The park was empty save for a little old man with flesh the colour and texture of wet paper. I could see him sitting alone on the bench, under the flickering fluorescent light, tearing a loaf of bread into small pieces with his pudgy fingers; pieces which he cast on the ground just beyond his little circle of light as if feeding the pigeons. Every now and then he would stop for a moment and adjust the little round spectacles that perched on his nose, and look to where he cast the bread with a doting smile before tearing more pieces.
Having observed the little man I felt uncomfortable and would not have gone near, save that crossing the park was the fastest route to my Jane. I was careful to tread only outside his light so that he might not regard me, but as I made to pass by my foot broke the back of some small living thing that died with an unpleasant squeak.
I froze under sudden scrutiny, looking down at a dozen pairs of black eyes looking back, mouths full of bread. The little old man regarded me with a sorrowful expression amid his drowned-man’s wrinkles, a tear welling at the corner of his eyes which he proceeded to daub with a mustard yellow handkerchief. No word did he speak, and no further move did he make, that little pallid man looking at me. A creeping fear gripped my heart as I stepped backward with a small bow, stammered apologies dying on my lips, and hurried away through the park.
My footsteps on the concrete path sounded hollow and clumsy in my hurry and I soon slowed my pace deciding that I had been ridiculous, taking a moment to calm myself by breathing in the early autumn air. A small sound came to me then, of tiny claws on a hard surface, and I looked about me seeing nothing. I happened to glance back towards the bench with its circle of flickering fluorescent light in the distance, and the little man was gone.
Something entered the left side of my back with a swift upward strike, and was quickly removed. I spun around and the little man put a small knife in my stomach and twisted before letting go. I would not see Jane this evening, it seemed. I clutched at the knife, and slowly fell to the ground.
The little pallid man with his many-folded face stood above me, his eyes small and black, as he took the mustard yellow handkerchief from his breast pocket and wiped his bloodied fingers on it, then placed it over my dead eyes.