Frisson Comics publish A Misty Morning for their horror edition:
A misty Sunday Morning
Up early, out early, with the dog on his leash at eight o’clock on a Sunday morning. Raincoat on, sauntering through the thick mist on this post-Halloween, or as the locals call it: Mischief Night, morning. This is my most trusted outdoor jacket, gets me through endless dog walks, early start open-air craft fairs and days when I just feel like hiding away and becoming invisible. Belonging to my partner, but inherited by myself; a trusty navy outer waterproof, an aluminium lining for warmth, finished off with a thick white plastic zip and toggles. Dave was actually given it on one of the ships he had been working on; it’s safe, practical and can be relied on. Passing a young girl, about eighteen or nineteen, just having got out of a taxi, wearing last night’s attire and make-up un-cleansed discussing ‘What actually happened’ with one of her friends on her mobile phone. Remembering back to when my Saturday nights used to consist of getting dressed up, meeting up with the girls, going to the bars, followed by whatever came our way. Sunday mornings spent trying the decipher what had happened, muffled phone calls consisting of ‘I don’t remember that’ and ‘What was his name again’. Well, hopefully, the training day will be good later, oh when did I start to age and get so level headed?
Then into Everton park, visions of not more than ten meters in front, incurred by the mist, hiding the views which reach across the Mersey, over to the Wirral and on a good day the mountain ranges of North Wales. Little dog off his lead to explore; freely and at his own will, sniffing, smelling and the frequent cocking of the leg. I see some discarded firework shells, time of year when things start hotting up and rockets get fired around. Turning the corner I see a black Staff running towards myself, thinking about Charlie I look over to see how far back he is and if I should put him back on his lead. Staffs can be dangerous and vicious towards other dogs, Charlie, although doing his best against larger dogs; ultimately amounting to a fur-lined toy-dog. It’s okay, though, the other pet owner shouts his dog as he walks down another path. The Staff follows his owner’s commands obediently, no desire to start a fight, I wish Charlie as well behaved. I keep my eye on him in case he decides to go after them, run over then start the strife.
A discarded goal mask lies to the side of the footpath, an Edvard Munch ‘The Scream’ style guise, the twenty-first-century plastic version, mouth held fully open and eyes virtually decapitated. Used for an evening of Trickle-Treating, money gathering and sweet sucking, then tossed to one side: mission completed. Although the mist is deep it is not actually raining, the skin on my face is only damp from the moisture in the air, the molecules of water within the low lying clouds hitting onto my exposed skin and awakening my senses on this early Sunday morning. However, it sounds like it’s raining, raining heavily into the crisp autumnal leaves, the shell shaker russell and the fresh aroma of water falling onto the urban green space. When I walk under a set of tree’s I feel the rain coming down on myself, onto my hair and over my shoulders. I walk on, then going under a conifer I realise that the rain only seems to be coming down under the trees. Supernatural, the wrong way around and in conflict to rational, not falling in the exposed area’s, then tipping down in the covered environment. A few strides further forward, over a few short moments which felt much longer, I realise what had happened; it had been raining heavily earlier in the morning during day break. The rain had been collected by the foliage and was now falling from the leaves on the trees. What was ghostly on the first appearance was actually just nature’s delay: a wonder to admire not something to revere; not supernatural, but at on with nature.
As we go over the brow the fog has started to disperse. I hear a Man singing at the top of his voice, the sound was coming from the bottom off the hill by the Netherfield Road side of the park.
So wake me up when it’s all over
Netherfield Road has a history of being frequented by sex workers and kerb crawlers and still to this day it is common the see girls positioned against lamp posts looking for trade. More usual in the afternoon or early evening, not at this time forenoon. I wondered if I should avert walking in that direction, my eyes scanning for a fluffy form to see where my dog had gone. I had been propositioned by a man down there at around seven on a Wednesday morning only a few months ago. While circuiting the park, dressed in my usual dog walking attire of my acclaimed aluminium lined rain coat I was approached by a local man. Dressed neutrally in a pair of jeans, frayed and bedraggled, grey sweat jacket, in his twenties but spotty like a hormonal teenager, topping his look off with a greasy grey-blond grown out crew-cut.
‘Are you looking for business?’
At first not understanding, then realising that he was looking for a prostitute, despite the fact that any sane person could not have thought I worked in that line, he, in fact, did so. I told him;
Him being wasted after a night spent drinking, with more cans of Stella to follow visible through the plastic carrier bag he was clasping. He kept on at myself, his bottom lip held forefront of the higher not fitting together in normal poise, ready to omit gas, trying to suggest I should be entering the depravity of his existence. On that, I struck him, not particularly hard, but it was my intention to hurt him, my right hook not having lost its strength from the few years I had used it last. In this, with him being drunk he stumbled on the steps and nearly fell over forwards, his bottom lip reaching out at the forefront of the motion vibrating like a tuning fork that had just been struck. He started screaming at full pitch, telling me that I was ‘Mad’, in this I responded by kicking him a few times, nothing extreme, just ‘Trainers on ass’, then I retorted:
‘Your right, I am Mad and if I see you hanging around here again I will do more than just kick you’
In this, he made his way off along Netherfield Road muttering more slander towards myself but not at a comprehensible volume.
So wake me up when it’s all over
In debate over as to whether I should gravitate in the direction of the lower part of the hill, I see the man singing start doing press-ups, his upper body located on the lower position of the steps to increase the resistance of the movement. He then moves on to squat thrust accompanied by more singing along to Avicii: ‘Wake me up’. Wait a minute, he was not drunk or high on substances, he was there to work out not because he is intoxicated. He’s probably wearing earphones and been singing out loud by mistake; carried away with the athletic motion, not realising his vocals were being shared by the locals.
Feeling my way through the darkness
The dog and I ramble down towards the bottom of the hill, undeterred, there was nothing to be apprehensive about. This section of the Park often used for training, often racing up the centre with running club myself. We were always doing training sets up this distinct rise in the terrain, sent two at a time and simply doing your best to keep your head up and run until you reach the brow. Actually used for Highland Game training, often seeing the hillside laid out with specialist rope and weight assortments coinciding with carefully located cones. Although the sport is unusual in Liverpool, the steep hill is ideal for throwing the hammer games so many travels from further afield for training. As we pass the man I can see that he has earphones in and is in exercise gear. Just forgot and hasn’t realised he was singing aloud by mistake, best not to say anything, I don’t want to embarrass him. Then he catches my eye and realises that he had his accompanying vocals had been at full blast, I look away but I can’t help laughing to myself, smiling I walk on, the park being a pleasure on this misty Sunday morning.
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