“Tomorrow’s forecast, cloudy with a chance of rain.”
You have nothing to fear but fear itself. Well there's bears, floods, spiders, exposed wiring, radiation, muggers and fire. And a bunch of other things too. Actually remember to be cautious or you could really be hurt. Anyway onto the flash fiction!
Old Man Oldale
Old man Oldale lived in an old house on an old road. His frail old body didn't give him much to do. He could watch TV, read a book, and his grandson managed to teach him to surf the Internet but he never managed to wrestle his boney fingers on those video game controllers to get any sort of thrill from those.
Oldale didn't care for stunts, but he wanted to come up with something. Something to get him to feel the rush of adrenaline of youth. Something exciting. Maybe devious? Of course...a practical joke! When this idea came to him one sunny Tuesday morning he played with the gray hairs on his mustache like a cartoon villain.
First he needed to pick a victim. Not his family members. He didn't want to hear them complain about it every Thanksgiving, he wanted to brag about it. Turn his reputation from a sweet old man into a rapscallion not a nuisance. Oldale remembered that practical jokes were about revenge, and what better than the neighborhood thief that's been running around. Several people reported the packages missing, and Oldale remembered the vanishing of some of his things that he ordered from online. (Ordering things online was another thing his grandson taught him about the Internet).
So Oldale concocted his scheme. He hid a camera behind the garden gnome in his lawn set to tape everything that happened at his door. And several other hidden cameras. It took a long time to set all the cameras up, but he needed phase one to catch the crook. Phase two was the fun part. The practical joke part, catching the thief was a mere bonus. Oldale set up a small package with “Fragile” and several other markers to make the contents sound valuable. However he filled it with rocks. Then he waited and snickered. He wanted to watch through his window, but the thief could see him while picking up the package.
Oldale channel surfed for a few days and smiled when he heard a huge string of curses. He didn't rush to the door, he walked slowly. He imagined the wonderful moment when the thief dropped the box on his foot when surprised by its weight. It made Oldale's heart race as he remembered all the mischief he got into while he was young. He opened the door and saw someone running in the distance, trying to escape with a box full of rocks. Later he showed the footage to cops while making sure to edit out the part where the thief drops the rocks on himself just in case that left some liability on Oldale.
Then the old man schemed his next practical joke, though his friends and family might have to watch out since he now had youthful mischief in his mind again.