The Man With the Limp

by Pratik Mainali

The man’s uneven step echoed off the buildings like a metronome keeping time as he went along the dark, desolate street. He was a tall, slender man with eyes that glowed like stars at night.

As he reached the alley, he heard a faint sound like to bat wings flapping. He warily glanced into the darkness, his hand reaching instinctively for the revolver in his pocket.

“Who is it?” He called out with a deep, steady voice.

A figure emerged from the darkness, their face concealed by a hooded robe. “I’ve been waiting for you,” said the figure in an ice-cold voice.

The limping man straightened his shoulders, prepared for anything. “What do you desire?” he inquired.

The figure held up a piece of paper and said, “I want you to discover the truth.” This is the key to a mystery that has been kept concealed for far too long.

The man with the limp grasped the paper with a firm hand despite his heart beating. “What mystery?”

The figure answered, “That’s for you to discover,” before vanishing into the shadows like mist.

The man with the limp grasped the paper as though his life had just taken an unexpected turn down a route he did not wish to pursue. He knew he had to uncover the truth regardless of the cost.

I hope this version of the story gives you an idea of what a longer Rod Serling-style story may look like.

The man with the limp walked to his squalid flat, his thoughts and opportunities racing. He sat down at his desk, the only other piece of furniture in the room save a single bed and a small table, and unfolded the paper in front of him.

A solitary red dot was marked in the center of the map. His mind was already calculating the optimal path as he drew the streets with his finger. As he walked to the place listed on the map, his limp became more obvious as he donned his coat and left the house.

The neighborhood was dilapidated, with buildings tilting to one side and broken windows. It was the type of location that raised the hairs on the back of your neck, and the man with the limp felt a wave of dread rush over him.

He walked up to a massive, imposing building and opened the door. Inside, he encountered a dark and musty corridor, the air heavy with the stench of rot. His footsteps echoed off the walls as he walked down the hallway until he reached a massive wooden door.

He pulled the door open and entered, his eyes adapting to the dark lighting. Before him was a big room filled with rows of dusty, yellowed bookcases.

“You’ve come a long way, limping man,” a voice from the shadows remarked.

The limping man faced the speaker, a towering man with piercing blue eyes and a shock of white hair. He was clad in a long, flowing robe and carried a twisted stick.

“Who are you?” said the man with the limp as he wrapped his hand around the gun’s grip from his pocket.

“I am the custodian of the truth,” the man said in a forceful tone. You, my buddy, have been selected to locate it.

The man with the limp retreated, his thoughts racing. “Why me?”

“Because you have the will and bravery to confront what lies ahead,” the keeper answered, his eyes burning with an inner fire. And because you need the truth more than anyone else.

The man with the limp reflected on his life, the anguish and the battle, and realized the keeper was correct. He nodded, his determination solid. “I’ll do it.”

The keeper escorted the limping man to a large, finely carved bookcase, from which he removed a heavy, leather-bound book. “This is the truth,” he replied as he handed the man the document. “Read it in order to comprehend what it means to be a genuine seeker of knowledge.”

The man with the limp picked up the book, feeling its weight in his hands. He opened the book and scanned the first page with his eyes.

And in that instant, his world was irrevocably altered.

The man with the limp exited the building while clutching the book tightly. He was now different, the weight of the truth weighing heavily upon his shoulders. However, he was also stronger, with unshakable resolve.

He retraced his steps back to his apartment, the limp in his gait becoming more obvious. But it no longer mattered. He possessed the truth, and nothing else mattered. He sat down at his desk and began to read, his mind absorbing the words and comprehending what it meant to pursue knowledge in its truest sense. As he continued to read, he realized he would never be the same again. The man with the limp absorbed himself in the knowledge contained in the book for days, then weeks, then months. He discovered secrets and riddles that had been concealed for ages, and he felt a newfound sense of purpose.

One day, while he was reading in his flat, the doorbell rang. He approached with caution, his hand once more reaching for the revolver in his pocket.

When he opened the door, he saw the keeper standing on the other side, his bright blue eyes illuminating the darkness. “It is time,” the keeper stated in a severe tone.

The man with the limp nodded, grabbed his coat, and exited the inn with the keeper. As they made their way to a tiny park, the trees towered over them like sentinels.

“What is it?” inquired the man with the limp as he scanned the darkness with his eyes.

“It is time for you to face your greatest obstacle,” the goalkeeper stated, tapping his stick on the ground in a rhythmic manner.

With these words, the man with the limp was taken to a perilous and mysterious place. His strength and courage were challenged as never before by the hardships and obstacles he encountered.

However, he emerged on the other side with greater knowledge and comprehension than ever before. He was no longer simply the man with the limp; he was now a genuine seeker of knowledge and a defender of the truth.

He returned to the world he had left with a lighter stride and a full heart. And as he went down the street, his limp no longer noticeable, he knew he was prepared for whatever life may throw at him. Thus, the guy with the limp resumed his quest in search of knowledge and truth. His name was whispered in hushed tones by people who had heard of his exploits.

But most importantly, he was at ease, his heart brimming with an unending feeling of purpose. For he was no longer merely a man with a limp; instead, he was a genuine seeker of knowledge, and that was the only thing that mattered.

Ultimately, this was the true legacy of the guy with the limp, a legacy that would last forever.

About the Author:

Pratik Mainali, BIBM University of Wolverhampton. Mainali is an aspiring writer from Kathmandu, Nepal


Comments are closed.