That Man

They said he spent the afternoon at the beach. He was peeling his skin away, carefully, sitting there on the salty sand.
Then he rested for a while. Ate whelks in vinegar with black pepper form a polystyrene cup. He lanced one whelk after another with his cocktail stick, pulled them off with his teeth them whilst staring out to sea.
He was seen later on in the towns backstreets. He was talking into a Dictaphone. Someone overheard him saying something about ‘blinding, chatterring teeth atop bright pink, fat necks’.
He was last spotted entering the local house of whores; presumably to visit one of their women of questionable repute.
I have heard though, that the women have the ability heal a weary soul.
Certain oils mixed with roots are used to restore strength to tired limbs; special herbs and exotic fruits are pureed and given to ease troubled minds.
None of the stevedores go there anymore. They say that the women use a strange magic. That they are witches, and that they kill the men or turn them into husks.
Sailors, knowing nothing of the stories, will visit the house often without a bother.
Some, however, don’t return to their vessels. They simply disappear.
I wonder about that man. The one from the beach. I wonder when he’ll leave our town.
They always do.
By boat, by cover of night, by light of day.


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