Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The man with the blue umbrella

I'm typing this on the train feeling both relieved and just a little bit silly.
I walk through fields and woods on my way to the station even if, as today, the weather isn't perfect.
I'm used to meeting the occasional dog walker and being annoyed with those who don't clear up after their animals (yes bins are provided) and those who can't control their dogs leaving me covered in muddy paw prints and dog slobber.
What I'm not used to is company.
This morning soon after I joined the footpath I was aware someone was behind me.
A man, perhaps on his forties dressed for office work and carrying a blue golf umbrella. I picked up my pace and walked as fast as I could without running.
He kept pace with me and mind started exploring possibilities.
I'd not seen this guy before but I was travelling at the same time as usual. Most people wouldn't choose my route or my station because there is a station that's closer and there are routes that are less muddy/doggified.
What was his motive? Rape? Murder? Mugging?
I discounted mugging because he was in a suit. I discounted rape because he was wearing a suit and it was raining. I discounted murder because that was just my imagination running away with itself.
But there was a mugging on that pathway last year so I kept up my pace.
And for the rest of the walk along the path I had a mental battle between my rational brain which was telling me not to be ridiculous and my imagination which saw me raped and left for dead in the woods by the man with the blue umbrella.

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