A Hunted Man

She gave him a quick side glance. What are you? she thought. This stranger wasn’t like most of the men she met on her daily routine; there was a certain troubled air about him, an apprehension . . . It was in the way his eyes would wander across the street, like he had no idea where he was going, or what he was looking for. He was going through the motions.

What’s more, there was something that made him stick out; she couldn’t place a finger on what that something was. Maybe she knew him? No, that’s a far stretch, I’ve never seen this person before in my life. Maybe . . . The first thought that came to mind when she first saw him was: wow, he’s really old. He looked to be in his mid-thirties, which did little to explain that thought. Who could really tell now, though? Few people she had met looked their age . . .

Still . . .

He ended up seated a few tables away from her, just close enough to keep an eye on him. Who are you? Did you follow me here, after you noticed me watching? Was I really that obvious?

The stranger ate his meal in silence, occasionally looking at the people around him, not quite casually but with a definite questioning look. The more she observed the man the more she realized how tense he really was. He was about to snap.

She stood up to leave; just as she was about to exit the cafe, another questionable man came in. This one was searching the cafe, as if expecting to find someone there.

The other man, she noticed, had vanished.

So, the wandering stranger is a hunted man? Why? The questionable man: he was an enigma. An uncomfortable one. He was an albino, or appeared to be; there was something about the pigmentation in his skin overall, lacking in any of the undertones one would expect. The man was simply dead white.

Like a maggot.

A pair of sunglasses obscured part of his face, but not that pointed chin. He was average height, but for some mysterious reason she kept telling herself that he was bigger than that. After arguing with herself for two seconds it suddenly dawned on her that the albino was not human. Not with those proportions . . .

She walked away without another moment of hesitation.

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