Short Stories

The Paraphernalia Of Mr. Jenkins

“So Oliver, it’s true then? You are getting back in business, aren’t you?” The group of old men chuckled as they kept playing their card game around the circular table. The coffeehouse would consist of a number of identical tables sparsed around the room, for the service of the faithful and diligent customers consisted mostly of people in the third age. Build externally out of carved, hand-crafted rocks giving a red-brownish ambiance, and full-furnished in the inside with wood that would offer the second set of home for its daily customers who would so gladly spend their days in it.

“Are you sure you still remember how to do it?” Another set of laughter came from the group.

“Ohh don’t listen to them, Mr. Jenkins. They only speak like that out of jealousy and envy. I’m sure they would give their right kidney to get a chance to do what you do.” said the waitress as she stooped over the table touching the coffee on it deliberately and slowly not to spill any of it.

Waitress: “So is it true what they say? You are contracted to write a new novel? One to be published again to the world?” she asked hugging the disc with her right arm and cocking her left hand to her waist. “I have always said you are the jewelry of our village Mr. Oliver.”

Oliver smiled at her, warm-hearted. 

“You got that right Sophy, I guess every hummingbird needs to come back home at some point.”

Sophy: “That is correct Mr. Oliver, and I’m pretty sure you are gonna make a grand comeback. People are gonna lose their minds with your work as they did so many times in the past. Ohh how can someone forget your books? They are so..” she looked upwards in the sky as she raised her shoulders “ and powerful.”

“Ohh thank you, my dear, that is very kind of you” said Oliver smiling.

“As long as he manages to grab that pencil everything should be fine” said a guy from the opposite table provoking another set of laughter.

“How long is it till he wrote something already, is it 20, 30 years?” the guy inquired sarcastically.

Sophy: “Ohh why don’t you stop your little banter now. I’m sure you would kill to have achieved part of the amazing work Mr. Oliver has made over the years. And it’s sure people that matter believe enough in him to bestow such a big contract or they wouldn’t bother, isn’t that right?” The response took the smile out of their faces as they cocked up in their sit taking a serious expression.

“Mr. Oliver is only 58 years old and has plenty of time to keep up with his work for as long as he wishes. Now I hope you don’t mind me gentlemen but you should bother your own business.” She said as she noded to Mr. Jenkins and run back inside. Oliver took a sip from his coffee, picked up his newspaper, and continued reading unperturbed.


“So my dear Mary, is it true that your husband took a job for a new book. It created such a controversy in the whole village you know. Many assumed he had given up on writing for good.”

Mary: “well, he had and he certainly seemed settled down a bit but god knows who got that idea in his mind and unrested him again. Now his brain is gonna be filled with air again and I’m gonna have to make sure he stays grounded with his two feet connected to the world..” the woman glanced at her swiftly as she hold a number of cards in her hands, sitting in the round table. “..if you know what I mean..” her lips were dyed with tense-wet, red lipstick and her hair was tied with curling rollers keeping her hair tight. In her right hand a thin, long cigarette was burning as she was doodling the cards she was holding in her hand.

Woman: “You understand why people are so worried, don’t you? With all due respect and the love I have for you and your family..” she leaned towards Mary “..If he has given up on it for so long it’s gonna be really hard to reach his previous level of work and that could have an impact on the name he worked on for so many years. Some even suggest he should give up on this endeavor all together and play it safe as he runs the danger of ruining everything he created”

Mary: “Ohh my dear Zoey, you think I haven’t thought of this already?” she chuckled frantically leaning back on her seat as she raised her hand in front of her mouth. “Nobody really believes he will manage to even pull it off” she declared in a full-blown direct manner with her eyes wide open. “I’m not even sure he would be in position to pull out something like that, you know” she declared. “His mind is not in the same state it used to be” she swirled her hand circularly in the side of her head as she nodded her head up and down. “The guys probably just wanted him to try out something for old time’s sake. Who knows..”

Zoey: “Ohh my dear Sophy and you have to pull everything off with this situation by keeping the balance and not bursting his dreams down..” she held her hand as she tilted her head sideways. “And yet you manage to keep such a strong posture my dear…that is so admirable”

Mary nodded exasperatedly. “Let’s just hope I won’t break down along the way..”


