On my way to work today, I saw a Roman empress, a sword-less knight, and a helmeted Viking. To say I was amused would understate the fact; I was that, a wry smile on my face as I passed them, but I was more perplexed as to why all of a sudden these three figures had appeared in 21st century suburbia. I walk this same route every Thursday and have never seen such a sight before.
empress was lounging against a metal railing watching the cars speed
by. I still can't decide whether her look was one of languish or of
boredom. I imagine she might have been thinking, 'Not like the
chariots in my day.' But perhaps she was daydreaming or simply
waiting for her posse of hand-maidens to turn up... She didn't seem
in the least bit concerned about being in a strange place, or that
her white shift was picking up dirt from the painted yellow railing.
I continued on my way leaving her in that struck pose with the sun
glinting off the gold braid running though her coiled brown hair.
I crossed over the road at the lights and almost banged into a
sword-less knight. He was horse-less too, but was bouncing along the
path as if there were a great steed beneath him. A young smiling
knight with a dried mud-splashed face and no weaponry, clad in a
light chain-mail, which also covered his head, and long tan boots.
The crest of his company emblazoned on his chest. He looked excited,
as if he was on a lone jaunt somewhere, and not wishing to hold him
up or exchange pleasantries I swiftly stepped aside, and then turned
around to watch his two feet gallop off into the distance.
by these two random events, I picked up my purposeful walk along the
wide, winding footpath, dividing my gaze between the trees on my
right and the steep drop down to the meandering, bubbling brook on my
left. The horizon straight ahead for the time being seemed clear. I'd
just passed the stump of a huge felled oak when I saw a helmeted
Viking striding towards me, loosely swinging a battle axe in this
right hand. I attempted to copy his fearless, brutish gait and
charged forward to meet him, although I'm not entirely sure I was
convincing. He certainly displayed no visible signs of being as
perturbed by my long-limbed appearance... As we drew closer, I
noticed he had the steely eyes of a seasoned warrior, which were
fixed on a spot far beyond me. His concentrated focus creased his
brow and made his battle axe swing in a choppier rhythm. He merely
glanced at me and returned his full energy to tracking his true enemy
who was obviously some weary miles ahead.
this snub, the Viking left the strongest impression, so much so that
I was tempted to give up the idea of going to work, to turn about and
follow him. Perhaps it was his confident, manly strides or the hint
of violence, although I think the axe was actually plastic, or
because his horned helmet was scarily attractive. Helmeted Norse men
were considered to be rich bronze gods and I can well believe that.
He had infused the fresh morning air with courage, strength and power
and I ravenously breathed this in as I walked in its lingering trail.
reaching work I realised no other passers-by had seemed as bemused as
I was. Why was that? Was this, after all, a regular occurrence?
my weird, time-warped story to a trusted colleague as if I was
playing a car game where you have to repeat a shopping list of
fantastical people and then add your own. She brushed my words off
with a nonchalant shrug said, “Is that all? Well, that's unusual as
it's Thursday, but on Tuesdays, you see all sorts.”