People describe me as half-human, half-ghost when they talk about me. Some say I am a headless monster, which is why I always chop off the head of my victims. Others say my body is decayed and maggot-infested. I laugh whenever I hear a new version, because nobody has seen me. The ones who did, I killed them, even before they could talk.
Only Ifeoma knows what I look like – I let her see me again because she’ll be seeing me often, henceforth. She was scared when I took her from the beach, but she'd put up a brave face, all the while staring at my scars with disgust.
If only she knew she was there when I got the scars…
It was a Saturday evening, many years ago. I was back from hunting, and my wife had just returned from the market and was about to prepare her healing potions. Then shouts came from outside. Engrossed in wiping my machete, I didn’t notice when my wife left the hut.
I jumped at the sound of her scream. I was outside the door in a flash. The villagers were yelling, ‘Witch! Witch! You must die!’ Dragging my wife between. And then I saw him – the man with the club. One quick blow and my wife tumbled to the ground. Another blow and her body stopped moving.
It happened very fast, but I watched it, transfixed, and when it dawned on me that she was dead, I entered the hut and drank the potion she said was only for emergency.
I felt strange.
But I was late; the villagers had set the hut on fire already. The door did not budge when I tried it. And so the fire consumed me. Later, the villagers took my body, along with my wife’s, dumped us far out in the sea.
That night, while they were celebrating the death of the witch and her hunter-husband, one of them, drunken, had wandered far towards the beach. He froze when he saw me.
I smiled as I swung my machete at him, and I watched his head roll towards the-
I straighten up and peer around the tree, my eyes scanning for the distraction. I see them few yards away, lying near the edge of the water – a man and a woman, kissing and fondling.
I clutch my machete.
Then I creep towards them.
Footnote: This is the third episode of The Beach Man, a 400-Word Blog Series.
Click HERE for the next episode.
Thanks for reading!