The Man with the Smile


Photo from The Lineup

I always saw him sitting alone on that cold bench right next to the park. He had a round belly, not much hair on the top of his head but only a round, bald circle. He always seemed to be walking around at night with a curve in his back. He would always look through my living room  window, he was always smiling. It wasn’t a cute smile that would make you feel bubbly. This one was a sinister smile that was downward and seemed like he was forced into it. you can never see his face. It was blocked by the shadows of the night . When I would see him the only thing on his face I could see was his smile. It always creeped me out. 

 I started to notice him two years ago. I worked at home and had to stay up late to finish work. He would walk around and move his head up and down in a slow motion. It’s like he was dancing. The first night I saw him I asked him if he wanted to come inside and have a break from the cold. He seemed like a nice old guy that would have candy in his pocket. After asking he looked at me with his blank face. We just stood there staring at each other. I was staring at a blank face and a smile. He walked away with the same curve in his back.  That was about 2 years ago. Now I’m sitting on a cold soggy floor in his basement trying to get out of this rope. Before I even get close to breaking the rope he comes down. I look up and he’s about 20 years younger than he used to look. His belly is not as round as it used to be, his hair all grew back, and his face is not covered by the shadows in the night. He has no eyes, no nose, just a mouth that is smiling down at me.