The Maneater

What made it even more disturbing was that he left behind the hands, feet, and head, as if these body parts, unlike anything else in his dietary repertoire, somehow spooked him—the rest, right down to the pulverized bone, the organs, the cartilage, even the pools of blood, simply vanished. Think of it: your wife, your grandmother, your son, your neighbor, the itinerant gibberer in his stained dhoti, fails to show up at the appointed hour, and in the morning nothing is left to discover but a face turned to the sky (or the dirt, as the case may be), and there is no recourse, no succor, no hope. Here is grief served up twice weekly on the footpaths or the rutted road to the next village or in the green frieze of the jungle.

You are helpless. You possess no firearm—nothing, in fact, made of steel but a kitchen knife and a billhook handed down from your grandfather. The night is absolute, dark as a closet in a locked room at the center of a dream. You are vigilant, of course you are, but what good is vigilance against the beast?—if he wants you, he will have you.

People on couch
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