The Fellow and the Bench

Comment: The story has been update a tad based on criticism from readers. Mainly parts have been expanded and revised.

There was bench in front of the mall. A lonesome man laid there. The wind caressed his bearded face. Light dawned on his face and sharply it pierced his eyes. Begrudgingly he greeted the sun. Damn braggart, he thought, always earlier up than he. Still, he had rested well. At least the moon was far friendlier a companion.

Slowly he rose, pandiculated and searched his bag besides the bench for a sip of water. The bottle was full as always, but his eyes were still slightly dimmed by the matinal salutation from before and he had forgotten which bottle was labelled which. The drink seemed strangely golden in colour. He thought it might as well be beer or perhaps even apple juice. He wasn’t really the one to complain, though the odour was quite foul. Perhaps a tad too old? Never mind. He drank it. The flavour was grim, bitter. Strangely familiar. By reflex he spat it out again and foul words pertaining to the miracles of reproduction and its incongruous and dubious relationship to the imbibed substance were heard.

It was about that time of the day that he would roam the bins around the mall for resources. People were too careless about their food, much to his fortune though. Off he went for his regular rounds. Gathering his belongings in the bags.

His first destination was the bins of the bakery. Nothing there. Then the supermarket, must be something there, he thought to himself, found a package of half-eaten crumpets. Scoffed those. Perhaps more stuff was available within the mall itself, ever the prospector he journeyed into the vast, opulent Shangri-La of scintillating shops, rapacious customers and lovely grub.

He wandered around the shops. Hamburgers, sounded bloody tasty, but also a tad expensive, so all he had to do was wait for folk’s gluttony was to avail for him. Onwards he went. Now the good folks ought to become extra ravenous with buying burgers, he thought. Even quicker he wandered back and forth. Then he slowed down. Waited by the burger place’s toilets. Did his business. Strutted about again back and forth in front of the burger place, could see that people happily munched their burgers. Perhaps there couldn’t be one person in there who was a tad too sensible and would regret their hamburger?


People were satisfied with their dining. Thus the trip went to the pizza place. Same wandering to and fro, but now it paid off. People were surprisingly virtuous with their dieting schedules or that is to say that reason came trickling forth after they had ordered their dinner. As a hawk he watched over them. His eyes followed the pizza’s journey from window to dustbin. Surreptitiously he sneaked behind the pizza place and snatched himself a bite for tea. Luckily a few cans of half-drunken coke were also available as he fancied himself thirsty. Feeling slightly nauseous from the dubious drink from before and too much pizza, he made way back to his homely bench.

As night fell, so did he on the bench. A piece of bitten pizza and two cans of dubious coke was his tea. Breakfast was bits of crumpets. At least the coke though aged didn’t taste especially foul. The moon rose, robed in nebulous majesty, it hailed the man on the bench, he greeted him in return, both wished each other a good night and then he slept.

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