The story begins here. The previous week begins here.
The footsteps echoed in my mind like visions. In this peculiar state of concentration, I fancied that I could see the visitors through the vale of fog --shadowy figures waking forward with purposeful steps, one large and the other medium size. Was my mind playing tricks on me or had I really entered into a state of heightened awareness, able to judge a man's size and pace just from the faint crunching on gravel? I will never know.
Timing was everything. My life hung in the balance. I focused my eyes in the direction of the approaching footfalls. When I saw the light, I screamed. I am not much of a screamer, or even a shouter, but I did my best to give a convincing scream of pain and terror. I fear that my performance was lackluster, but good enough for the effect that I was looking for. The man was so hidden in fog that I could not see his reaction, but I heard a voice shout out, "Police! Get down on the ground!"
The shout was what I wanted. The man would be startled, distracted, but only for a moment. I waited half a heartbeat for the man to refocus his attention in the direction of the shout and then I rolled away from the spotlight into the darkness, leaving my dark jacket behind. Gunshots sounded just feet away from me, two shots, close together. They left my ears ringing.
"Drop your weapon!"
"Drop your weapon and get down on the ground!"
"Subject is fleeing!"
Footsteps pounded past as I lay still on the ground. I rolled back to my jacket, and out of a morbid curiosity, felt over the chest area. There were two holes in the jacket, near where the man would have seen my heart as he looked down on the dark form of my jacket in the fog. I rolled to my back and forced myself to breath deep and evenly for a moment. How would I explain this to the police? "Well, officer, I broke into this area to watch the sunset and this strange guy came over and said he was going to kill me and then jumped off the tower, so I called 911 and then when I climbed to the bottom of the latter, he knocked me down and started telling me stories until you showed up and then he tried to shoot me before he ran away."
Ri-i-i-ight. They would never catch the skeleton man --I was certain of that. The police would think that I had fired the shots myself, and then threw the gun away as some sort of prank. They had already identified my phone from the call to 911, but they hadn't yet identified me as the caller. After a moment of thought, I took the cell phone from my pocket, quickly wiped it across my pants to remove most of the finger prints and then put it in the pocket of the jacket. I crept away through the fog.