He glided out of the gathering dusk and seated himself at the other end of the bench. He gazed absently across the lake. The setting sun had dribbled blood in the sky. Ducks paddled through crimson streaks on the cooling waters. And still the man sat. Unmoving.
When the bench quivered its announcement of company, I had glanced over, half expecting some broken old man, looking for a place to rest his weary bones. The contrast of that anticipation and that which I now viewed was such that I stared at him intently. Out of the corners of my eyes, of course, I didn’t want him to see.
Despite the twilight tones that fell upon the earth, all I saw was black and white. He had thin sensitive features that were as white as his gloves and shirt front. His suit and shoes were not quite as black as his finely shaped eyebrows or his jet black hair. His eyes were the blackest of them all though. A supernatural darkness that could go no deeper or darker. His eyes were strange, though. No matter how eerily dark his eyes were, they had some underlying glow.
He had no hat, but he had a long cane made of ebony. A black silk cloak rested on the man’s thin yet strong shoulders. No hint of suffering was shown on his features. But he looked to be deep in thought. He must be someone distinguished. A surgeon, or a great architect. Maybe a famous musician.
“I’m rather fond of music.” He said in a rich tone.
His face turned to mine with a grin. He caught me at a disadvantage. I must have voiced my thoughts. I was at a loss.
“Really? What kind?” I asked, rather meekly. He simply pointed his cane at the horizon.
“This. The sigh of the ending day.”
I nodded. “Yes. This is rather soothing. No matter how the day has gone, you can trust in the goodness of a good sunset.” I said, building back up my composure. He sighed.
“It is my time. As all things must end.” He said standing up to stretch.
We were silent then for a while. Slowly the horizon soaked up the blood from the sky. The city put on its lights and the moon floated over its towers.
“You aren’t from around here, are you?” I prompted.
“No.” Resting long slender hands atop his cane, he gazed meditatively forward. “I have no land, no place. I am a displaced person.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to-”
“Quite alright, I perhaps I should get it all off of my chest.” he said drawing unseen circles on his shoes.
I didn’t see any reason why not. I had nowhere to go, and I certainly couldn’t let the man stew in his own juices. So I sat back and listened to his tale.
“In this day and age, it is a familiar tale. A leader became so blinded by his power and glory that he considers himself incapable of error.” He started.
“I can think of a few leaders that fit that bill.” I muttered, more to myself, but he chuckled.
“He developed delusions of grandeur. Through this arrogance, he created his own seeds for destruction.” He twirled his cane.
“And just so. To Hell with dictators!” I said. His cane fell to the ground. He picked it up idly.
“My revolt failed. Too weak. Too early. It was crushed with the utmost ruthlessness. The kind of massacre that one could almost, admire.” He surveyed the sentinel buildings, and spoke again. “I believe that it was justified. I dare not go back. Not yet.” he looked to the ground and shook his head.
“Don’t worry about that now. You are in a country that will support you. Everyone is welcome here.” I said.
He looked at me. His dark eyes scanned me, though searching for something.
“I don’t think so. I won’t be accepted as openly as you think. I am not as welcome as you say.” he stated. The way he said it, made it seem that it was with an air of authority.
“Come now! No need to be morbid! Here, people are free!” I tried. He looked at me with an almost malicious glint in his ever dark eyes.
“Free? Please. Nobody is free unless you are beyond your enemy’s reach.” His look was that of irritated amusement. “Your faith in freedom is comforting, yet baseless. The enemy can go creating propaganda and swaying others to follow him and suppress me. You know nothing of freedom.” the moon paled his features. He now looked fearsome and evil.
“Who are you?” I cried with fear.
He simply turned away. His cape billowed in the evening breeze until it resembled mighty wings. He looked back at me. His eyes were now truly glowing. A scarlet hue.
“My name…” he murmured softly. “Is Lucifer.”
After that, there was only the whisper of the wind.