You Should Have Seen Them Run
You should have seen them run.
People who probably — from the looks of things as they formed a low-level and slow-moving stampede down the street, heading west, trying to get as inland as they could, because it was coming from the bay, or at least somewhere around there, in that moment nobody knew the origination point — hadn’t done it, the running, much or at all for the past few years at the very least. There were exceptions, but for the most part the gaits were not straight and the breathing was more labored than one would hope, even if you included the way near-crippling fear messes with your general inhale, exhale cadence.
These were the kind of folks (you just don’t call habitual half-marathoners “folks,” do you?) who seemed like the type to quip that they only ran if something was chasing them. But it’s not really necessarily like they were being chased, though it’s one of those things that would depend on how you look at it, just like most things.
Nobody we knew could even say if this thing, this entity, was malevolent in any way. There had been nothing immediate — no super-prompt effect, widespread or concentrated, that we’d heard of.
Could’ve been nothing. Could’ve been something that changed everything. Who could tell which would be worse?
It was just one of those instances, I guess, where when you don’t understand something then your instincts tell you it’s best to be afraid. And if you can stand a chance of getting away, you should at least give it the old college try — keep trying to escape, biding your time until it caught up to you and did what it wanted or had to do, whatever that might be.
Best case scenario, this was no big deal and the masses in the area at the time of appearance will ultimately have just ended up getting in a few extra steps with a little touch of tachycardia — that it’d be something people laughed about at a bar someday, a random harmless phenomenon of nature or human error and not, like, the alternative.
How often does the best case scenario win out, though?
To me it was the waiting and not knowing, but worrying about the worst while standing by and trying without even remote success to do idle things to keep my mind off it — this thing and what it may or may not be, may or may not do.
In those situations my inclination was generally that something very bad was about to go on, and, like me, most of you also knew what it’s like to be disappointingly correct.
It has happened to too many of us too many times, even against the odds. And once you’re right one time, you always worry it could happen again.
Either way, many of us could stand to get into better shape, come what may.
If, of course, we still have the chance.