Chapter 3:

[THUNDER STRIKE] DAY 0 – STRANGE MAN

Inescapable Consequence Series


I was riding my bicycle. Suddenly, heavy rain poured down from the sky. Luckily, there was an abandoned bus stop’s shelter about few steps away. When I went near to the shelter, I saw a man, who were sitting on the bench. By his outlook, he was in his forty and I could tell he was not from the neighborhood. He dressed up elegantly with a dark red tailored suit. Hence, I was kind of scared. It was because I never saw him in the neighborhood. But I have entered the shelter, before my dress got soaked wet.


I parked my bicycle outside the shelter. Then, I sat down on the same bench with this strange man. Although, there was a least a foot away from both of us. But I was still worried if something bad which could have happened to me. I took a quick glance at this strange man. He was reading a map. Was he lost? I didn’t know, and maybe he was a tourist? For the worst case, he maybe a ghost, which haunted our countryside from generations. Suddenly, this strange man started talking to me.


“Hello, little girl.”


“Hi… sir…”


“Please don't be afraid. I’m a tourist and I’m lost. Could you tell me will this bus bring me to Town of Kensington?”


“Sorry sir. This bus route had already been out of service since last winter.”


“Ah, damn. So, I’m totally lost now.”


“Sir, are you trying to go to Town of Kensington?”


“Yes, little girl. Are you living around in this countryside?”


“Umm…”


“Don’t worry. I just want to ask would you mind to point me to the right direction please?”

This strange man gave me his map. So, I took a look, and tried to find the location for him. But this was not right. I meant this map was old, very old. It was an antique. Meanwhile, I felt a chill which came from my back to my brain. I was scared. A ghost? Or as same as those horror movies, was he an evil twisted mind person who seeking young girl for the sacrifice.


That heavy rain never stopped. Suddenly, a lightning had strike through the tree in front of the shelter. That tree busted into fire for a moment. But that heavy rain had extinguished that fire immediately. Meanwhile, I noticed back then. I was screaming and crying for help.


“Ah… Eh… Umm… Help!”


“Oh, are you afraid of…”


“No! No! No!”


“Okay, little girl. Please stay calm. Although, this weather is bad. But I think you want me to get up and stand outside, am I right?”


“Umm…”


“No problem at all. I won’t get wet. My clothing is waterproof. Haha… But would you mind helping me to find the way to Town of Kensington please? Appreciate your help.”


This strange man stood up and walked away from the bench. He was standing outside the shelter as his promise. However, I was not being able to locate Town of Kensington from this map that he had gave me a moment ago.


Half an hour had passed, and it was still raining heavily. I still could not find the location on his map. Then, this strange man turned around and said.


“Little girl, no luck at all?”


“Sorry sir, I don’t know how to read your map.”


“Oh, I know it is kind of old. But…”


“Sir, do I have to use your map?”


“Oh, about that part. You don’t have to. Here… You can use this.”


This strange man took out his smartphone and handed it over to me. I was surprised and angry. Since he got a smartphone, then he could just use GPS function and found out where was Town of Kensington.


“My apology, little girl. Actually, I’m a technophobe. I don’t like to use my smartphone. But my staffs always force me to use it and send messages to them. I’m very old school kind of guy.”


This strange man very odd because his smartphone was turned off. And I needed to turned on his smartphone before using its GPS location function.


“Oh… Let me see… Here you are… And here is Town of Kensington.”


“Little girl, can I ask you to do a favor for me. Since, I have no sense of direction. Could you bring me there please?”


I was pondering for a moment. I was worry a little bit earlier. However, if this strange man was telling the truth. Then, it was impossible for him to travel on his own and reached Town of Kensington by nightfall. Although, I was also go into the town. But by travelling with him was another story. However, if I just left him alone in here. Probably, he was not being able to go anywhere else.


“Sir, if the weather allows us, then I think you could travel with me.”


“Very good. I will pay you as my local guide once we reached Town of Kensington.”


“Appreciated. But since I was planning to go into the town in this afternoon, it is not necessary to do so.”


“I see. You are very honest and kind.”


“Unfortunately, the rain still hasn’t stop. We might stay in here for a while until it stopped.”


“Oh, no need to worry. Let’s go.”


“Umm…”


“You see. My clothing is waterproof. We can travel in this weather.”


“Sorry sir. But I will get soaked by the rain.”


“Oh, my apology. But still don’t worry. You can just walk beside me and you will be fine. I guarantee not a single drop of rain could harm you.”


“Huh? Raindrops could harm me? Sir, your talks are funny.”


“I forgot to introduce myself. My friends usually called me - Mr. Hermit.”


“Mr. Hermit, and I’m Aoi.”


“Nice to meet you, Lady Aoi.”


“Hehe… Lady Aoi, it sounds pretty though.”


“Lady Aoi, shall we start going?”


“Sure, Mr. Hermit.”


Then both of us started walking towards to the main road, which led to Town of Kensington. Strangely, Mr. Hermit was right. My dress did not get wet by the raindrops. I felt like that was a force field around us, when we were walking side by side. Mr. Hermit did not say much in the journey. The surroundings were so quiet and kind of relaxing. At this moment, I felt like I was taking a walk with my dad.


After one hour and a half, we finally arrived at the first crossroad of Town of Kensington.