Shortly after writing The Industrial Tapes - 3 today, I decided on a whim to go over to the park by the river, the setting of Tape 3's most terrifying passage.
I thought, By the light of day there shouldn't be any problem. People ostensibly take their dogs there to run, and since I have Underbrush, she would be the perfect cover. To be extra safe, I put on a pair of sunglasses left over from a recent visit to the dentist -- they give them out to shield your eyes from the dentist's light -- and a floppy hat I normally only use as protection against the sun.
Getting there, there was a couple of trucks already there, like usual. Something's going on down that path, which I may never find out about, because I'm halfway afraid to walk down it. But I can nose around as I generally do in these kinds of circumstances. And, again, Underbrush is the perfect cover.
I quickly peered down the path, looking as far as I could see (not far at all) without going over to it. The frightening thought came to me, Somewhere down there is the very bush that Thompson emerged from!
About as soon as I thought this, I heard some rustling, startling me. So I turned toward the river just to make it look like we were just there. Then a guy came out from the path. His pants had a freshly zipped look. I averted my eyes, since I'm so open people typically can read my mind. I was nervous, more or less with him on one side and a swollen river on the other.
I waved, then blurted out, "So what is that? Some kind of jogging path?" He said it was, but that I should watch out for the big hole about 25 yards in. Like I'm going in! He wasn't dressed in jogging clothes! And what's this about a big hole 25 yards in? Was he threatening me? It sounded like it, since a predator oftentimes likes to play with its prey. I'd get down there, look in the hole and see a naked guy in the exact center like a spider, and that'd be all she wrote!
I just threw up my hands and pointed to the dog, "She's afraid of holes." So he went on his way, got in his red truck and left.
I got back in my car and we left. Just as I was winding around the final turn of the rock-bordered road, I saw a motorcade of anywhere from two to 10 big black SUVs coming from the road to the right. Thinking maybe it was a welcoming party and farewell party for me all at the same time, I gunned it up and over the hill. Right then -- thank God -- there was a train coming, which I just missed on my way across the tracks.
The short story is, I gunned it again and never actually saw them in my rear view mirror.