Friday, January 7, 2011

A Stranger Among Men

This is what the character saw .

A Stranger Among Men
By Nomar Knight

To be trapped within human skin is depressing.  A different breed of man walks the snow filled streets of New York in search of the ultimate vision.  Everywhere he turns the promise of adventure— less than a stone's throw from his ragged life form.  As he flies out of his body the view of rugged walkers, pouncing on packed ice, shifts to a concrete ant farm.  Busy humanoid insects scurry to and fro, all with a specific purpose.  Some with survival on their minds, but most dilly about lost in their world of problems and aspirations.  Sensing he’d get blown away with the angry wind, he pops back into his borrowed host, his skin warm as gloves cover hands, boots protect feet.  
At first he moves toward a large window.  Sea creatures displayed in barrels, waiting for the humans to consume them, reminds him of the natural law of life.  The weak succumb to the strongest.  Stuck in the land of earthlings with nothing but a fragile host to maintain him, he sloshes across the icy walkway, wondering the significance of his journey.  
“Get out of the way!”  
A miniature female with hunched back and a walking stick shoves him aside.  Before he could inquire as to her pressing manner, she sneers at him and utters, “Damn slow foreigners.” 
He continues along the narrow shoveled path, dancing off patches of ice as if hitting the ground will be the end of him.  He stops in front of another large display window.  The red sign above it reads 99 ¢.  He enters the store and is immediately greeted by a smiling gentleman with narrow eyes.  In the land he’s in, he notices many humans have the same features.  In addition to the eyes, they appear smaller than he in size.  Soft black hair covers their scalp.  Most of them wear hats, others hoods.  He wears a black hat covered by a skull hood sweater.  
“Can I help you?”  
A soft voice gets his attention.  A woman with shiny black hair and narrow eyes grins.  
Sound.  He needs to generate sound out of his mouth like the rest of them.  “Just observing.”  He rubs a gloved finger against his throat. 
He spots a pale green box.  Upon opening it, he discovers two brass balls.  He thinks about eating one, but decides against it.  Just then, he hears voices booming by the front of the store.  
“I ain’t paying for nothing.” A thin, dark skinned male waves dismissively at the older gentleman. 
“You pay or I call police!”
The young brute flattens the old man with one kick.  The lady, who moments earlier offered hospitality, screams obscenities at the violent offender.    
Out of sheer instinct, the observer decides the two balls are not for nourishment.  He flings one of them at the disturber of peace and strikes him on his right temple.  The kicker of old men drops as if his life is plucked away by an angry god.  
The observer pockets the other ball and leaves the worried patrons as he rushes back into the cold street.  While he stumbles along China Town and makes his way to a section called Little Italy, filled with places for humans to dine, he surmises that the concrete jungle is not designed to withhold all this snow.  

-          552 words

These were a few observations I made on my journey through New York’s China Town.  Real life isn’t so bad.  The real villains weren’t the people, but the dreaded snow packed ice, slush, and slick streets of the concrete jungle.   

After all the holiday eating, I welcomed the opportunity to lose a few pounds.  
Don’t worry, I didn’t harm anyone.  I think. 

© Copyright Nomar Knight 2010. All rights reserved.
A Knight Chills presentation.


  1. Writing about New York is always an adventure because you see things there that don't happen anywhere. I like the beginning line, it hooked me into trying to find out more. Also, the fish store becoming sea creatures was cool. Hope he eats something good in Little Italy.

  2. Loved it, especially the old woman.