The Featureless Man

Posted: October 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

Ah, October! Where the nights come quickly and the wind grows cold!

‘Tis is the season for ghosts, ghouls, goblins, gremlins, gribblies … gvampires… gwerewolves? Alliteration is hard. You get the picture.

I’m trying my hand once again at the delightful Whimword flash fiction competition. I aim to submit one every week if I can, to keep my hand in. The benefit of this is that you get to read my attempts at literary greatness – lucky you! Oh to be blessed in such a manner!

This week’s word is ‘featureless’, chosen by my very own spousal unit.

Without further ado, I give you a creepy story I just chucked together tonight. Tonks bribed me with some Mass Effect 3 time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with Commander Shepherd.

The Featureless Man

The featureless man will come again tonight.

I sharpen my spear as I crouch by the fire, the burning wood crackling and sending sparks up into twisting currents of air. My knife snicks through the wood, shavings fall at my feet. The point is growing sharp.

It will not be sharp enough.

The featureless man comes every night, or at least he has come every night that I have been here. Since I pulled myself, broken and bleeding, from the wreckage. Since I dragged myself to the beach. Since I built this small fire. Maybe even before then. Who knows if he was watching me as I slipped in and out of dreamless sleep those first few nights?

The featureless man does not speak, because he does not have a mouth. He can see even though he has no eyes. I know because his head follows me when I move and he cranes his neck to follow the movement of a waved arm. He can hear even though he has no ears. I know because he cocks his head when I speak, when I cry out or when I whimper.

Every night he creeps closer, and I can see more of him. There is nothing to see. He has no face. He has no clothes. He is not naked. He just is. My eyes slide off him when I try to focus them, to see the distinguishing characteristics he surely has, he must have, all humans have.

He is not human. He has two limbs that look like arms. He moves them like arms. He has two limbs that look like legs. They move him like legs. But he is not human. He smells wrong. He looks wrong. He is wrong.

Light bends around him. The world bends around him. As he gets closer, the air gets darker and colder. Every night is darker and colder than the last. Every night he comes closer than the last.

Last night he came and stood at the edge of the ring of light cast by my fire. He stared at me with his lack of eyes and listened for me with his lack of ears. I didn’t move. I didn’t speak. I could do neither. We stayed still, silent and unmoving statues, for hours.

I watched as a crab scuttled across the rocks and crossed the light of my camp. As it passed by the featureless man it began to shake violently, and with a terrible cracking noise it began to fold in on itself. The featureless man’s shadow reached for the crab and consumed it. As daylight came, he faded away, leaving behind nothing but the indentations in the sand where he had stood.

The featureless man will come again tonight.

I am sharpening my spear.

It will not be sharp enough.

But it is all that I can do.

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