I wrote the first part of a short story, about a city dweller’s unusual day. It’s the first time I put some fiction on-line. Comments more than welcome, even if you would like to tell me it’s crap. Click more to read the first chapter.

I woke up with a mild headache. The sun was already up and as always I managed to hit snooze on the alarm at least five times before it finally got me so it’s already late. But while I move to the bathroom I don’t think of the hour still having in my head the dream I just woke up from. It was strange, yet I’m already forgetting it as I desperately try to pin down some images to my memory. There was a girl in this dream, she smiled at me, pushing her hair off her face. She had long, black hair – so deeply black that I saw streaks of blue as the sun reflected off her head. Her smile was friendly, warm, nurturing, not demanding anything or trying to force me into something. So unlike all other smiles I knew. We talked but I can’t recall now what she said.

Happy that I saved at least her image from oblivion I keep my mind on it as I go through my standard morning procedure. Twenty minutes later I close the door of my apartment and start to walk towards the bus stop. Soon enough I notice today would be different. Instead of normal folk I see a group of football fans waiting for the bus. They are all big, shaved head types, cans of beer in their hands. They wear their three-colored scarves and silly green T-shirts with their club’s large logo on the front. As I approach the stop they sing a song about their club, their coarse voices badly out of sync.

I’m afraid of them. I’m scared. In fact I’m beginning to panic knowing at the same time they are likely to pick up my fear and it’s going to excite them more. Beating weaklings, especially greatly outnumbered weaklings is their favorite entertainment. I try not to look on them, ignore them, knowing it makes it worse but not wanting them to read the fear from my eyes. I can tame animals by looking into their eyes, but not shaved heads. Animals don’t attack for fun, they do it only if they are afraid, hungry or sick.

As I stand there they stop to sing. I can feel their eyes on my back. I’m quite out of place amongst them on this bus-stop in my suit & tie. The bag with the laptop on my shoulder seems heavier than ever. I’m starting to think it was a big mistake to stick my nose out today, but I had no choice. The silence is unnatural, I feel my skin crawl on my back against my will. Suddenly, the bus stops and the doors open just a feet or two before my face. I jump in.

As the bus moves out I glance through windows at the bus stop. To my relief I see they are still there, sitting on the bench and staring with their expressionless faces at the bus. I look around, but folks in the bus seem pretty normal. No green t-shirts and stupid singing. There is even a free seat on the front. As I sit there I can feel drops of sweat coming down from under my armpits. I take a few deep breaths and pretend everything is ok.

A woman next to me is reading the paper. My eyes catch the headline “Masters’ Cup Final Today!” and bellow in smaller print “Traffic problems and riots expected as thousands of fans descend on the city”. That explains everything. Once again because of not reading local news and not watching TV I’m walking into middle of a disaster. As I congratulate myself on my stupidity I try to recall where the Centennial Stadium is. As the bus moves on from another stop the same stupid song comes from the back – here they are again. I realize too late this line goes exactly to the regions it would be better to avoid now.

I concentrate to figure out another way of getting to the other side of Bay, where my office is and where this green-dressed plague probably won’t get. As the bus collects new groups of shaved heads and starts to fill with the smell of beer and sweat it turns towards the Vincent Park. I realize that on the other end of it there is a metro station, if I could get there I would be able to move to the center and then off to the South. And in the metro it should be safer, as the yellow line doesn’t go the Stadium. I quickly make up my mind and jump out on the next stop, nearly deaf from the singing.

No one else descends, though. Instead another group of fans gets in, waving their scarves and beer cans. As the bus moves out the singing dwarfs even its engine, scarves hang from all windows and the inside is just one mass of green with pale dots of shaved, expressionless faces.

The sun is up now and it’s getting quite hot. I watch with relief as the bus moves away. I turn towards the entrance to the park and realize I jumped from the pan into the fire. Groups of fans come through the park towards me. I realize too late they must had the same idea, just the other way round. They probably come from the station I was hoping to get to. Bad. But it will get worse when they’ll get here. I have to move somewhere, quickly. In a desperate move I enter the park and immediately turn left, away from the main alley. Just as I turn into a small path behind some bushes I can hear the group I’ve seen previously reach the bus stop. I left just in time.

I keep on walking. I want to get as far as possible from the main alley and the shaved heads. Luckily for me they move in groups; loud groups singing or screaming (apparently they can’t talk), some touting horns and generally making lots of noise. This gives me tactical advantage, as I move silently easily avoiding them. Now that I’m in a terrain with plenty of possibilities for maneuver or places to hide should I need to I relax a bit. Gradually, as I work my way through the park, the singing becomes fainter and fainter. Finally I find a quiet place, I slow down and look around. I notice a bench tucked against some thujas and bushes. I look around, making sure no one can’t approach this place without being noticed. It looks safe so I decide to sit down for a while.

I put my bag beside me and gradually relax watching the lake. It’s clean, I can see some small fish swimming under the surface. Over the normal noise of the city I can occasionally hear the horns of the fans but apart from that no trace of them. I stretch on the bench admiring the park. It is mostly flat, so just above the green of trees I can see the skyline of the city and above it just the sky. It is clear, with this particular deep shade of blue that you can find only in the south. Though I can’t see the ocean I can feel its presence. It always amazed me that the presence of an ocean or sea can always be felt through a city, even in places where you can’t see nor even smell it. I felt it when I first came here. I guess that’s why I moved here and called this place my home.

– Excuse me, sir…

I almost jumped up at those words. I turn to see a riot policeman clad in his black uniform and helmet, with a long black truncheon on his belt. His visor is raised, his black face half smiling at me. I can see others spaced evenly moving through the park.

– Sir, you must leave the park now. They are going to prepare it for the mass this evening and…
– A mass?? – I interrupt him, disoriented.
– Yes, sir. The Archbishops would hold a mass here in the park to celebrate the Eucharistic Conference if I remember right. Now sir, if you please…

I think fast now. Police would remove the fans too, now if only I could exit where I planned…

– Can I exit on the other end, officer? I was trying to get to the Vincent Park Station on the yellow line, but with all those fans… you know…

He considers it as one of his colleagues stops to watch us. After a second he decides I’m not a likely terrorist and waves to the other one to move along with the rest.

– Well, sir, I guess we could make an exception for you. You could go with us to the main alley and then go to the eastern exit.
– Thank you, officer.

I get up from the bench and follow him over the grass. We are now a little behind their lines. As far as I can see to the left and right there are black uniforms sweeping through park.

A match and a, how did he call it? Eucharistic conference? All that in one day, in one city and of course in my way. I imagine how much fun those guys would have in the evening, with thousands of faithful here and thousands of fans, by then totally drunk, loose around the Greens. I think with sympathy about their tuff job but I don’t say anything.

To be continued soon.