The M.O.F.T

When the neighbor finally passed away, Oli and C.J. finally get to see what was going on in old Mr. Nameless's house. But it is something much different from what they expected.

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1. Old Mr. Nameless

“Well....I guess he had it coming.” I sat there and tried not to smile. Why was this funny to me? I cupped my face in my hand, trying to force tears from my eyes. I couldn’t really say that I was sad. The heat of the curb pounded against my hands and thighs. It was too sunny to be sad. All I wanted to do at that moment was go back inside and pretend that this had never happened.


“He had it coming? What’s wrong with you? You’ve known this guy for years. You used his phone when you were locked out of your house! We don’t even know his name! He glared at you through his window almost every day on our way home from school, and now he’s just... gone.” A tear trickled down his face.

“Ah, jeez. Are you... crying? You didn’t even know the guy! I haven’t seen him come off of his property since 2001.” I held in a giggle trying to make Oli think that I cared about this eerie elderly man, but his condescending look made it clear he was fully aware that I felt no sympathy at all.

I didn’t understand what made him feel bad about this ominous man’s death. If anyone was going to feel bad, it was me, because I had lived next to this cynical old man for fourteen years. At the time of this endeavor, I didn’t really understand why I didn’t feel bad. Now I realize it’s because Mr. Nameless didn’t want us to feel bad. I originally thought that he was a wizard, because he had his long, disheveled beard and had a black cat. On second thought, that cat wasn’t his. It was the neighborhood cat that didn’t have a residence, but it was attracted to the old man because he always had a faint smell of musk.

Oli brought up his trembling hand and wiped his cheek ,“I remember the time, when I was 8, and those.... those... hooligans beat me up and took my shoes. He was outside, mowing his lawn. I trudged by barefoot. He gave my twenty dollars and said, ‘Buy some shoes, you dirty hippie.’”

“What kind of person uses the word ‘hooligans”? But listen, he was actually just an antisocial old man who nobody ever liked or talked to,” I gave him a fake, condescending smile and he threw the apple he was eating at me. “That was unnecessary,” I frowned.

It bounced onto the sidewalk and rolled into the old man’s yard. It slid into the dying weeds and disappeared into the darkness.

“My apple....” That gave Oli an excuse to start sobbing some more. It seemed like he really cared about this random old man. We used to tell each other stories about how Mr. Nameless was a wizard, and how though he seemed like an old man who was angry at the world, we would turn bad people into toads. He was saving people without anyone knowing. Like Superman. I guess the whimsy of those stories still lived in Oli, but I just saw him as a regular man.

Sitting in front of his old house was kind of dismal. It was so emotionless and gray. The shingles were falling off the roof onto the lawn, the windows were cracked and boarded up, and the dim faded yellow paint was peeling off the walls. The cobwebs engulfed the boxes sitting on the old creaky porch.

A policeman saddled up to us and sat down on the curb. “ The guys think it was a heart-attack. I’m really sorry, you two,” he shot us a warm smile.

“It’s alright...” Oli gulped. He flipped his hair into his face and frowned.

“I’m gonna have to ask you two to skedaddle on home. We gotta do some important police stuff.” We got up and started walking home, but in that kind of way where you walk really slow and kind of slink along, so you’re not really moving.

We heard the door of his house fly open, and the paramedics solemnly marched out carrying a stretcher with a white tarp over it.

Oli swallowed his sadness like a handful of sand and peeped, “Well. There he is. The last time we will ever see old Mr. Nameless. We won’t ever see his sharp condescending eyes staring at us walking by through the slats of the boarded up windows.”

I whipped around and tried to keep a straight face as they loaded the large white bundle into the ambulance. The doors of the police cars and the ambulance slammed shut. They turned the flashing lights off and drove down the rode off into the distance over the hill.

The noises all stopped, and for a moment, Oli and I just sat there in silence and stared at the house. A single tear tumbled down his cheek and he turned and started stomping towards my house.

“Now that that’s over, why don’t we go home and watch ‘World’s Smallest Pope’?” I smirked at Oli.

“Are you some kind of emotionless freak?! This is not the time for little popes!” He tried to look mad, but he just couldn’t. I guess all this trauma was too much, so he just broke out into tears right there on the sidewalk.

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