I take the same route to work and back every day of the week.
Usually, I’m riding my roadbike on the road to keep the interaction with pedestrians on a minimum and simply because it’s a roadbike.
However, late in the evening, when the traffic is low and there are actually no pedestrians outside anymore, there is an optional shortcut available, which I prefer to choose, whenever I want to get home as quick as possible.

It’s a tiny paved way, that goes straight through a small park.

Since the days are getting shorter and darker day by day, I’m crossing this park after sunset for a couple of weeks now.
Along the paved way, there are one or two lanterns, that barely light up two spots along the shared pathway.
But there’s no need to share the path after work.

After sunset, I’m all alone.

Sometimes, I set my bicycle lamps a little higher, just to make sure, I get to catch a glimpse at the surroundings.
The ground is all covered with dead leaves, fallen from the trees.
The rest of the park lies somewhere next to it, hidden by total darkness.
From time to time, there’s a rustle somewhere in the bushes, that freaks me out for a second, but ususally this shortcut is the exact opposite of a big deal.

However, something changed…

I realized that some days ago.
It was a bit strange at the first time.
The brain wasn’t prepared for it, because what I discovered, didn’t fit into the scenery.

There’s a weird smell in the air.

This smell is hard to grasp.
A bit like cherry flavoured candy.
But there’s not a single person around, no one in front and no one behind me, no one walking his dog and no one commuting back home except of me.
Why should it smell like candy?

Maybe someone has been eating a whole lot of cherry gum and now the whole park smells like that?
But how much gum does a single person need, to make the whole park smell like candy?

Some days have gone by. Nothing changed.

This smell is still weird.
Maybe it’s caused by one of the trees or bushes, which is in full blossom?
At the end of october?
I never heard about a tree like that before…

Maybe it’s caused by some corpses, who were choked, while eating cherry gum and now, they are rotting somewhere in the park, hidden by all the leaves and the darkness?
Some poor victims, murdered, on their commute back home, by a cherry gum eating psycho, who I just miss by a few seconds?
Each day of the week?

That’s ridiculous, right?

Another few days have gone by and I still don’t know what this smell is or where it is coming from.
It used to bother me at the beginning, just like the rustle in the bushes did.

To be honest, it eventually stopped bothering me.

Why should I still be freaked out about taking a shortcut through the park?
Just because it smells a bit weird?

After all these days and weeks…
Nothing happened…
Yet…

 

Happy Halloween !

 

 

 

 

 

+++ The Blogpost “The Lonesome Shortcut” appeared first on dennisthecyclist.blog +++

4 Replies to “The Lonesome Shortcut”

  1. My ride to and from work is very short, but there is a section that runs along a small track between two fields. It is so dark, the only light I get is from my bike light and if the moon is out and particularly bright! There are occasions where bats have followed me home, or a deer has jumped across my path … Good job it’s only a short distance as I think I hold my breath the whole time! It is fun though 😀

    Kate

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