Castor sat alone. The round bright red and white checked tablecloth seemed to dull the nearer it reached in his direction. Three seats sat empty across from him.
He looked how a man would look if he had never bathed, washed, cleaned, scrubbed or brushed since birth. The colour of his skin was indeterminable as it was mostly covered in filth, weaping scabs and boils. His clothes were hung on his thin frame rather than worn. They too suffered a severe lack of cleanliness and had taken threadbare to the next level. Moss grew over the pockets. The only two points that could be considered bright were his eyes, which stared with an intense ferocity as if trying to bore a hole through the fabric of reality.
Grime encrusted fingers, positioned on either side, increased pressure around the yellow and brown puss-filled boil. Showing a small amount of resistance, the pustule gave in squirting a stream of sticky, foul smelling goo over Castor's stained and sullied shirt.
"Ah, such excuisite pain."
The barman appeared at his side, "Hey, cut that out. About a Parrot is a family pub. There are children here."
"So there are. My apologies. I meant no...", he looks around as if to pick the word out of the air, "...harm."
The lights flicker briefly, then returned to full luminescence. Both Castor and the barman looked around quizically.
The barman places a drink and a newspaper down on the table in front of Castor, "You know, you don't look like a hot chocolate kind of guy."
"I like the colour, the clumpy bits of congealed brown goo and the burning sensation you get in your throat when it's fresh from the boil."
"Right." stretched out the Barman, "Whatever man."
Castor picks up the paper and starts reading the front page, "Central City epidemic. Thousands dead, millions ill. The unknown source is baffling scientists however they suspect the water supplies."
The barman nose catches some of the putrescent aroma emanating from Castor, then takes a step back. "Dude, you need a bath man." Then he returns to his post behind the bar.
Castor smiles, showing a rough array of disfigured and blackened teeth. "No thanks."
He reminices yesterday's events. Breaking through the electric fence, disabling the motion trackers, wading neck deep into the lake. He remembers the streams of yellows, browns and greens the running outwards from his body into the water. He also remembers looking out down from the mountain lake and noted how the waters ran down through increasing numbers of streams and rivers right into the heart of Central City.
Castor puts the newspaper down on the table, tapping it a couple of times with pride, "I've just had one."
© Copyright 2010 Paul Phillips