So, I was on my way to deposit a check at the credit union, and I decided to take a slightly shorter route along a narrow street between two large commercial blocks. Those of you who know how stories like this go will automatically detect the pertinent details I’ve just alluded to — shortcut through an alleyway.

It hasn’t been a particularly eventful day, but my wonderfully sensitive ears pick up a bit of strange noise coming from behind some bushes, alerting me to the presence of a person beyond my field of vision. I start to pick up a bit of his conversation — I can tell it’s a man. Then, I catch a glimpse of something moving above the bush.

Now, my weirdness censor tells me that this is most likely a gardener or someone of the sort talking to another person I haven’t heard yet, or perhaps chatting on a cell phone. Then I overhear something about Germans, trenches, and catching someone in the [something something something – words become indistinct].

When I walked by, I gave him a pretty wide berth (even stepping into the street) and saw him rubbing some leaves on a beer bottle as though preparing a grenade, or a Molotov cocktail. In my mind, I I put the image of the grenade together with some of his muttering that I had overheard. Grenade, okay. I watched out of the corner of my eye.

I think I was about fifty or so feet away when I heard the bottle bounce off the grass near me. I’d just glanced back a moment ago, and I figured I’d been a safe distance. I tried not to show that he’d startled me, and walked a bit faster. When I heard a rock land in the street near me, I walked faster.

Not wanting him to have a reason to give chase, I tried not to show that I noticed, and didn’t run, but by that point I was ready to run if he started after me. I made it to the bank, and once I’d deposited the check, I let the teller know about the crazy guy less than a block from the bank. I was pretty spooked. But otherwise okay.

*whew* At least he wasn’t an evil bum.