The Yellow Cloud

The Yellow Man

I stood in the shadows of a nearby building waiting, watching, wary when a stocky man threw open the folding trap-door across the square. It landed with a thud on the pavement as he clambered up the steps from the underground passage and headed away from me. Right in front of him hung an astonishing yellow cloud just above the ground, dense and toxic. The man walked right into it. How could he possibly not have seen it? It was large enough to engulf him completely and so bright that even with his sunglasses on it must have dazzled him. Sharp angular movements noiselessly erupted behind the smooth surface of the cloud like lightening in a storm or blows being slugged. After a short pause the man emerged from the cloud seemingly unscathed, although I could have sworn his skin had veered faintly yellow. It was then I realised the cloud had disappeared. In his hand the man held a tiny, old-fashioned oil lamp that could have been borrowed from the story of Aladdin except that it was canary yellow. The man suddenly awoke to the fact that he had something in his hand and glanced at it uncomprehending then tossed it nonchalantly aside. But the moment he turned to move on, the lamp sprang back to his waist and attached itself to his belt, unbeknown to him. His shirt was hanging loose, revealing a tanned, muscular belly. To my horror the lamp began to inch upwards and started burrowing under the man’s skin till it had completely disappeared inside and the skin had congealed concealing the wound. His eyes were shut, he seemed oblivious to what was happening. Then he abruptly turned in my direction. His eyes flicked open revealing a piercing yellow that sought me out in the shadows. I couldn’t control myself. I ran screaming.

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