Bad Seed

Mama says every town has its bad seed; this town's is an old man who strolls Main Street each morning. Whispers follow him from his house to the edge of town and back again.

I hear, "He's a murderer."

"Got away on a technicality."

"Casts a shadow on this whole town."

"You stay away from him, kid."

But one day I wait for him at the end of the road and ask, "Did you do it?"

He chuckles as he sizes me up. "You know, they say only the good die young. I've got a long while to go yet."

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Note: Written for the Review Game Forum's December Writing Challenge Contest. The prompt this month was the photo 'The Open Gate' by h. koppdelaney on Flickr. Check out the other entries and vote for your favorites December 8th-14th.