This Old Man

A rhyme, scrawled on the walls of Abirsham Chapel, outside Washington, DC.

This old man, he played one.
He played mojo with his thumbs
With a knick-knack and a paddywhack
And a chilling in your bones.
This old man will take you home.

This old man, he played two
He played death for me and you
With a knick-knack and a paddywhack
And howling at the moon.
This old man is coming soon.

This old man, he played three
He watches over you and me.
With his knick-knacks, paddywhacks
And eyes that never sleep.
Pray your soul he’ll never keep.

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know if my entry in Phantom Sway’s Friday Fiction challenge is any good. It has only a tenuous connection to the picture, though I think this old man is the same old man in the nursery rhyme those poor, doomed men found scrawled on the wall of that crumbling chapel not far south of our Nation’s Capital. I can’t say that I know who he is, exactly, but I certainly don’t want to meet him face to face.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t room to print more stanzas from the rhyme they found — a rhyme for children, mind you — but rules are rules. Perhaps we’ll see more some other time. Unless the old man gets us first.