A Short Story by Joanna Domagalski from Winnipeg, Manitoba!
“I walk alone, you see. Not in any philosophical sense, I mean literally alone, just me, by myself and for myself, with no one else. I tend to let my imagination run wild, especially at nighttime, when suddenly even the most common places and familiar surroundings can seem sinister. At least they do to me. This is my story. I call it The Night Walker.
The February night air is electric. A charge of nervous energy races through my body as I tread the dark streets of residential Winnipeg. Street lamps flicker, and soft lights shine through windows, revealing glimpses of families going about the business of everyday life. My breath hangs in the cool night air, and I wish that spring would hurry up and arrive as I turn up the collar of my trench coat against the gusting winds. I eventually move off of the sidewalk and onto a path less travelled. For a while, it is only me, and I enjoy the solitude.
My pace quickens to match my pounding heart as I hear footfalls behind me. From the shadows, a solo runner approaches me, then stops, an imposing figure looming there. The hairs on the back of my neck tingle, and my body tenses. It prepares for a fight or flight response. An arm reaches out towards me, a black-gloved hand holding something reaches out to me, and I suddenly feel fear.
At that same moment, I hear a voice ask if I dropped something. I look closer, and I now see that the object is the belt from my trench coat, which apparently had come untied and slipped off a little ways back. I feel instant relief as I thanked the kind stranger.
They don’t call this place Friendly Manitoba for nothing!
The stranger and I exchange a few pleasantries, then head our separate ways.
I arrived safely home shortly thereafter, with 5 km complete. My name is Joanna D, and I walk alone …