In Defence of the Realm

Chapter 4

As I trudged along the streets making my way to work, my usual cheery feeling was somewhat tempered. I stared at the gaps between the paving stones as they disappeared beneath my striding feet.

“Oi!” someone shouted from back down the road. “That’s my bike!” I turned around to see some idiot in baggy light grey tracksuit trousers and a similar hoody pedalling a very red bicycle with a front mounted basket, coming in my direction. I then saw the postman appear from around the corner as he chased the hoody. I shook my head wandering what the world was coming to. Then put my arm out as if stretching. Unfortunately for the hoody he was unable to avoid my arm and collided with it just before dismounting the bike in an ungainly manner.

“You focking wanker,” the twat mumbled before running off.

It was strange, during the whole episode I never caught a glimpse of the being beneath the cloth, and my memory kept telling me that the opening to the hood had been too black, too dark, as if light had been sucked out of the very air.

The postman caught up with me.

“Hey. Thanks, mate.”

I shook my head, clearing it of its weird perceptions. “No problem,” I eventually replied; though the delay seemed only to be in my mind.

“Are you sure?”

“Of course. Think nothing of it.”

“Thanks again.” The postman picked up his mount and wheeled it back down the road, and I carried on towards Markent Marketing, a bit happier, a bit disconnected and a bit late.