So, at one point this past weekend I went for a long walk, at night, and wound up in playground. I'd chosen it as a destination because the last time we brought the boys here, there was a teenager up in the tower, texting to his friends about how terrible and unfair his parents were. (I'm guessing.) It seemed like a good place to come for some privacy. So I'm sitting in the tower of the play equipment, sipping from my flask ("It's dangerous to go alone. Take this.") and trying to decide if I'm ready to make the long walk back.
While I'm sitting there, a car pulls into the parking lot, finds a space, and parks. There's a certain amount of moving around inside, along with people using their iPhones as flashlights. I'm too far away to make out any details, and anyway I don't much care what's going on.
Then, about twenty minutes later, I hear a door open. Two figures emerge: a girl and a boy. The girl is slim, attractive, in a black t-shirt and shorts; the guy is taller, probably twice my size, and wearing a white shirt and... maybe jean shorts? It's dark. I'm not sure. But they come over to the play equipment, and take the stairs up (just as I did). Whatever they're doing -- and I have a pretty good guess -- I'm hoping they'll stay in some other area and not notice me.
But, no. They start across the bridge, towards the tower. It only has three levels; I'm sitting in the top, and the bridge connects to the middle, where you can circle around to a ladder to get to my area. I have no desire to have them discover me and freak out, so... as the girl reaches the end of the bridge and is about to duck into the tower... I say, dryly, "If I yell 'boo', will you scream?"
There isn't even a pause. They don't stop to consult, or ask questions, or anything. They just flee.
I've never seen people leave play equipment so fast. I don't think their feet touched the ground three times between the playground and their car. No letting the girl go first while the guy stays behind to defend her, just two people leaving a playground at a full sprint.
There's a brief blink of lights as someone unlocks the car, and I'm pretty sure they were cursing the fact that they didn't do it before they got to the vehicle. Then the car starts up and heads right back out of the parking lot. I take another sip from my flask.
I may be forty-two years old, but by the dark and forgotten gods, I've still got it.
Honestly, I don't know why they were scared. I mean, it wasn't like I said, "Don't be afraid. It's just a body." That would have been disturbing. "Two more souls to the call..." would have been scary. Me, I was just asking a perfectly innocent question...