Nicol The Masochist

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

Nicol liked it when young boys pulled on his beard. Very young boys. In the 1970s, he presented a thatch of black that crawled to the middle of his chest. He’d go to parties and situate himself on the nearest ottoman. These were weird 1970s gatherings – drunk adults and unsupervised children getting loud in the afternoon. George Benson on the expensive stereo. Lots of safari jackets and rayon kaftans.

Nicol had a big raspy voice that resounded through the ultramodern kitchens and dining rooms.

He would follow young men around the party. Boys. Boys about 8 or 9 or 10. He’d sit down and demand that they pull on his beard.

When they did, he would shout — shout — ”Why you hurt me?”  An exaggerated and agonized yelp.

The startled kids would bound off, while the tipsy adults would laugh. “Oh Nicol.”

The beard yanking would recommence.

“Oh, why you hurt me?”

“Oh, why you hurt me?”

“Oh, why you hurt me?”

The braying “Why You Hurt Me?” would eventually overwhelm the conversation, and the hammered and uncomfortable quests would drift out.

Nicol would work though two or three victims over the course of the evening. Each usually lasted about 5 or 10 minutes before bursting into tears. The kids knew what was happening before the adults did. At least they knew to admit it.

Sweaty and disoriented, Nicol would leave around midnight, but only after treating the remaining stragglers to a dynamic recitation of “Casey At The Bat.”

Nicol was found in the back seat of a car in Amherst in 1991. He had been dead for two days.

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