I saw him sitting on the curb. I was out for my evening jog. It was almost six’o’clock, I remember, and a Tuesday. California always has hot summers, and this summer was no different. I was sweaty before my jog even started, and I was drenched afterwards. There were not a lot of people about, which is why I thought It was strange that this fellow would be outside, sitting on the roadside. He was staring mournfully at the sky. I could only see the side of his face from where I was standing, and he appeared to have light, sandy hair, almost white. His nose was curved like the beak of an eagle, and his lips were thin and turned down at the corners. His skin was a strange color. It seemed as if it was changing every now and then. Sometimes pale white, then coffee brown, then a dark tone, then olive colored, and then pale white again. But that wasn’t possible. My eyes were playing tricks on me, of course they were.He was wearing a dark coat, a full-length one at that, and aviator sunglasses. There was a small suitcase lying on his lap,and he was rocking back and forth, uneasily while still staring at the sky.
I walked up to him, more out of concern than anything else, as he seemed quite worried.
He turned around, almost as if he sensed me coming, and sat there staring at me.
I smiled at him.”how do you do?”
He stared at me reproachfully. He didn’t say anything,just sat there staring at me.
I was beginning to wonder if he was one of the foreign Spanish exchange students for the university of California, a ten minute walk from where I lived.
He was still staring at me, and I was starting to feel uneasy when he spoke.
His voice was raspy, and it sounded…. old, as if he hadn’t used it in a while.
“very well, thank you”.
” may i ask you your name”?
He hesitated. “you may call me… Marsiano.”
“aah. Are you…. a tourist? one of the exchange students, perhaps?”
“No. My mother found Spanish names pretty. Her family was half-Spanish, but my father was not. He was from England, but it was only natural that I have a Spanish name. He was very ambitious, he was, but he died a few years back. Today is his….. death anniversary. We moved to California when I was only Two years old. I am waiting for my sister, Isabella. We go put flowers on our fathers grave every year. Isabella is three years older than I am, and very pretty, with a feroz temper, like many… heespaneec women. Your name,if I may be as kind as to ask?
I was in a daze by then. Who was this strange man? his words sounded feverish, hurried. It also sounded like he was reciting from a piece of paper.His tone was as flat as the dull blade of a knife. But I was well-mannered, and a kindly gentleman, so I decided not to say anything.
” My name is David. David lawrence.” I leaned forward and thrust my hand forward.
He seemed confused at first, but then he grinned.
“Oh, yes.” He shook my hand fervently.
“what do you do for a living?”
He frowned.”I….. I’m in a…. advertising agency.”
“I’m a Mechanic.” I said.
” A mechanic, you say?” his expression had changed suddenly, and he looked happier. “Would you be able to fix, say, a car?”
He took of his sunglasses.
His eyes were the most horrible and beautiful thing I had ever seen. They were a dark, dark black, flecked with a few colors. Blue, Orange, Green. I could spend the whole day looking at them, and still not be able to guess what colors were there, mixed with the venomous black. I was infatuated, and leaned in closer, and closer still. The most terrible part of all? He had no pupil.
In his eyes, I could see a thousand untold stories, secrets, wisdom. They spoke of wild desires, lies, and a thousand other things. A sigh escaped from my mouth.
Marsianos voice no longer seemed raspy. It was eerie, musical. I could listen to it forever.
” Where is it?”
“There.” He pointed towards a large, sort-of vehicle. Marsinos hands were… bent, crooked, his nails were caked with dirt, and his hand looked dead. It was black and dull, and flopped uselessly.
His ‘ship’ was a bright red, with a small door at the back, and three windows o n the sides. It smelt strange. It was so big. how had I not seen it before?
There was some problem with the wiring, atleast that’s what I told him.
” I need….. tools.” I said slowly, stupidly. It felt like my head was being split apart by six jack hammers.
He gave a sigh of annoyance. “Will these do?”
He tossed me his suitcase, which was heavier than it looked. Inside it was just about everything I needed.
“Yeah, Thanks.” I slowly walked over to the ‘ship’.
He sat there, staring at me. Every single time I looked up after fixing something or the other, he would just be there, staring at me. He never took his eyes off of me, not for a second.
After an hour or so, I got up.
Marsiano got up as well. I stifled a gasp. He had looked tall, when he was sitting down, But now that he was standing, He was huge, almost seven feet,I suspect.
” It is done?”
“Yes”, I said.
“Very well.” he tossed me something lazily, and I caught it with both of my hands.
It was a bar of gold.
He paused and grinned at me. His teeth were more of fangs, sharp and white.
” farewell, my friend.” He waved his hands in front of my face.
And then he was gone.
I shook my head. There were spots dancing in front of my eyes. I was holding…. a bar of GOLD?
I stared at it, unable to believe my eyes.
I put it down on the ground. A bar of gold is a bar of gold, and though I am no jeweler, I am able to recognize gold. This was gold, alright, but I had no intention of taking it home with me. It radiated a strange feeling.
Images flashed through my head,gone before I could process what they were. A grin,dark clothes,….. a grave?
I looked around. What was I doing here? There was not a soul in sight, and the sun was already setting.
I ran all the way home, without stopping anywhere. Fear was spreading across my body like wildfire, my hands were twitching,my legs were shaking.
I’ve never gone to that place again. I moved away from California the second I got a job transfer, never looking back.
But I can never forget, nor will I ever, the image of dark, dark eyes and a sweet, sweet voice, hidden underneath it, like a thin veil, a dark intention. Over the years, I am slowly remembering. The name Marsiano, a bar of gold.Dark eyes, But I do not truly remember, nor do I want to. I know that he did not make me do anything bad,just fix his ‘ship’, or whatever contraption that was. but I am sure he could, with his eyes and his voice, which he wields like a sword.
I do not remember, nor will I ever want to, for I know if i do, I will never stop thinking about him. His intentions, wether he was good or bad, where he went, will he ever come back?
I remember. I remember the day, the date, what I told him, what he told me.
But I wish I could forget.