His beard is a disguise.
People see the dark skin, the thick hair, the traditional clothing, and come to all the wrong conclusions. But it is his beard they notice first, the thickness of it, its length. It is the first of many red herrings in his appearance.
Hiding behind its thick, curled tangle are gentle cheeks, a sad smile, soft lips that mouth poetry on the underground.
He’s clutching two open notebooks, one on top of the other. His nails are rough-ridged and cracked but he holds the pen delicately, copying words from one notebook into the other.
The words themselves are another red herring: words of pain and suffering, of loneliness and anger, carefully misspelled to feign ignorance.
He needs these — the beard, the words, the disguise — because without them, he is nothing, no one. Just another man on the tube, another forgettable face.
You certainly have a way with words and such a mysterious man.
Now what is worth defending and hiding in this mystery man? Is it mere sadness and the melancholy he expresses through misspellings? Or has he got something he’s going to sneak into the world?
Not sure. I had a nebulous plan that he was a spy of some sort, but then it kind of veered off in another direction!
That was beautifully written. I am completely drawn in and I want to know who the man is. What purpose does he serve?
Thanks Tia! Appreciate your comment :-)
Beautifully written short. Full of enigmatic possibility. He’s got a secret.. what is it?
Thanks! Glad you liked it :-)
Mmm, is he sinister or does he disguise goodness? Most intriguing.
Somewhere in between? The guy who inspired this drabble seemed sinister, to be honest, but somehow in writing him I ended up adding redeeming features :-P
That’s deep but mysterious and intriguing. I loved it!
Thanks! Mysterious was what I was aiming for :-)