At first you think the mist is beautiful. It reminds you of walking on some fog-shrouded moor on a family holiday, back when you were — what? Eight? Ten? Thirteen even but then you begin to feel uneasy. Maybe it’s because you’re tired. That’s probably it — you’re just tired and your brain is being all paranoid and jumpy because of it. Two hours sleep is not enough.
But then you see the birds. And you’re afraid but why? They’re just birds. What if one shits on your head? God that would be horrible and they are swooping right over you. Almost exactly, like they’re planning it and there are so many. Swooping right over your head, cawing away. One shat right on Fred’s car just as he was leaving the car wash the other day — like it had been waiting — holding it in even. Bastard things.
Are they following you? There’s always so many flying about above you. The same ones? It doesn’t matter how far you walk. They’re always there above you. At any moment one of them could drop a well-timed poo right on your head. You only washed your hair last night, as well. But if they’re following you…
You remember that gull picking at the corpse of the pidgeon that got run over by a bus right in front of you. As soon as the bus had driven off the gull was there, gulping down the road-kill. It flew off with a long, dangling intestine in its beak and ate it on a near-by roof-top. The fourteen year old you, waiting for the next bus, had seen the whole thing. So if they eat other birds…
You stare up, throwing your gaze this way and that. Your heart is leaping in your throat, like a frog in boiling water. You can’t help thinking about The Birds. It’s not scary, not when you watch it, why should you be scared by it now? But what if? What if?
You step into the road then stare up at them again. Got to keep an eye on them. You know you’re being paranoid but that doesn’t stop your neck tingling with sweat. A bright light in your head. Crunching and cracking in your ears. Pain shoots through your veins, your bones. You can’t breathe.
The car veers off in a panic. It is soon gone, swallowed whole by the mist. A gull flaps down and begins to pick at the corpse, gulping down the road-kill.