There was only one thing Kapil hated more than the cold and that was the salt. It ate into the leather of his slip-on dress shoes just like his job he so despised ate into him, slowly draining his soul away, melting it into briny runoff to flow into the gutter.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, went the thick white granules on the sidewalk under him. He felt a burning beneath his feet, a tiny fire licking the bottoms of his shoes. He stopped and lifted one sole, revealing the tiny white cubes clutching to it. He brushed them away with his hand, and the granules stuck to his glove. He watched in horror as they ate through the leather of it, then into his hand below, and screamed as his skin burned away and then the bloody muscle beneath. Kapil looked down and saw his shins being dissolving, melting into steaming piles of liquid red mush, and he screamed.
“Help me!” he yelled, as the salt consumed him.
But no one further down the sidewalk could. A heavy man in a fedora was liquefying into a fatty pile of goop. A woman and her young child clutched each other as they dissolved into the pavement, screaming and crying. A dog yipped and whined as it melted into the salt beneath it, its owner already a fleshy puddle at the end of the leash. People tried to run as their legs were consumed but could not, and they fell crawling to the sidewalk, the burning eating away their flesh down to their bones.
Kapil screamed as his entrails slopped out of his jacket in a steaming mound. A salt truck drove by, the spinning mechanism beneath it scattering grains of the white mineral everywhere.