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No one ever mentioned him. Sometimes I almost convinced myself he was only a part of my imagination; the shrieks and singing that haunted me was just my imagination, too. He only came out after dark. In the day time everyone pretended he didn’t exist. Added to that, nobody who saw his face lived to describe it. It was also part of the reason his trail of victims grew longer: Not a soul was willing to break the unspoken vow of silence. Forget reporting him to the police, the residents of Park Street never spoke about it outside the confines of their home. Even at home, it was only whispers.

Once I ran petrified to the police station but I waited outside contemplating how to explain the situation to the cops. The real conflict was if such a man existed, someone else would have, should have, raised their voice too. So I shut up and walked slowly away.

But my curiosity drove me to follow him once. I dressed up to blend into the night. I hid behind the large garbage bins at the end of Park Street. Three consecutive nights he didn’t show.  On the fourth night, I saw him move slowly, singing.

Let out your fear
Come meet me here,
I won’t talk
I do bite.

I watched him sit on the bench. I wanted to see his face but I was scared to get any closer to him. The fear gripped my body and I hid behind the bins. The lack of proper street lightning on the road made it difficult to spot anything but a rough layout of his body. He was taller and fatter than I imagined. Without any prey in sight, he slowly got up and wandered off in the direction he had emerged from. I was tempted to follow him to find out where he lived or hid in the day. A location would be concrete information to provide the police. But I was too afraid. I was not willing to risk becoming his next meal. His walk seemed hungry and agitated. With a cannibal, I assumed that is inviting trouble. I heard his voice trail off into the darkness.

It’s time to eat
you,
It’s time to eat
now.

Read part one here

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He could taste fear when he approached his prey. They usually shivered before they finally caved in to his terrorising tone. Watching them cower gave him strength apart from a deep sense of pleasure. He was a maniac. But no one was crazy enough to dare catch him to commit him into an institution. No one could believe he devoured human meat. He walked on Park Street in the wee hours of the morning hunting for his victim. The inhabitants of the slums in that neighbourhood were terrified of him; they were the only ones who knew about him. They locked up the women and kids to protect them; the men ran quickly or travelled in large groups. He never approached when there were more than two men. He would be out numbered and he was careful to never be outnumbered. Every night, I would hear his gruff voice screaming:

Come out now
Let me eat
your soul
and a little meat.
Come out now
it’s time for dinner
your flesh
calls out to me, today.

His off-key singing sent many scuttling into their houses. An odd drunk soul every once in a while fell into his dirty hands. He didn’t spare any of the body parts. He consumed whatever he could and enjoyed a bonfire of the rest. On those nights, there would be no singing. No. On those nights, a shrill, high-pitched laughter shook the neighbourhood. Following subsequent victorious nights, his choice of words would change. He taunted the neighbours through his songs:

Scared of my voice
scared of my touch
scared I will bite too much.
Scared I am mean
scared I am not human
scared I will eat you even.

Nobody called the police. For the police couldn’t care about a mad man in already bad areas. He was just another nuisance they had to tolerate or rather ignore. Nobody ganged up on him together. A fear rushed through their blood when they were close to him. Everyone stayed silent. The families of his victims were less tolerant of his ways; they threw stuff at him from the safe distance of ten feet. Often their weapons included chairs, tables, and sometimes even guns. He was never injured though. For nobody took proper aim and shot. Madness like his others did not possess. There was always a feeling that no one would believe he ate humans. He didn’t look eccentric. Perhaps, he could pass off as a regular older man.

Mad they call,
I have heard the screams
Mad I am not,
I promise you now.
I am a terrorist
I fill your minds with fear
I am a terrorist, yes
A terrorist is who I am.