“It was a cold night, like tonight, that I fist met him, underneath the street light on Maple and Wearne. He seemed like a normal man, nothing unusual, or strange about him. Of course, that was until we started talking, then I realised how truly odd he was, and his face, it was scarred, and sewn, like pieces from different jigsaw’s had been squeezed together, even though they didn’t fit. It was the most impossible conversation that happened on the most improbable night, you see, only a fraction of an hour before, I’d narrowly avoided being run down by a car, and then, as I was being looked over by the paramedics, your mother called me, she’d gone into early labour with you and was being rushed to Saint Mary’s. I quickly excused myself, much to the paramedics dismay, and I jumped into a taxi, telling the balding fellow who was driving to head straight for the hospital. Had I stayed with the paramedics, I’m not sure what would’ve happened, but, going with the taxi, certainly changed how I look at the world,” he says, looking down at the little girl, who sits snuggled up beside him on the couch.
“Tell me Daddy? Please,” she says, he looks down at his watch, and then back to her and smiles.
“It’s almost past your bed time,” he says with a smile.
“Please Daddy, tell me what happened, please!”
“Okay, okay, I’ll tell you the important parts, the rest can wait another night.”
“Thank you daddy, thank you,” she says, snuggling into him, and the couch deeper.
“Where was I?”
“The taxi drive, the balding one!”
“That’s right, his name was Daniel, he’d immigrated from Serbia with his wife and three children, I was surprised to find out he was a professor of science, but, was hoping to start a new life here, a different life, one, away from his previous. He talked a lot, far longer than he should’ve, so when he went dead silent, I knew something was wrong. I asked him how long it was until we reached the hospital, that’s when he admitted he was lost, now remember, this was before iPhones and wireless internet, so, it wasn’t as easy as it is now to find your way out of such a messy situation. Anyway, that’s when we came to the corner of Maple and Wearne, he was standing underneath the street light, or beside it, or close enough that I spotted him, but really, all you need to know, was, that he was there. I waved him over and asked where we were, and how to get to Saint Mary’s hospital. Like I said, at first he seemed normal, his voice was soft, his eyes, what I could see, were gentle, he placed a hand on the window of the car, and I noticed how rough, how dirty they looked, but I ignored it. He was helping me out of a sticky situation, and it wasn’t my place to judge, I’d done many things in my life up to that point that I’m not proud of, so, why judge someone else? Anyway, after directing us out of the mess we were in, I thanked him and as Daniel started up the engine again, he asked a question. And that’s when I saw him in the street lights glow, for the first time that night, his face, was, well, it was like I said before, scarred, sewn, like pieces of a jigsaw. His face, was made up of about thirteen or fourteen different pieces, in different stages of decay. He was, as I found out later, diagnosed with a rare fleash eating disease, that, through some strange abnormality, left him without skin of his own, and, he had, for most of his life, kept indoors, shielded from the outside world. But a few months ago his doctors had found a way of treating his condition, but it required people, living, breathing people, to donate their skin, with the idea that it would be sewn over his flesh, the unfortunate thing was, it wasn’t permanent, and his body kept rejecting the skin. So, he was, a living jigsaw, as they tried to find a skin, that his body wouldn’t reject…”
“Show me Daddy! I want to see!” she says quickly, interrupting his story.
He smiles and gets up from the couch and pulls his jumper up, revealing dozens of scars across his back, in the shape, of jigsaw pieces.
You can read the original 50 Word Story HERE.