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« Too late for the toad-path »

'It's all about light' I tell would-be snappers darkly and hand them Sontag. Me and the light are always having a race.
I've left it late for the toad-path again. Go out too fast. Hurl round the first bend. Feet and mouth out of time. Inhale plump midges with each hard suck hifffp hifffp and spit.
Is there enough light to get to the bridge? And back, the shortest side is also the darkest. Overlooked by high tiered forest scratched with dirty paths. Up there men in jogging pants script romance on their phones. They dont look up when you skirt them. I cock one headphone aside to keep an ear at the forest. My feet plank over the bridge, then I plunge into a dark green sleeve. Trees wrap the path. The hedge and tall grasses fecund and reachy. A damp leaf strokes me.
A man in a trench coat leans against a concrete post. Then he's just a concrete post. A bench levitates from the gloom. I whip my head to look behind me. That was stupid. I do it again. Flip! A black silk scarf flaps from my crown. As if my own hair produced it. Flicks at my face and I swat. A what a bird a bat? A bat. Attacking? Are there more? It scares the fucking daylights out of me. I don't scream. Even alarmed on a deserted forest path at night I'm too prissy to scream. I hare around the rest blistering my toes and skelter into the car park sweaty, horrified.

Words; Belfast Northern Ireland 2013

Image; St Petersburg Russia July 1999

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