A few hours later Oliver took the road back home. As his usual routine, he would always pass around the mountain hill first where he would relish the nice view and the clean air. As he reached home he walked into his room and stood in front of his library. It was an impressively big stack, made of dark brown wood, with its selves spanning from the ground all the way to the top and the sides covering most of the wall. As he leaned in the corner he glanced over the books in the middle shelve taping them softy with his left hand. In their sides the name “Oliver Jenkins” was scribbled as the author of the book, together with the title. He took one out and smiled as he stared over the cover. He put it back on his position as if carrying a sacred object and took a sit over his table opening up the office drawer. Inside, there was a big suede case, flat out like a big box of jewelries. He took it out on the table and opened it up, revealing a number of various pens and writing accessories, most of them glistening from their good, solid silver quality bringing a glow of their own. From inside the box, he took out a fountain pen and a notebook and leaned them at the top of the table.

“Now, let’s see..” he smiled. He hashed the tip of the pen with his hot breath and tipped it inside the ink a few times, before marking the date on the top of the page. His letters were smooth and deliberate curving the lines nice and slow as if enjoying every part of the process. “Good, good..” he whispered and stopped for a second. “So what should this book be about..” he squizzed his eyes He put the pen in his mouth and closed his eyes for a few seconds before he raised his gaze up. “Maybe it’s a mystery? Maybe some crime triggered out of sheer and unrestricted passion! Hmm..yes.. Of course, that could be a good start. But what should it be about..”

He rested his head in his hands as he stared over the wall continuing playing with his pen when the door opened abruptly and Mary came into the room.

“So you decided to return at last?” she said with quizzing eyes. “You know the garden has been neglected for so long that is going to fade away sooner or later”

“Ohh Mary can’t you see I’m busy for god’s sake..” he exasperated with a desperate grimace in his face.

“Also the water has been stack up in the basement again and needs some work to unclog. Don’t you think it would be good to bother a little bit with the house over here?” she glanced down on is piece of paper as he averted his gaze on the side. 

Mary: “What’s that, don’t you tell me you seriously bothering with that book of yours now, are you?”

Oliver: “Ohh sure I am, what do you mean I m bothering with it I told you I made a damn deal about it.”

Mary: “Ohh dear god. You are in no position to write that book and you know it. This is just a waste of time and you are neglecting everything that matters for it.”

Oliver: “You let me worry about it. You are gonna have your damn stuff fixed so don’t sweat on it.” he scolded as he leaned his head downwards.

Mary: “You better..” she said as she pointed her finger at him

Oliver: “Why did you fix your hair, by the way, were you seeing anyone?”

Mary: “Not really, just me and the girls gathered up. You are not jealous now are you?”

Oliver: “I Don’t know maybe I am..” he shrugged with his shoulders.

Mary: “You make sure you don’t forget about the house,” she said one last time before she left the room.


Time passed but Oliver didn’t manage to write anything on the page. He was standing in his desk scratching his head and twirling his pen the whole night but without making any progress. From time to time he would attempt to begin something on the paper only to scrap the page off after a while and tear the paper to pieces before starting anew. He would swing around the room and hold his head between his hands but nothing good would come out of it. 

The next morning he skipped his usual walk to the coffeehouse to work on his piece. Luckily Mary was set out to be out the whole day but although he was alone and uninterrupted he still remained stack with the blank page without making any progress. 

“Ohh god, I’m so rusty” he would whisper from time to time. “Why did I take the job if I can’t deliver it” he would gasp at some point. “I should admit I am a failure and get done with it all.” 

The day passed and in the afternoon he received the sudden joy of a visitor. As he dragged along his body and opened the door his was glad to see Sophy standing in the door holding a box.

Sophy: “Mr. Oliver..”

Oliver: “Sophy?” 

She would stand elegant in the front door wearing her floral spring dress filled with red roses.

“Mr. Oliver, I felt really bad about yesterday’s incident in the coffeehouse. I just wanted to bring to you some sweets and wish you all the best with your new book.”

“Ohh dear that is so kind of you..” he declared with a warm breathy voice. “You shouldn’t bother with it..”

