Tales from my youth - "A chilling encounter"

Blair Gowrie By Blair Gowrie, 22nd Sep 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>True Stories

A pleasant morning walk to work turned into a chilling encounter with a steel-bar armed maniac.

When I should have kept my mouth shut!

In the mornings, when walking to work along a leafy and quiet city road, I would see him often. He was about fifty, I guessed, with close-cropped hair, and wore a shabby shirt and shorts, and rubber sandals. He would search around the roadsides or vacant pieces of land, or the areas where rubbish bins were stored, and now and again would pick up some discarded item, a plastic or glass container, paper board, pieces of metal and so on, and put them in the sack he carried on his back. It appeared he was one of the army of itinerant scavengers who roamed the city daily, picking up anything thrown away which had the slightest scrap value, anything which could be turned into cash.

That morning I was walking along on the left hand side of the road, and I could see him approaching from the opposite direction, but on the other side. In the past, he had never paid any attention to me, but today, when we drew abreast he said something in an unfriendly and insulting way – after all this time I can’t remember exactly what he said – and, on looking back, I know I should have ignored him and moved on. But I didn’t – I stopped and replied in a similar vein – and this was to prove to have been a big mistake.

For just as soon as the words had left my lips, he put down his sack, opened it up and withdrew an angled steel bar, about three feet in length, with one end fashioned into a sharp point. I realized later that this was the time I should have run for it, but for some reason I didn’t, and, with this bar in hand, he strode over to me swiftly, all the time uttering a non-stop string of curses and expletives.

As soon as he was close I managed to seize hold of one end of the steel bar to prevent him striking or spearing me, and I held my brief-case in front of me in case he should attack with his feet.

So there we were, standing in the middle of the road, each of us gripping one end of the steel bar tightly, as the man continued spewing out his colourful invective. What was I to do? The road was deserted, with no cars passing by, and there were no pedestrians who might have been able to give me some support. So I just kept silent and held my ground.

Then, luckily for me, fate intervened, in the form of a motorcycle-taxi rider. Our road was long and came to a dead-end, and branched off from one of the city’s main thoroughfares. At the mouth of this road there was a group of motorcycle men, who would, for a small fee, transport people to their houses, and one of these men, with no passenger on the pillion seat, drove up, and seeing our strange situation, stopped.

This was my chance. I let go of the bar, and put the motorcycle between myself and the man, who stopped his cursing, but did not follow me. I whispered to the rider to help me get away from this maniac, he moved his motorcycle a few yards further down the road, I jumped on the pillion, and away we went. Safety at last!

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author avatar Buzz
23rd Sep 2011 (#)

Great article. Look at all those SPAM.

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author avatar Blair Gowrie
24th Sep 2011 (#)

Read more tales from my youth at -
“ The Displaced Men’s Club”
"Knowing what had to be done"

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author avatar juny
25th Sep 2011 (#)

very nice page here..i will check the other link too :)

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