would only become a hinderance when he sought for promotion. As long as he remained at his old job, he would retire only when he was really “tired”.

He was a jolly good fellow too, though he was over seventy, you could easily see the young boy in him still yearning to return to his toys. He wore a decent set of dentition colored in dirty brown that flashed when half his face smiled. He never left his house without his bowler hat, that allowed his wizened face peer out from under the cream-colored hat.

He lived alone in the same house he raised three daughters and a son. He buried a daughter who was hit by a car and brain damaged, when she was only fifteen. Perhaps his saddest moment!

He lived with regrets ever since, blaming himself for not taking her to school that morning before he left for work.

His other kids, all grown and married, lived in Europe. His wife, Thelma, took the pleasure of flying to the United Kingdom, Germany and France half the year spending time with their grandchildren. He took solace in the occasional video calls that the local network permitted despite the constant voice lags and blurry video images. When he spoke to his wife, their discussions centered around the cold weather, their grandchildren and her medicine.

Life was indeed lonely for Mr. Flo.

Now that he had the house alone to himself, he left every piece of furniture the same way. It was a chore he dedicated himself to. The curtains remained in a whimsical sheer allowing just the right balance between privacy and natural light control. His eyes were no longer as tolerant as they used to be. His tea pot, cups and saucers owned the centre of his dining table, while the throw pillows on his sofa were arranged from the brightest colors to the darkest. Two flower vase carried dying plants withered from lack of water at two corners of his parlor, one, next to his rocking chair, where he spent time reading old newspapers. None of the artwork on the walls carried any recognizable human image, deliberately so. He wanted no constant reminder of the family he slaved for throughout his youthful years.

He relied entirely on his children for his monthly upkeep since he stopped receiving notification on his pension payment. He also stopped going for the monthly verification exercise at the pension office after news of many of his colleagues passing away became the topic for conversation each time.

“Why wouldn’t they die?” he questioned. They had to seat in line under the canopy of a withered tree that had been raped of its leaves constantly by the unforgiving sun and wind. He detested the smell of urine that accompanied any of them when they walked past him. His nose never lost its ability to smell a fart even before it left the confines of the colon. He could smell the pungent stench of anti-biotics that battled ailments of all kinds, wet clothing and horribly disgusting breath as they spoke slowly and with difficulties. He hated their dry jokes even more as they chuckled like kids with missing teeth.

He felt lucky, except for his really bad back and his prolonged cough, it appeared he fared much better than his age would expect. He still wore his bowler hat and sometimes helped himself with a walking stick. His only worry was his erectile dysfunction.

It had plagued him for almost two years, and it saddened him. He enjoyed a healthy sexual appetite for many decades and never stopped ogling at young girls even as the only thing on his otherwise bald and mottled scalp was a sparse fringe of white.

He literally overdosed on Viagra for several weeks in a bid to relax muscles and arteries inside his penis, and to help blood reach the confines that guaranteed long lasting erection. Now, he was a limp on all his three legs!

His meals were prepared by Aunty Clara, who lived next door. She arrived each day at 11am and left just before twilight. She cooked, clean, dusted the house and chatted him up every now and then.

Aunty Clara was a widow in her late fifties, she had supple skin far younger than her age and still carried the remnants of the broad inviting hips of her youth. She spoke impeccable English and was the best friend to his wife. They had been neighbors for over 20years after she moved next door, same year she lost her husband to cancer.

 He looked forward to her visits, if for nothing else, so he could ogle at her backside as she bent down to clean the furniture. She was his fantasy, and the sexual thoughts kept his mind busy at night. He only couldn’t account for a boner every night, no matter how hard he tried. She had the beauty that stayed in the soul and shone from the eyes. She was his sexual goddess.

Aunty Clara had caught him looking lustfully and intensely at her breast several times but never complained or adjusted her blouse. It felt like she dared him to make a move yet still mocking him while at it.

His biggest companion was his television. He spent hours watching the news bulletin right from 7pm till he had his fill with the channels tv news at 10pm every day. He spent half the time looking at the breast of the female presenters barely listening to the news they read. He wished he could mentally conjure an erection based on the sexual scenes that the images afforded him. But it never worked. It was so sad he consoled himself with the mental image so he could feed on later at night on his orthopedic mattress. He hated it when the female newscasters were fully clothed leaving no flesh in sight. He would then have to amuse himself with their fake accent and flowery words.

He knew he was depressed. Nothing amused him anymore. He felt worthless.

“What is a man who can’t enjoy the pleasure of his own penis?” It felt like he carried a rag doll between his legs, just good enough for urinating and nothing more. He was worthless!

One night, he starts to feel his heart beating in spasms as though about to explode. He was in bed, nicely tucked in with Aunty Clara no where in sight. He feels the heavy thud as his heart splutters blood through narrow arteries causing him to go in a fit. The seizures grip him like electricity as his attempts to utter a word ends in futility. The blackness suddenly becomes his blanket of protection, a place for his heart to beat quietly in steady rhythm. The blackness was perfect, a sort of visual silence that gave a revered awe.

He was dead. He had to be. It was the kind of pure black that spoke of new beginnings.

He felt ghostly, his apparition solidified into a person quite capable of moving the matter of this world. He pushed himself up from his bed to look at his lifeless body. He cocked his head as though to pity the dead, before walking about his room.

