It had been three weeks and no one had seen Sospeter. Not that anyone should have cared, it was a relief. His pungency was gone and no one was no obliged to talk to him in a special voice. You see Sospeter was constantly in character; his character was always a street urchin. His was the only constant character in his endless stories.

Every day Sospeter would arise from his slumber wherever he had fallen asleep the night before. It was very curious that he always fell asleep in the worst locations, on cow patty in cow sheds, chicken coops, by a public urinal, if we were lucky it was by a muddy riverbank. Sospeter believed cleanliness was ‘the authorities’ way of controlling the masses. “The authorities”; no one knew what he meant by that.  “‘The authorities’ want me to eat that ‘healthy’ food, I choose what I want to eat”, he would say as he sipped the Farmer’s cat’s milk from a metal bowl. Sospeter wasn’t obliged to act normal; hygiene and proper diet where too mundane for his liking. He believed communing with nature was the pursuit of his existence, but that was when he wasn’t in the mood to be ‘normal’ and act.

Sospeter would create a character, a scene and a story plot. So everyday conversations weren’t always; “Good morning Mama Suri” and Mama Suri would respond “Good morning,” no, not in Sospeter’s mind. In Sospeter’s world your response needed to be according to his script for your character which he would aptly brief you on. He would direct you on your lines and also your response and movement. “Own the stage” he would say before he says, “We’ll take that again.” And walk back to a certain position to begin the scene.

Most people in Guolo got used to being forced to act, even those most terrible at it. They always hoped that it wouldn’t be a hospital scene and he was the surgeon. That was what Sospeter loved acting the most. And he wasn’t just any surgeon; he was an inebriated, uncoordinated surgeon who performed surgery in the dark of the night by a flickering lantern almost running out of paraffin. He felt that certain scenes needed some drama thrown in to spice it up.

This fine morning, no one had spotted Sospeter to spread word across town on his whereabouts to avoid “William Sospeter’s plays”. There was a general sense of relief, until in the heat of the noon day sun, a weary traveler arrived with a bundle wrapped in bloody sheets, with a stench that was disturbingly familiar but stronger, strapped to the back of a neighing donkey.


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