“My pleasure Mr. Jenkins” she smiled. “So have you make any progress on it yet? Have you decided what it’s gonna be about or the main theme maybe?”.

“, not yet..” he responded. “You know I m not even sure I will manage to deliver it at know, time passed without working on it and I’m simply not the way I used to be..”

“Ohh don’t you talk like that Mr. Oliver. Of course, you can still write. It would only take a bit of faith and warm-up and I’m sure you would deliver a masterpiece as you always do.”

He smiled at her.

Sophy: “Now please have these sweets and keep in mind that we still believe in you and can’t wait to read your work,” she said as she delivered the box at him and left.

Oliver took the box inside and took a sit back at his desk skeptical. He seemed a bit absent-minded for a while as he stood there gazing in outside the window.

“You can’t give up now, old man. You have to deliver the damn thing,” he said softly as he took a paper out and started scribbling notes on it. 

After a while, he heard a knock on his door and Mary appeared inside the room with a cold cruel expression as she snapped the door away.

“You god damn fool, did you really ignore everything I told you yesterday?” she yelled.

“Ohh Mary..” he gasped surprised.

Mary: “You can’t neglect your housework all the time and do your own thing as you please, don’t you get it?”

Oliver: “Why not? you did your own thing the whole day today, didn’t you?” 

Sophy opened her mouth in shock.

Oliver: “And where have you been exactly if I may ask you. You never account on anything you do”

Sophy: “Ohh this is not about me, don’t you dare change the subject like that.”

Oliver: “I’m not changing any subject. You are having an affair with another man, don’t you?”

Sophy was taken completely aback by his statement. “You are completely out of your mind, I’m telling you,” she said as she moved a few steps closer to him aggressively moving her head up and down. “You completely ignore what I tell you, you forget your duties, you disregard your own house and now you are playing your little game with your jealousy plots.”

She glanced at his desk again. “..and of course you’ve only been bothering with that stupid book of yours which is probably never gonna be published anyway because of how bad it is going to be.”

Oliver: “So that’s the issue isn’t it? You are annoyed that I took up writing again?”

Sophy: “You fool..” she grilled her teeth. “I don’t give a damn what you do or how you spend your time” she approached his desk. “This whole thing is nothing but mere crap for you to waste your damn time” she scolded as she took his collection from his desk and threw it in the corner of the room.

“Don’t you dare..” Oliver shouted and run over to gather it up in distress.

“You better fucking listen to me next time, got it?” she said and left the room.

Oliver picked up the case and try to gather all the sparsed accessories before he leaned them on the table. He took one of the fountain pens in his hand and scrutinize it as he looked at the door. He tightened it in his hand and moved out of the room walking determined and mechanically. Like his soul was stripped out of his body. He started moving towards the kitchen that Mary was standing over, with her back turned to him. Oliver kept moving towards her slowly and deliberately. 

“You know, I’m sorry for yelling at you before. You definitely deserve time for yourself as everybody else”. 

He was already a few feet away when she decided to turn around and face him only to be startled by his demeanor. “Oliver? What are you doing?” She shouted in fear.

Oliver lifted his hand up, holding the pointed pen and drew it down with full force stabbing her deep in the neck with it. Red blood started running on her white skin as she fell down on the ground and more blood started pouring out. She tried to back up from him pushing backward with her feet. “Oliver! What are you doing? Stop!” she screamed protruding one hand while holding her neck with the other. “Please stop, please!” Oliver followed her along and delivered another blow in the chest as Mary kept staring at him with her eyes wide open. He stared back steadily, till she fell unconscious and then he continued stabbing her consecutively, again and again with full force, splashing blood everywhere around him. His expression remained mechanical and unemotional as he continued hitting her dead body. After a while, he stopped, leaned back, and took a big breath as he swept his face from the blood. His hands and the whole face was dyed full red as if he was bathed in the blood. He stood up and threw some water in his face to clean it out. He swept the water with a towel and cleaned out his pen before he walked back to his office. He sat down in his chair and took out a new piece of paper. After taking a big breath he began writing:

“A crime of passion

The man was sure of his wife’s unfaithfulness. He knew all about it for some time but he disclosed nothing to her. He merely kept doing what he always did as if nothing happened. It was only a brisk night that…”