I’ve been away in Cheltenham for the weekend, and returned this evening to find, after being subjected to a load of security checks at the railway station (?!), that some kind of city-wide curfew has been put in place. Obviously it’s got something to do with the recent outbreaks of violence and what-have-you, but that’s all anyone seems to know. It hasn’t been implemented well at all; a lot of people (myself included) had never even heard of it until it was in effect. There are still plenty of cars on the road though, and from what I could see, I’d guess that with the state of the streets and lack of buses (which seem to have stopped running), people have started to carpool more, as I didn’t see many empty seats.
It was as I made my way back home, through the local park, that something happened to change things. I’m looking at this city under a twisted new light tonight.
Victoria Park (as it is known) used to be a horse-racing circuit, so that might give you some idea about the size of the thing. Anyway, because of this, the lamp posts are scattered thinly among the trees and winding pathways, and, in all honesty, walking across it at night is generally not the wisest of things to do at the best of times, never mind with all the strange stuff going on here recently. But it was late, I wanted to get home, etc. etc., so I set off over the grass.
I was almost exactly half-way across when an asian chap jumped out from the gloom, right at me. He must have been hiding behind a bush nearby, because he just stumbled right out in front of me, arms outstretched and mouth gaping as if he was yawning… it made for a pretty chilling sight, and one hell of a nasty shock. Then there was the smell – be glad that text is a scentless medium, that’s all I’m saying…
Anyhow, I wasn’t taking any chances, so skirted round him. It was a close thing, as the path was narrow, but he was slow in turning and I was past before his arms tould snag me. It was time enough, however, to get a fairly good look at his face. God help me. His eyes were covered with a milky film, and they were as vacant as any blind man’s. His skin was spattered with blood, a dark brown freckling in the dim light, and the bones in his jaw made a gristly grinding sound as I passed him and broke into a sprint.
He began to follow.
As I ran, it occured that, of course, I had my phone on me, complete with camera function. Wanting to capture a picture of my grim assailant, I yanked it out of my coat pocket and took some shots behind me as I ran, not looking back myself. This is the only one that came out anywhere near decent:
I’m sorry to say the quality is shite, but you’ll have to cut me some slack on that one 😉 By the time I reached the main road, and had careered over to the other side, I finally gained the courage to look behind me. There was no sign of him, or anything else out of the ordinary.
Now, back in the safety of my own home, there’s a word playing across my mind. I barely want to acknowledge its presence in my wonderings as being even slightly accurate, and it’s probably a result of watching lots of horror movies /playing one too many computer games, but all the same…