A Man With a Satisfied Mind
It was the last tour of the day. The Old Man came out and helped me straighten up and extinguish the lights like he always did. And, he took his spot along one wall while I poured myself one last jar of moonshine before I headed out into the starlit night. He watched me with those holes for eyes, scrutiny that no longer made me shiver or shake.
“How much do you reckon you’ve made in this place over the years?” He crossed one bony leg over the other while I filled my jar another inch.
“Just north of a half million. It was my lucky day, falling into that hole in the ground and finding you.”
His teeth clattered together when he laughed. “Nonono. I was the one who came out ahead. It was lonely down here all those years. It’s been a pleasure to have the company.”
I smiled and started to take another sip of my moonshine, but the sight of my hand stopped me. Outlines of bones glowed through my fading skin. I pushed up my sleeve and blinked as my flesh receded, and my fingers sounded hollow against the empty chamber of my skull.
When I looked at the Old Man again, I screamed at my own human likeness, staring back at me with icy blue eyes and a hint of a smile.
“Thanks for making my fortune for me. It was my lucky day, when you fell into that hole in the ground and found me. Enjoy your time underground.”
And, he extinguished the lights.
And, he left me.
Perhaps my vacant eyes will await you in a random cave someday.
A fiction series to explore a place. Who knows where I will go, but it will NOT be Wonderland. Read the first installment here, the second installment here, the third installment here, the fourth installment here and the fifth installment here.