I'm pretty freaked out right now. I know 'tis the season for creepy things, but I like mine to stay in the realm of fiction, not my real life.

So here's what happened: every evening I like to go out for a bit of a walk around my village - you know, exercise, digestion, all that good stuff. It's pretty much my favourite part of my day, because I get to just pop my earphones in, listen to music, and enjoy the outdoors. Back before it used to get dark so early I'd do 75-90 minutes easy, but now that it's darker and colder I tend to do about 45-60 minutes, but as briskly as possible to get my heart rate going.

Anyway, because I live in a tiny village, I tend to do the same loop every evening, with lots of doubling back to increase the total distance. Normally, I feel at peace and get home feeling really relaxed and happy, but today I'm a quite creeped out, and also a bit pissed off.

Advertisement

You see, today I was about 15 minutes into my walk, and I noticed that someone was following me. A tall, slim man, wearing jeans and a yellow high-visibility vest with a sweatshirt underneath. Nothing unusual, I see guys wearing that occasionally by the bus stop (I figure they're either going to or coming back from work), and it's such a small village that I always see other people when I'm out. But this guy was definitely following me.

At the furthest point away from my house there is a loop that I walk to turn around onto an adjacent street, so I don't have to completely retrace my steps all the way home. As I turn the corner, this guy is about 50 metres behind me. Walking now back towards my house, I cut across back onto the street I came up on (because there's a house with a really friendly grey cat that lets me stroke it when I walk by).

I look back, and the guy is still following me, having walked exactly the same route as me.

Advertisement

So, a little annoyed but assuming that it's a coincidence, I decide to walk off the road so I don't have to feel like I'm being trailed. I go through a gate into a little field that serves as our village green, because if I cut across it diagonally it brings be back out not far from where I would have walked anyway. It's pitch black, except for the almost-full moon, and the field is a bit squidgy underfoot because of rain. I pick up my walking pace a bit, hoping that I'll finally get some peace and quiet for the remainder of my walk. I get to the other side of the field, about 200 metres, and stop and look back.

This guy is still following me. Further away, but still tracing my footsteps.

So I get moving again, purposefully taking a right turn instead of a left - the road at that point is a long horseshoe about half a mile all the way around, and taking a right brings you all the way around the loop, rather than out onto the adjoining street if you take a left. You would only walk that way if a) your house was on that part of the street, or b) if you were intentionally taking the long way round (like I do, to add a bit of distance to my walk).

The guy is still following me. Still about 50 metres back, definitely following me.

Now thoroughly creeped out, near the end of the horseshoe road I cut through a small park, again pitch dark, taking myself further away from home but also taking a few zig-zag turns that would hopefully get me out of this guy's line of sight. As I turn onto the footpath into the park, I see him still some way back, but definitely watching me.

I come out on the other side of the park, between two houses, and take a sharp left onto the street that leads to home. That street is straight and long, though, so I know if this guy is still following me, he'd be able to see me all the way to my house. So, I take the next left, back onto the main road I was on in the first place, and duck into the little convenience store there to catch my breath.

Advertisement

I remembered that I needed to pick up some milk (seriously), and while I'm waiting to pay, I see a guy in a high-visibility vest and jeans walk past the front of the shop. I pay, linger for a few seconds, and then leave, high-tailing it home. I don't see any sign of the guy again, but I rush through my front door, heart pounding.

So, what the fuck just happened to me? Why was I being followed? Who was this guy in a high-visibility vest? Why the hell did he ruin the best part of my evening by being a creeper? Now I'm going to be reluctant to go for any more walks because of this fucker (and my general paranoia), and I'm going to be on edge for the rest of the night.

Seriously, what the fuck?