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Only Carrying Out Orders by San Cassimally

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  • When I go jogging in the park at dawn everyday, I see a tramp in his sleeping bag under a big oak. He eyes me suspiciously and mumbles to himself. I have read that homeless people often have mental problems. In the beginning I am slightly apprehensive as I draw to his level. I have wondered if I might not be well-advised to change my route. Must not overreact.
    I have checked mental illness on wikipedia and have been shocked to read about instances where schizophrenics carry out orders of their voices to set houses on fire, or even to kill complete strangers. Now every morning as I approach his lair I'm filled with apprehension, and instinctively increase my speed.
    I have decided that I should be ready for all eventualities, so I carry a small sharp kitchen knife in my rucksack next to my water.
    But I can still not shake off this trepidation as I get up and put on my jogging gear. My heartbeats are quite ridiculous. The tramp’s eyes seem full of hateful intent. This morning I woke up in a sweat, feeling his cold blade penetrate my lower back.
    That man is a danger to peace-loving joggers. I have no choice. He is looking at me, I leave the path and make for the oak. I find that I have the knife in my hand. He raises his hands in surrender, but I am undeterred and plunge it in his heart.

    Pic. The Meadows Park, Edinburgh (Arthur's Seat in the background)
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