Green Man

A group of people huddles around a man lying down on the cobbles, turning green. The people are looking over each other's shoulders, not knowing what they would want done, had they been in his position.

A woman in a brown cardigan is hysterical. She is sat on the cobbles next to the man with her legs sprawled out, like a marionette. Someone from the theatre café has brought her tissues and water in a plastic cup. The woman weeps, but all she can think of is how now she will never see the waters of Sharm El Sheikh or puff shisha sitting on satin cushions in overpriced seaside bars. She won't see the pyramids. The thought of not seeing the pyramids in particular makes her give off a high-pitched wail.

The traffic policeman is tired. The bribes he's collected today aren’t enough to get that lamb shank his wife’s ordered. He should be on the road, fining Mercedes drivers for making the wrong U-turn, restriction sign obstructed by a birch tree.

“Where the heck’s the ambulance?” the warden whispers to his colleague, a younger police lieutenant about to graduate from law school.

“They won't get here on time,” the latter answers inhaling the filter of Belomorkanal. He smokes this brand because of his granddad. He does not want to be a lawyer.

The artist sat opposite, displaying her watercolours, thinks about how she'd love to paint that, this picture. The people’s expressions, their silhouettes against the pungent autumn sky, leaves turning under their feet and in the midst of it - the green man, now turning a pallid yellow, a chameleon blending in with the leaves. That - that is real art. Five hundred reproductions of Ibryaev have made her despise the great watercolour master and his technique. But her shawl is wearing thin and her imitation skills have never failed to impress the tourists. She looks past the crowd to the back street, a wall partially hidden by the dusk.

A skinny goth leans against it, blood trickling out of his nostril, his collar encrusted. His watery eyes dart from the man on the ground onto his own black painted nails, which he bites with animal ferocity. A blooded knife handle sticks out of his trouser pocket.

The now yellow man watches everyone around him peering into his soul. The man waits for the videotape of his life to roll, but it doesn't. His wife's wailing drops away. So do the whispers and confused glances. The gash in his side stops ripping his body apart with pain and a soft cotton candy feeling descends onto his limbs.

The sound of the sirens echoes between the walls of the buildings. 

The man goes purple, his eyes roll back until you can see nothing but the whites. The women in the crowd sob. The pool of blood around him turns black, or perhaps it's the shadow that escapes the people's minds and walks across the scene turning everything ghostly.


  1. Very good. Very powerful. Like a painting of POVs. Well done

  2. creepy and powerful. Thank you!


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