My husband and I go walking several mornings a week before he goes to work. We usually do the same loop. Some days we do the loop in reverse. Several times we’ve run into a neighbor—an older gentleman who is also out getting his exercise in the morning. After seeing him often enough, we introduced ourselves, and we’ll exchange pleasantries when we see each other, maybe have a short chat.
This morning, it was dark when we went out—dark enough to need flashlights at first. So, we went on our usual path along the beach and into the woods. When we came out of the woods, the sun was just starting to rise, but the woods themselves were still pretty dark. We saw a figure just outside the mouth of the woods, dressed all in black and far enough to not be able to make out features. I assumed it was our neighbor and waved. The person just stood there. They didn’t come into the woods or wave or walk away. Just stood there. We waited for a moment. They stood still. Maybe it wasn’t him. We went on our way, switching back through another nature trail.
But my years of watching horror films caught up with me. I looked over my shoulder no less than four times wondering if the black-clad figure was coming up behind us. They never materialized. I still don’t know if it was our walking buddy.
It’s possible I’ll never know.