The Man with the Pinstriped Suit

A very short writing exercise in which the main character meets an unusual stranger who defies explanation.

The first time I laid eyes on him, I felt the world shift slightly. Looking at him was...upsetting. It was as if he defied reality, and his presence made the rest of the universe bend uncomfortably. He had a pinstriped suit, but the pinstripes never seemed to bend in the right ways. I constantly found myself staring, trying to make sense of his body shape. It was clear that he was tall and slender, and it was also clear that something was very, very wrong with him.

He walked towards me and my pulse quickened. My hands began to sweat and I began to create ways I could exit the situation gracefully. That's always something women have to do - exit gracefully. I can't just announce my discomfort and leave because the worst thing a woman can be is rude. I stood my ground, trying my best to look normal. There was no reason for me to feel anything else, except for the fact that all of my instincts were telling me to get the hell away from this man.

"I'm looking for a good place to eat. I'm from out of town. Got any suggestions?" His eyes dropped to my hands, which were fiddling with themselves against my better judgment. I wiped the sweat on my jeans as inconspicuously as I could and slid my hands in my pockets.

"Annie's is right down the street. It's not much, but it's the best cup of coffee in Massachusetts." I made eye contact with him - that was the only part of him which didn't seem to defy explanation. He had stark, blue eyes that were always smiling. Crow's feet were beginning to show around them; an aging man who liked to laugh. That was human, where other parts of him seemed to be so inhuman.

"Thank you, darling. Could you point me in the right direction?" I blinked and then turned my attention to the road. We were in small-town Mass., and everything was a bit run down but it wasn't the worst it could be.

"It's just up ahead, that way."  pointed to my left and returned my gaze to him, but my voice trailed off when I saw that his eyes were now brown. I blinked a few more times, consciously, just to make sure I wasn't imagining things. I closed my eyes for a beat longer than usual and when I opened them, the same stark blue eyes were there.

"I-were you-?" I stammered as the old man turned to walk away.

"Thanks for the tip, miss." He said casually. I put my palms to my eyes and rubbed them slightly, and when I looked back up to find the man, he was gone. Later, I would go to Annie's and ask about the man, but of course no one knew what I was talking about.

At that moment, it was just a weird encounter which I was sure was partially imagined by my over-worked and sleep-deprived brain. I would soon find out that this man was much stranger than I originally thought, because that was not the last time I would run into Anansi the trickster god.

The End

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