Walking is my favorite exercise, but exploring the local trails isn’t for the meek.
Halfway into the walk, you realize the footpaths are rocky and unstable.
The squirrels are nasty little things that throw nuts at you.
And then you see something like this:
The forest goes quiet. You feel a hundred glass lenses pointed at you.
You wonder if the pinpoint of heat on your chest is a laser beam.
A hollow metal click echoes in the chilly air.
Did someone just load a revolver?
“Don’t shoot. I write romance novels.”
A harsh snicker bounces off the frozen trees.
You remember that you have a weapon in your coat pocket.
Slowly, you place your sole means of survival on a log and back away.
The tension dissipates like steam from a tea kettle.
The trees loosen their stiff posture and begin to sway in the breeze.
You hear someone search for a fork in the decrepit barn at the crest of the path.
You pause, not sure you can abandon the scrumptious loaf of lemon zucchini bread.
But then you run like an Olympic sprinter down the trail and stop near an old maple tree.
The zucchini bread is too good to abandon. You turn around and return to the old hollow log.
There are no footprints near the log except the ones I left behind.
The bread is gone.