I think I'm being followed. Or at least, I think I was being followed.
Last Saturday, Claire and I went down to 6th Street to hear some music. We don't do this very often, because we don't get paid that well, but sometimes it's fun to get out. So we wound up in Riley's, listening to some old-fashioned bluesy rock-a-billy courtesy of Michael Holt & the Trophy 500s. We danced a little, drank more than we should have, and eventually staggered back out into the night.
It was pretty crowded, and we weren't moving very fast. Something caught my attention, and I looked behind us just in time to see a fight break out. One side was a fairly big guy: short hair, broad shoulders, overweight in that solid way that bouncers sometimes are. He was fighting with a pair of smaller guys: shorter, more lightly built, with dark hair. The whole scene was odd, and not just because they were fighting out in the open on a sidewalk.
First of all, the smaller guys appeared to be twins. They were the same height, the same build, the same coloration. As far as I could see, they had the same facial features, though it was hard to tell since they mostly had their backs to us. They were even dressed identically, in jeans and white shirts. The outfits made them look old-fashioned and out of place in the 6th Street crowd.
The big guy, though... I'd seen him before. He'd come into the pharmacy once or twice in the past week... and now that I thought about it, I was pretty sure I'd seen him in the pub, too. A little chill went through me at the thought that he might have been following us, and I suddenly wished I was a lot more sober - and let me tell you, that isn't something that happens very often.
The fight was over almost before it began. The big guy got his arms up, but the twins were all over him. He fell like a sack of bricks, and I swear I heard his head hit the pavement even over the 6th Street noise.
Claire had turned with me. Her comment was, "Holy shit."
I swallowed, and found my voice. "I think we should go."
The twins were walking away, and the crowd parted to let them through. They were obviously getting off the street. We hadn't actually managed to turn around and start walking again, so we were basically just watching them leave - along with pretty much everyone else in the vicinity - when one of them glanced back. Just to make my evening complete, the son of a bitch caught my eye, and grinned at me.
I do not need this. I've got plenty of things to worry about: a Catholic priest who may know too much about my business, a girlfriend to fool about my religious practices, and a series of strange and threatening dreams which may very well kill me if nothing else gets to me first. I do not need to worry about whether someone was following me, and why he might have been. I do not need to worry about whether his fight with the twins had anything to do with me. I absolutely do not need this, and if I knew how to make it all stop, I would.
Honestly, is it too much to ask for everybody to just bugger off so I can spend time with my girlfriend and offer the occasional human sacrifice to the dark powers that dwell beyond time and space?
Reflections of a Deranged Cultist is a work of fiction. No souls were devoured in the writing of this post.