The Grey Man

We both saw him.
It was a dark night in Chester, NH, no moon.  Two girls driving to a party on a Saturday night in late October.   We drove along a windy, hilly road surrounded by tall trees. There were no other headlights. Just ours, as we rounded bend after bend, climbed and descended hill after hill – they were all alike, save one.

At the bottom of that one  hill, in which the road curved right, stood a man and his dog. Monochrome, he stood just on the edge of the road, a vision in grey.  His features, the outline of his tired looking overalls and union-suit cut shirt beneath them, his short hair, the stature and markings of his shepherd dog, the stark, sharp lines of his face, were all clearly delineated.  Stark.  And all was a luminous, monochrome grey.

I knew in that instant that we were on his land.
“Did you see that?” I gasped, as Sue veered to miss him.  Obviously, she had.
“Weird,”  was her reply.  “Spooky.”

We drove on, both shaken.  A chill set in the car.

Further along,  perhaps a half a mile or less, the apparition appeared again. This time on the left side of the road; we had a good look at him. His face was angry and forbidding, his overall countenance menacing.  He seemed to be saying “Get off my land.”
“Okay, that’s it,” she said. “I’m going home. I know another road we can take out of here.”
Which we did.
The grey man has remained a fixture in my memory ever since. Few days pass that I don’t remember him, at least momentarily.
My life rounded a corner that day because I understood how imminent those who live between the worlds can be.  How they can touch and affect us.  Stop two girls going to a party.  Change the path we choose to take, or the outcome of our actions.

The dead are always with us, whether we see them or not.

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