• n0mad

The Jogger

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

She was angry. She always ran when she was angry. It cleared her head. She parked by the half-ruined Nunnery on the Northside of Black Park, a 500-acre country park just West of London. She zipped up her white Lycra running gilet, checked her ponytail, tightened laces and she’s off. A steady pace to get into the flow.

She loved how the leaves looked in Autumn, the low winter sun lighting their passing in brilliant, Yellow, Red, and Orange. She sucks in the beautiful scent of the pine trees as she passes. It is good to be alive and running. It’s going to be a special day. She chooses the path less traveled; it keeps her mind challenged, planning each step as she jumps roots and ditches. The leaves falling like confetti in the gentle breeze.

It's getting cold, the clocks have gone back and now it’s getting dark faster than she expected. Probably be pitch black by five o’clock. She better step-it-up a gear if she wants to put in her miles. She feels her anger begins to subside as the miles flow by.

A cry grabs her attention, a bird? It was up ahead, perhaps slightly to the left. A rustle of leaves, squirrels stocking the larder for Winter? She pounds the trail, always looking at the track for her next footing, next jump. She can feel her heart beating, pounding in her ears. It’s good to be alive.

Mist merges with the dank dusk. Is it smoke? It smells dry and otherworldly, not wood-smoke. A branch snaps behind her. She stops hands on knees, bent double, panting, panting, checking her surroundings. A drizzle. Nothing there.

But the faint sound of chanting reaches her ears. Could it be the Nuns? Has she circled back without realising? She stumbles on. Leaves billow outwards in a gentle wave as if giant feet stomp the wood this twilight, creating puffs of leaves with their passing.

Robed figures ahead, circling slowly and murmuring. She slows, missing her footing as she gasps. Tries to catch herself on a tree and plunges headfirst into the ferns. Her hand is wet. Blood, but not hers. She senses that instinctively. Looking at the tree she sees daubed in blood, like a marker. Another tree further ahead marks the same gory trail.

When she raises her head, she sees the robed figures muttering and shuffling towards her, a pale, bloodied corpse left abandoned in their midst. Some Satanic Ritual is her primal instinct, some locked away memory of an ancestor released.

She screams. A scream like no other, blood curdling and long. Reaching down into the bowls of those who hear it and twisting, squeezing, wrenching. This is the scream of terror, the scream of despair, the scream of…

“That’s the sort of scream I want! Give me emotion, give me angst. Why can’t anyone listen to me? Whoever did that scream, I want THAT in the movie. NO excuses, Carl! It’s too bloody cold to argue, just MAKE IT HAPPEN! The movie’s called Bride of Satan NOT Stubbed toe of Satan for Christ’s sake!”

Her eyes are wide. Is she dreaming? As she raises herself, it all becomes clear to her. She sees the huge fans, the smoke machines, the catering tents, and the cameras. She’s stumbled headlong into a movie set! Pinewood Studios is next door, of course! They’re always filming something here.

She falls back with a sigh to be embraced by the ferns …as dark tentacles slide smoothly around her neck, waist and up her thighs…

…wedding day awaits.

*

Where better, dear reader, for a Satanic cult to hide than in plain sight? An international film crew, always on the move, self-contained, making a movie about …Satanic Cults? Bloodied brides and robed ceremonies easily explained to the casual snooper.

Box set looking a bit… too… real? Amazing what they can do with special effects these days.

Binge away, dear reader. Binge away.

________

666 words




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