I don’t know what caused me to turn around so quickly, so sure that someone was behind me. Perhaps it was some vestige of a sense that humanity used to keep itself safe during those times when dangers populated every shadow.
Stumbling toward me, in short faltering steps was a homeless man. His shirt was gone, his pants painted with stains full of sour smells.
With ragged fingernails he tore at his belly. “Out. Get out of me.”
The skin turned red as if sunburned. Then gave way against his human claws. Blood seeped and flowed outward, following the channels of flesh. He gave no sign of stopping, indeed his frenzy increased. Snarling and crying he tore at his flesh, pulling out thick bloody chunks. Freed from its prison, fat squirted out of him, running out in a long streams of what looked like rancid butter.
Helpless and horrified, all I could do was watch as the man tore himself apart. He blocked my exit but I couldn’t have moved even if I had wanted to. I was fascinated and sickened by this strange show.