Reasons Not to Wake up a Sleeping Beggar Early in
By Marcelo Medone
The homeless man woke up, startled by the blow to his ribs, and sat up
on his bed of rags, cardboard, and old newspapers.
"Hey, brother! What's going on?" he yelled.
A uniformed policeman was standing next to him.
"The next time I find you sleeping at the bank door, I'll hit you
with a metal bar instead of my shoe," the policeman told him.
It was early in the morning and there were hardly any people on the
street, probably because of the intense winter cold. But soon the banking area
would start to get busy.
The beggar began slowly to collect his few belongings, mumbling
unintelligible insults to himself.
The uniformed man lost patience and kicked him again, this time in the
rear, causing the homeless man to land on his teeth.
"Go! Get out of here, human scum!" the policeman exclaimed
"Damn cop!" the other muttered, running his grimy hand over
the bleeding cut on his lower lip.
Guttural grunts came from a cardboard box amid the rags.
"What have you got there?"
"Nothing that concerns you."
This time the box shook convulsively and the growls broke out again.
"You better show me," the policeman insisted.
"As you wish, Your Honor."
The man smiled through his sparse-toothed mouth, spat out some blood,
opened the box, and motioned for the other to come closer. The policeman leaned
over to look and immediately a part crab, part tentaculated mollusk and part
ape with mastiff fangs jumped out and clung to his face, suffocating him and
starting to bore its way through his face.
The policeman fell to his knees in a rattle of pain and tried to tear
off the attacking beast, but to no avail. You could hear the crunching of the
bones of the face and the noise of the skin, muscles and blood being sucked.
The creature swelled like a monstrous tick to triple its original volume as it
continued its heinous feeding orgy.
The beggar, who had not been the least bit shaken by the attack, raised
a nearby manhole cover and whistled. Immediately a multitude of chimerical
beasts began to sprout, some hairy centipedes with multiple jaws, others
similar to winged worms with multiple digestive suckers and others resembling
miniature vultures and hyenas.
Wasting no time, the creatures pounced on the remains of the uniformed
man, vying fiercely with each other for a place in the carnage. In a
demonstration of scavenging efficiency, they crushed, chewed, and sucked every
little piece of human flesh, bone, and hair, even clothing, regardless of
whether the material was cloth, leather, metal, or wood.
Soon there was nothing left but a pool of blood mixed with digestive
juices and drool on the sidewalk.
The hobo lovingly took his bloated pet and put it back in the box not
without difficulty given its increased size; the other beasts fled down the
sewer as quickly as they had come.
The man replaced the manhole cover and stood up defiantly on the sidewalk,
as if guarding his personal place in the world. Two or three passers-by filed
past him, their gaze fixed on the horizon. If any of them saw anything, they
were careful not to interfere.
The beggar then turned, unzipped his worn-out trousers and extracted his
genitals. Whistling a triumphant melody, directing his member with his hand, he
washed the blood from the tiles in spurts of urine, forming a pink stream that
rushed down the sewer, from which a choir of shrieks erupted.
Then, unhurriedly, the vagrant put away his private parts, yawned, and
returned to his bed of rags and newspapers. He still had an hour before the
Medone is a fiction
writer, poet, essayist and screenwriter from Buenos Aires, Argentina. His works
have received numerous awards and have been published in magazines and books,
individually or in anthologies, in multiple languages in more than 40 countries
all over the world, including 101 Words, The Dribble Drabble Review, Potato
Soup Journal, The Chamber Magazine, Rio Grande Review, (mac)ro(mic), Six
Sentences, Five Minutes, The Cafe Irreal, Blink Ink Print, Bombfire,
The Rye Whiskey Review, Horror Sleaze Trash, Crow’s Feet Journal, Nail Polish
Stories Journal, Spillwords, The Dillydoun Review, Mad Swirl, The Writers Club,
Skink Beat Review, Fairfield Scribes, The Sparrow’s Trombone, Panoply and
Otherwise Engaged Journal in the US.
He has been awarded the
First Prize in the 2021 international contest by the American Academy of the
Spanish Language with his surreal short story La súbita impuntualidad del
hombre del saco a rayas llamado Waldemar.
He has been nominated for
the 2021 Pushcart Prize.
Marcelo Medone /