While trying to balance a checking book.
Optional Style: Like you’re telling a five year-old.
Mr. Harmon pulled out his checkbook and thumbed through the pages to the back of the book. It had rained that morning, but now the sun was peaking through the grey clouds above. The graves he stood before were still wet and glistened in the still warmth of the light. He pulled out a pen from inside his jacket and looked down at the small boy. He gestured with the pen at the headstone in front of them.
“This is where you’re uncle Tad is buried, Georgie,” Mr. Harmon returned his attention to checkbook running his fingers down the column of scratched numbers. “He wasn’t a bad man, your Uncle. At least he didn’t think so and that’s something, I guess.”
The boy looked at the stone cross that bore his uncle’s name, not fully understanding the meaning.
“You see, Tad thought he was helping your family. But everything he did turned to shit– er, poop. He’d ‘help’ by doing things like selling watches that he ‘found’. Or by showing tourists the back alleys. I guess what I’m saying is, Uncle Tad was a bit of a criminal. He did bad things, but for good reasons– well for good intentions anyway.” Mr. Harmon put his pen the the paper and began scratching some numbers.
“Your mom hated him. I mean, you remember the screaming matches they’d have, right. Man, those two could fight. I think when Tad came out of your grandma, I think he picked a fight with your mom the first day.” Mr. Harmon paused doing some carrying-over in his head.
“Anyway, that about the best relationship Tad ever had with a real-live person. Your mom may have thought Tad was the worst person on the planet, but he was still her brother so she helped him out from time to time. Everyone else though, well, let’s just say that’s why you and I are the only ones here right now. I don’t know what riled people more, his rampant kleptomania or his constant lying. I don’t think Tad ever said more than three words in a row that weren’t some sort of made up nonsense. Lies that didn’t even need to be made. And hell, I don’t think I ever got my tv remote back from him.”
Mr. Harmon scowled at the mention of his lost property. He continued to subtract numbers and write them down.
“Tad was at his worst in his scams. All of them some mixture of cruelty and illegality. He’d tell people the city water was contaminated and sell them bottled water, but he’d fished the bottles out of peoples recycling and filled them with the hose at the car wash. He’d chase people out of restaurants and tell them they under paid. What finally got him, why Tad’s here, was his new friend scam where he’d cozy up to some rich bastard and get him to pay for a night out on the town. Except he tried this with Pappa Grendel; he’s a minor, but notorious wiseguy. He took issue with Tad’s bill dodging and… well, this is where your uncle is buried now.” Mr. Harmon rifled back through the checks and found the one he was looking for. Delicately he tore out a check. He placed the check on the headstone and then spoke to it, “Figured you’d like this more than flowers, Tad. Don’t try to cash it until the end of the month.”
“Ok, Georgie, let’s get you back to your mom. Tell her all of Uncle Tad’s friends showed up. It’ll make her feel better for not comin'”