As usual, Sean Benjamin woke early. He was done with the morning paper, and had returned it to its rightful place,long before his curmugenly neighbor, Smiddy could even miss it.
Nothing worth reading anyway. A local politician suspected of fiddling the books, a new gas tax to be leveed, torrential rain predicted for the whole weekend. A homicide suspect still at large. No big surprises there, just life as normal in the big city.
He fastened his jogging shoes, and let out a groan as he stretched his achy quads.
No worries, a quick run before breakfast would soon fix that.
The ground was soggy, beneath his feet but he didn’t really mind.
Slowly gaining momentum as he went, he finally stepped it out along the boulevard. He breathed in deeply. Ozone-rich oxygen blended amicably with the scent of freshly shorn grass.
An elderly, slump shouldered old man approached. A dirty old cap pulled tight to his balding scalp, and a paper rolled up under his arm.
He was walking a sad, bedraggled looking Border Collie.
Sean smiled with amusement, The similarity between pet and owner was uncanny.
Benjaminan shrugged and uttered a breathless,
The old man looked up briefly,but passed wordlessy.
Sean Shrugged again as he looked back over his shoulder.
“Oh well not everyone’s a morning person I guess.”
He took the south fork into the park, careful to side step a few mud puddles along the path.
Even now, Sean could clearly detect the tumultuous rumble of water, from the rain-engorged stream. This place, mere moments from the city’s main artery, was his tiny patch of paradise.
It took him back to heady days of youth, when as a boy of ten he would roam and explore the trails and creek bed close to his family home.
In those wonderful days of yesteryear when it was still a safe and accepted practise for a kid to be a kid’ He’d used to leave the house at dawn, and wander aimlessly until the last, fading, rays of the setting sun.
The roar of the river had increased now, as he neared it’s beckoning embankment.
Still, so caught up in his memories, he failed to hear a dull metallic click.
Two seconds later, he lay dieing.
The old man tucked the gun, it’s barrel still smoking, back into the folds of his newspaper. He gazed down at the corpse, mesmorized for a moment by the scene. Syrupy, scarlet, blood having, pooled beneath the left shoulder blade, now trickled down the slope and dispursed into the stream.
Then he growled,
“Comeon!”, tugged on the Collie’s leash, then silently turned and walked away.