The homeless man who didn’t blink doing good
It was a foggy day down by the lake. It had been months since I hadn’t been able to see my girlfriend, and now that she was finally back from Erasmus we could spend some time together. She loved the lake, when she was in town we spent all our time here… actually, we rarely left this area. She invited me to her house, and we spent wonderful hours together, but we never saw each other outside.
The lake was gorgeous even in fog, it had a colour similar to steel and it almost seemed like you could walk on it. The trees were barely a dark reflection, a shadow on its surface, and the ruins of the castle seemed more frightening and fuller of mystery than usual. It was a very romantic atmosphere, in the most literary sense of the term, it seemed to me like I was in a novel by the Bronte sisters. I enjoyed the view for a while, but in the end I was too impatient to wait any longer.
A hand suddenly grabbed my wrist. <Hey!> I turned around scared: next to me, sitting on a piece of cardboard on the side of the road, there was a homeless man staring at me. He had a long white beard, wispy white eyebrows and two spectacular blue eyes, perhaps more luminous than normal. <Hey friend, if you want some change, I’ll give it to you, but leave my …> I didn’t notice him, yet I’d been there for a while.
<Friend, you listen to me. Go no further, because you could never go back> his voice was deep but gentle, his eyes were full of pity and determination. <Hey, I don’t know what you want, but I’m going to find my girlfriend, not throw myself in the lake> I tried to tear my hand out of the grip, but I felt like enchanted, I really couldn’t escape, get away from that situation.
<It could be the same thing. Listen to me, what you think is your girlfriend is actually a witch, and she’s been using this trick for millennia. Have you ever wondered why in so many years many people have disappeared at the lake but not her? Women, men and children who periodically, with the first fogs, disappear. Let me show you something…> I listened to him as if in a trance, while the fog around me thickened. Shadows, small and large, gathered around me. Even the old man turned into a shadow for an instant. <Let me go> I murmured in horror, but he stared at me as the shadows around us faded. <You don’t have to believe me. Only, never come back, I tell you from experience> Fear ran thick in my heart, cold. There was something suddenly too romantic in that atmosphere. I stared at him for a few moments, then ran away.