-This fucking guy. He ran after me so fast. I couldn’t take it. My feet were hurting. My calves were killing me. My hip felt like it would bend over like jelly and never straighten up again. My chest was congested. I wanted to fucking stop running. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see where I was going. Every five meter stretch developed out of the darkness and disappeared as I ran past.
I looked over my shoulder. The black figure of this guy was bloody quick. He was closing in on me and I knew that within seconds he’d catch up and then what? Take my sack? Or maybe the slipper on my right foot? Nah! He’ll take the shoe on my left foot. Can’t afford that! No man on planet would part with another one of these shoes for a beggar like me!
Shit why is the wretched guy –hic- Ugh! God damn hiccoughs in the middle of the night! Screw the hiccoughs! Need light! Can’t see where I’m going!
Ah! –hic- a street lamp. “Thank you –hic- asshole!” I shouted to the Guy up there and showed him the finger. I had turned into that road with the expensive fucking coffee.
-I saw the man make an obscene gesture towards the sky. He may have shouted something. I couldn’t hear him over the guitar solo of Fade to Black on my ipod, the best music for a mid-night jog.
A few seconds ago, I had encountered this ragged, messy man, who stood in the middle of the road, muttering to himself, until he spotted me. The second I approached him, he broke into a run.
The man constantly looked over his shoulder as he ran. His behaviour was peculiar. Perhaps he is being pursued I thought and looked over my shoulder. No one. Does he see something that I don’t? I felt rather disquieted. I wasn’t one for horror stories.
He took a right turn and disappeared into road where Barista stood. I went after him thinking maybe I could help him if something was wrong.
I entered the road and unplugged my ear phones. The faint plop of water dripping echoed around the street. Wind whistled through the open windows of the deserted buildings. A lone cat mewed its way through the dark street. A few rats shuffled their way into underground drains. A lone street lamp lit the street. The waning moon hung limply in the starless sky. There was no sign of the man.
“Hello? Are you alright sir?” I shouted into the darkness.
-“Hello? Are you alright sir?” he shouted.
What does he –hic- take me for? I wasn’t going to fall for the oldest trick in the fucking book. The Asshole alone knows to how many people I have had to be a gentle man to. And He knows how I’ve made a run with their fucking money after that as well.
I stood beside an open window on a tiny alley on the same street. I could hear the fucking dork’s voice and footsteps. A cat mewed somewhere. Hungry just like me –hic- I’m sure.
I heard his footsteps approaching. If he saw me, I’d slip out of the other end of the alley which would take me to that huge fucking road with those bloody uniformed men all over it.
There! He spotted me!
“Bloody hell man! Leave me –hic- alone!” I shouted at him and ran towards the cursed big road.
“Argh! Dust in my eyes! Fuck this shit!”
–He ran again. “Fuck this shit,” he shouted roughly. He sounded mighty angry. I could only see his back, but it seemed like he had his face in his hands, perhaps wiping his nose or rubbing his eyes. But he ran.
He ran into the other end of the alley and well into the main road that joined it.
“HEY WATCH OUT!”
That is the last image I vividly remember of him. There was a blinding flash of light. For a split second, the mad old man stood there, his hands having just come away from his eyes. He turned and stared right at me. The light from the truck cast a halo behind him. And just like that the bright white light engulfed him and he was gone.
My ipod fell down. The ear phones remained in my hand.
Did you ever imagine the last thing you’d hear as you’re fading out was a song?
Arriving somewhere but not here…