The Smiling Man

By Kevin Foughty

Back when I was a college student, I used to go out every night for walk in the city. I used to joke around with my roommate about the thieves and the murderers being nice at night. On one of these late night strolls, I saw a man walking down the street. He looked as if he was doing the waltz or something of the sort. I decided to cross the street, he was creeping me out.
As I crossed the street, he stopped walking/waltzing and starting to stare at me. That was the first time I was able to see his face. His eyes were wide open, and he had a hideous grin. His yellow, terrifying  teeth were what traumatized me the most. I turned away quickly, in an attempt to hide my fear. I continued walking my path. Out of curiosity, I decided to turn around. I saw him, still smiling and his eyes staring into my soul. I stopped dead in my tracks as I realized he was walking towards me, in that same manner.
He stopped in front of me, and that was when I was able to get a better look at him. He was near six-foot tall, scrawny, and he appeared to be homeless. He was wearing a plain, black sweatshirt with the hood drawn. After the eternity that he stood there, he turned around and began to walk away. Amazed, yet terrified, I turned around and began to walk away.
I heard the sound of heavy footsteps approaching me fast. I didn’t have to turn around to know what it was, that smiling man. I began to run, faster than I knew I could. I turned around and he was gaining on me. As I started to run out of breath, I saw a parked car with the windows down. I knew that the keys might not be in, but I didn’t have any other options.
I was about 50 feet away when I tripped. I cursed, then he was standing right in front of me. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a rag. He put it over my face and I blacked out.
When I woke up, I was in my apartment, lying in my bed. I noticed that there were many layers of gauze on my left wrist. I removed the gauze to see what was under it, and to my horror, there was a smiling face carved on my wrist. That was when I knew for certain I needed to get out of the city.
I left the city the following day, and I finished my degree. Now I live in a small town in Tennessee and I plan to start a family soon. However, I am still scarred to this day.

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