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(Disclaimer: Gray Man has nothing to do with LSD Dream Emulator or anything else with the same or similar name)

Where I'm from, the sky is always gray.

If you care enough to turn your head up, your eyes will invariably be met with the cold color of steel.

It never rained for us, though, nor did the sun ever shine. The gray just kept up in the sky, looking down on us like a giant. It oppressed us every day. We were cold and thirsty from dawn till dusk. But the gray never showed us any sympathy.

Then one day I guess it got tired of our complaining, because it relented. It gave us rain and sunlight and went away. Everybody celebrated the day outdoors.

That day old Crawson, who was a solitary type, went for a walk alone. When he came back, he was frightened out of his wits. The poor soul said a gray man who he didn't recognize was walking along the trail and bumped right into him. The gray man had a funny face, but Crawson couldn't describe what it looked like. Said that the gray man had turned around far too fast and ran away before Crawson could get a good look at him.

We all assumed that it was nothing and that Crawson was just going senile. But he insisted that he wasn't old enough to lose his mind and that there was a gray man on the trail. Crawson tried to convince us, and he tried hard - whenever you spoke to him, he'd always bring up "that funny-faced gray man," as he called it. None of us believed him, though.

One kid, Alex, believed Crawson's every word. So he took his camera and went on the path that Crawson went on to try and get a picture of the gray man. To nobody's surprise, he found nothing.

So Alex went again the next day. This time, he found a branch with teeth marks which he took back to us. After a bit of commotion about what had nibbled on the branch, someone recognized the marks as from a beaver from the nearby river. Alex, disappointed by this, didn't go on the trail the next day. Some of us thought that he had given up, but we were wrong. The day after Alex's little break, he went back to the trail with his camera at the ready.

Alex didn't come back for supper, nor for breakfast. Since Alex had always had a big appetite and never skipped a meal on purpose, a few people went on the trail to look for him assuming that he was lost. They came back within the hour holding Alex's cold body and his camera. After we got over the shock of Alex being dead, we decided to look at his camera to see if he had snapped a picture of whatever had gotten him. We found this:


After that, people told the gray sky to come back. We pleaded and pleaded with whatever power controlled the sky. We didn't know if we were best off talking to God or the sky or the gray man himself, so we just shouted and hoped that something would hear us. Something -  I don't know what, but something - heard us and nobody heard from the gray man again. We don't complain about the gray sky anymore, too.

So that's that, I guess.

  Original image sources: Background: Eyes: Mouth:

Image edited with Adobe Photoshop Express and by author