Something felt different. His legs, they moved easier and faster. In quick strides, he was at the toilet door. That would have taken forever with those aged bones he hurled through his house daily. His arm gripped the toilet door handle firmly. He felt stronger, better, different.

He wondered if he could sustain an erection. Through the blessed wisps of grey lights that slithered into his bedroom, he could see the outline of his erect phallus.

The dead had indeed risen!

Unbelieving, he lowered his hands to his crotch to feel the hardness. It was truly his penis that rose in its majestic splendor; a sight he could only dream of.

He starts to pace about the room in anxiety. A growing desire to have sex that moment beclouded his judgment. Nothing mattered than testing his new found vigor and sexual prowess.

His breaths became shallow was anxiety. Aunty Clara came to mind.

“Now she would know what I can do. All those nights she mocked me with her eyes, today she would feel it”

He walked quietly out of his bedroom leaving the door ajar as he peeked through the curtains to see if the lights were on at his neighbor’s apartment. It was pitch dark.

“Good. She is asleep” He thought to himself.

Even his eyes felt crystal clear in the pitch darkness of the night as he meandered through his furniture into the front porch of his neighbors house. He knew his way around. He didn’t even need a brand new pair of eyes to navigate the two houses.

His stiffened penis nudged harder as he opened the door into Aunty Clara’s apartment.

The door creaked loudly and so he paused to listen to signs of a stir or gasp.

Nothing.

He closed the door behind him, tip toeing across her living room towards the door into her room.

There was no time for pleasantries, even if this was the last thing he would do before he journeyed into the great beyond he wouldn’t let his erect penis down.

When he opened the door into her room, he could see the silhouette of  her half-cladded body sprawled between the sheets on the bed.

His penis nudged him on. It throbbed as though the gush of blood was about to burst through the skin. His boner was unbelievable. 

Suddenly, Aunty Clara is up from the bed in a spring wielding a small wooden pestle. It aimed for his head as she swung it with all the strength left in her arm.

It hit him square on the face as he tried unsuccessfully to duck the swing. It happened so fast, that his brain was fuzzy and his step unsteady. The blackness that enveloped him was static, still and deep.

That was when he truly died, with an erect penis.

This time he didn’t wake up at the morgue!

**The End**

Post Script –  Mr Flo. suffered from a weird mental condition known as Cotard’s syndrome (or Walking corpse syndrome), in which a patient thinks he or she is dead.

Counterintuitively, in more than half of cases, these patients also think they are immortal. Treatment for the condition can include antidepressant or antipsychotic drugs, or electroconvulsive therapy.

 

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19 thoughts on “You can’t kill a dead man – a Short story”

  1. This story is quite hilarious . The old man just died for nothing.. I truly felt sorry for him.
    It’s a short, Lovely story.

      1. Even though he had his needs met ( monthly allowance from the children and cared for by the wife’s friend. The wife abandoned him. This resulted into loneliness that killed him. If he had insisted on visiting the children with the wife he would be alive today.

      2. Abdullahi Yasser

        So pathetic, the wife and the children are the root cause of his death, they abandon him to suffer .men should be prepared to avert a situation Mr Flo had experienced

  2. Growing old is considered a blessing but it comes with its own issues.
    I dread that period of my life and I wish I don’t get to a point when my fantasies are not fulfilled before I go to the grave.
    How do men managed old age and its ailments. How do we not live in regret.
    Short and simple answer: by exploring and living today. May we never be the object of regrets.

  3. Idle hands (mind) is the devil’s workshop. Do not procrastinate about the salvation of your soul particular when you are closer to returning to your maker at your old age. Gaurd your mind with all diligence because out of it comes the issue of life.
    Turn to the LORD before it’s too late. Call out to him while he’s still ready to help you.
    Let the one who is evil stop doing evil things. And let him quit thinking evil thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord. The LORD will show him his tender love.
    The Lord is a present help, counselor, companion etc in the time of need.
    If Mr. Flo had known the Lord and in fellowship with other brethren he would have been helped. His violent and shameful death would have also been avoided.

  4. AbdulSalam Rukayat folake

    Loneliness ain’t any body’s mate nd to us as children, both parents should enjoy vacations together… Biko, I personally don’t alway like d idea of mothers doing d vacation or omugwo thing abroad, we should understand that these people ve bn together all their lives
    The care may be there but it isn’t enough…….. He needed to be with someone, dat killed him fast…… Am sure he may not so much freaked abt his erectile dysfunction if d wife was wit him, nd d moment it started working he would jus ve had a quiet beautiful time wit her…. Rest well Mr Flo

  5. May what we desire not end us . Because that’s the case of mr flo and I also feel like he was uncared for and lonely.
    Erectile dysfunction isn’t something anyman will live happily with so I kinda understand his pain and worries but unfortunately it ended like this

  6. This urge thing becomes unbearable at times but I believe having a daily routine or activities manage and coordinate one’s Life Inspite of being alone.

    I think I cannot be lonely and be Bored like Mr. Flo But rather strategically fine-tune my day with some engagement Inspite of being indoor.

  7. This is some good learning. Unfortunately for Mr Flo, he couldn’t help it,he had a condition pretty much not a fault of his and it took him. Things happen, that’s life

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