Funny how it happened, a body in the street in broad daylight. Killed by the look if it. But maybe it was all for the better, the murder of a maniac. He's slumped on his side, like he'd fallen asleep half on the curb, half off, under that low hanging tree. He has a breast pocket on his right side, under him now. There's a little scrap of a notebook in it, it would be digging painfully into his ribs had he been alive to feel it. If you opened it you could still see the mad, uneven scrawl of nonsense that he scratched out when the mood took him.
His name is Charlie. Or, rather, had been Charlie. Charlie Redding. He had always been off his rocker, in my opinion. Only now will the public realize what a lunatic he had been. The police will soon confiscate his notebook, and find all the crimes he had committed: arson, murder of small animals, you name it. It's all in there.
But the cops hadn't arrived yet; it was still early and not too many people came out to this spot at this time of morning. The body threw an odd shadow on the ground, all sharp curves and dull angles. His hand was splayed gray on sidewalk like a soft broken bird. If you felt the skin you'd know he hadn't been there long, there was still a faint warmth there, like the smell of dead leaves in the snow. A sticky madness clung about the place; it was a wispy coat that had hung off him his whole life and now it was no different. You could almost see it there next to him. A down jacket curled lonely on the ground.
The sun was bright and warming the earth around him, but his body was rapidly cooling off. Not even the sun could stop his imagined shivering. Nobody will notice until later in the day. He might as well have been a bum passed out after a night of cheap liquor and sorrow. Sorrow and grave loneliness. Charlie never felt lonely; he'd always talk to himself for company. He didn't feel sorrow, rather joy for the criminal acts he'd done. It was a feeling of being in control, causing crowds to gather, firemen and cops to all come and stop the fires he started. He'd watch from a place in the crowd, never causing suspicion from the ones who surrounded him. Never once had he been dubbed for what he really was: stark-raving mad.
A madman is mad forever, that's the truth. And if you watched closely that morning under the big trailing tree, as the wind bit with the sharp wail of a long-off police siren, you just might have seen something stirring on the street. You might have almost seen a gust of curiously-shaped air sweep slowly on its way. You could have nearly felt that wind-man put on his coat as he ambled away.