Dystopian Stranger

He was sitting on the stone cold step outside the Co-op

A thin blanket around his thin shoulders

His outstretched hand reached out to me

And touched my heart.

I gave him the cup of coffee I had been drinking

He seemed pleased, I felt good.

I saw him again on Saturday night, he looked thinner

His face hidden beneath a dirty grey hoodie.

Once more the outstretched hand reached out to me

I gave him a warm blanket, made of wool.

He grunted thanks, I felt good.

One week later I went looking for him on the stone cold step

outside the Co-op

He was sitting on the woollen blanket,

his eyes shrunken into his skull

I gave him my coat.

He gave an almost imperceptible nod of his covered head

And stretched his hand towards me again.

I fumbled in my purse, and gave him all I had – he grunted “Huh”

I felt I’d let him down.

My friends said I was losing weight, my clothes no longer fitted me.

I gave my sweater made of cashmere

To the hooded skeletal figure on the doorstep

outside the Co-op

His jeans were frayed and dirty from the streets

I gave him mine, they no longer fitted me.

He looked up, his broken teeth bared in a forbidding, dangerous smile.

I flinched. His outstretched hand pulled at my wrist,

I backed away, he held me.

I tried to run but his fingers tightened their grip, digging into my flesh

He pulled me in the direction of my home.

His grip on my wrist burning hot

I turned at my door to see him, he grinned, his eyes seeking my soul.

His face now no longer thin, his bony fingers now fleshy,

his rotted teeth Improved.

I looked at my hand. I saw my reflection in his eyes. My face skeletal

with shrunken cheeks,

My shadowed deep set eyes


He laughed a croaking triumphant laugh as he entered my house

And pushed me out.

I turned and my feet took me back to the stone cold step

Where I crouched down outside the Co-op

A thin blanket appeared on my thin shoulders

I held my outstretched hand towards an approaching stranger

Who walked on by.

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