He is clothed plainly in a olive green suit, with a alabaster colored tie and shirt. His skin is a sickly pale, with deeply colored age spots dotting his sparsely haired scalp. His eyes are a very light pink color, and deep wrinkles run all across his skin. It is hard to not notice his lips. They are black, as are his gums that hold his deeply stained teeth.
It starts as a simple conversation. He refers to you by name, and asks you how you have been. Always be honest with him, and never try to hide the truth. He loves to dissect people, to work his way under their skin and find out what truly causes them pain. If you lie to him, and if you try to deny the pain you are experiencing, then there is no hope for you. Because he will find it out, and he is wrathful for those who make it difficult.
This is a reported encounter with the specter known as The Old Man.
I was waiting around my home, looking forward to a night out with my friends from work. I looked around, trying to decide what I was going to wear. I finally found something tasteful, and made my way to the kitchen. And it was at that moment that I screamed.
He was sitting there, in the dining room, a deep frown on his face. The room itself is covered by dark brown woods, causing the overhead light to make his skin seem to glow. He turned and looked at me, and with a gentle motion he offered the chair adjacent to him. I didn't know what to do. I had heard stories of him since I was little. So I did the only thing I could think of, and took the offered seat, my hands shifting nervously in my lap.
“How have you been?”
His voice had a grating quality, like steel on concrete. His frown deepened.
I just stared at him, my voice caught in my throat.
“You know who I am, Joanna.”
He chuckled lightly, as I quickly looked away. When I looked back he was no longer smiling.
“You know why I am here.”
I shook my head.
“You are in PAIN Joanna. ”
His voice caused my heart to jump into my throat. I realized that when he said that I knew him, it was not a question. He knew that I knew him. He knew me, and knew all of me.
“Talk to me about it.”
I fumbled with my words, as I tried to form a sentence. He looked at me, waiting patiently for me to answer.
“I have been having a hard...hard time at work.”
He chuckled. I looked away. He spoke.
“No. That is not it. TELL ME. Tell me about the pain.”
I tripped over my words. Made up excuses. Without any hint, he extended his hands and grabbed my by the wrists, pulling pulling my hands towards him aggressively as he placed them gently onto the table, tapping them lightly as he spoke to me in a cooing tone.
“Shh sh sh...relax...there is no need for this to be painful.”
I felt a deep chill forming in my wrists and on the back on my hand. I felt the flesh began to blister and crack. I reeled back from his grip, but he held fast, every moment the pain growing more potent as my hand began to throb with pain.
“I...I am lonely...”
He nodded, he grip not slipping, his eyes fixed on my own.
I didn't speak, but I could tell he could see the image rising up in my memories. But I forced the memory down, focusing on the pain that was growing.
I heard him chuckle, and turned to look away. Then he grabbed me by the throat, forcing me to look at him. He was smiling, a impossibly large grin. Then I felt his cold, clammy hands beginning to squeeze...
Joanna says that she blacked out, waking up to find her home empty. Since that day she has not uttered a single spoken word
. If you are unlucky enough to encounter The Old Man, there is one piece of advice to keep close to heart. Never look at him when he is smiling. It is fortunate that he often chuckles before he smiles, which means there is time enough to look away. But if you don't, the consequences are always dire.
He is known to appear late at night, in some local home, or a park. Sometimes he appears in some dive restaurant, but only to those he wants to appear to, and always when the person has just gone through some deep trauma. That would be the second piece of advice I would give you. Avoid all forms of discomfort, lest you draw the attention of The Old Man. He is easy to recognize, though it will not be possible for you to find him on your own. He always finds the people he wants, and after he does, most are usually worse off for knowing him.
I have had other interviews with people who have encountered The Old Man. The strange thing is, for some, a minority, when I mention the old man, the mentioning brings tears to their eyes. Then they ask me my name. They ask me how I have been. Then they say thank you, and walk away, refusing further conversation even if I try to pursue it.
Wellington Street has produced many legends, but few are as potent or as feared as The Old Man.