I woke this morning at 5:20, got dressed, and went outside for my morning workout. Today’s weather was beautiful, perfect temperature, and the smell of fresh rain. Lately I’ve been riding my bike, a Schwinn that is neither strong enough to be a mountain bike, nor sleek enough to be a road bike. I would call it a “small town bike”, as it gets me around all four corners of our small town.
I rode down the street, fast down the slight decline, feeling the wind on my cheeks, blowing the last of the sleep from my mind. I slowed down a little going up a slight incline, starting the muscles in my legs working for the day. Across the highway, down a few cross roads, until I came to the city park, my favorite part of the ride. The park has a small pond with a path around it and a bridge over it. Sometimes I see frogs jump into the pond, and twice now I’ve seen a large bird I believe to be a stork on the far side of the pond.
As I rode around the pond I was distracted by something in the path, something fairly large. Large enough that I was sure it was not supposed to be here. This was unusual. As I rode closer I saw that it was a blanket. My first thought was “why would someone leave a blanket out here”. As I rode closer I began to think that it was shaped oddly like a man.
My thoughts raced back to New Mexico, where I found a man, drunk, lying in the street. He was unconscious, and looked as if he had fallen face-first into a busy city street off the curb at a bus stop. His companions at the bus stop simply looked at him, and continued to wait for the bus. I was driving by on the way to work, but stopped to help.
Gliding by the oddly man shaped blanket I glanced down at it and thought I caught a glimpse of skin under the blanket. I stopped my bike, got off a few feet past it, and could see a bare foot uncovered. I started to feel anxious. There was someone there. I took a small step towards the blanket, thinking about what I would do if it were a homeless man sleeping. I had decided to step up to the blanket and ask if whoever was inside needed help. If it were a hobo, he’d probably say no and yell at me to leave him alone. I did not want to get yelled at, but I also did not want to leave someone if they needed help.
I looked again at the foot, and something about it struck me as odd. Even a hobo would probably have shoes, and this foot looked oddly clean, well kept, and small. A horrible thought ran through my head, something worthy of the opening scene from a prime time crime drama on TV. All of these thoughts raced through my head in the course of a few seconds as I took another step towards the blanket. Then, the blanket was thrown back, and a voice greeted me.
“What’s up? Did you think we were dead?”
Of course. Under the blanket were a pair of teenagers. A boy with a bright, fake diamond earring, and a girl with pink hair. I have a feeling I know what they were up to under there.
“Naw, just chilling.”
Said the boy.
The girl giggled. Feeling slightly embarrassed at interrupting their ill placed chilling, I looked at the pond, then looked at the sky, then said:
Then got back on my bike and continued on the path.
Another mile down the road I saw two rabbits.
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