A man with a salt and pepper beard and a black backpack walked on a country road at a moderate pace looking neither to his left or right as if his goal was getting more realistic by the minute.
He was a bit overdresses in a light sport shirt and jeans to be seriously hiking the young teenage girl noticed glad that she was safely behind her window and the screened door locked separating the two of them. She was home alone and a bit tentative. She continued stirring the peanut butter cookie dough with a wooden spoon in the chipped red Fiesta bowl and simultaneously texted her friend on the main road curious if she had seen the man with the black backpack, too.
He was not one of the regulars in the area out for exercise like the older thin woman in the corner house who always wears a cap and black sunglasses in the summer no matter what the hour, or the couple in matching tan safari vests who walk their two Huskies after the dinner hour. The reply came soon enough from her friend, and yes, she had watched the man get out of a blue car along the side of the highway and wave to the driver before setting off.
There had been so many prison escapees and missing male persons lately that her mother had reminded her to be more cautious and use her head at all times. As she went to the far window in the living room to see his progress, the man trekked out of sight down a gradual slope blending into the landscape and obscured by the piercing rays late afternoon sun.
He turned on another road with the eyes of the entire area following his steps one house at a time. You can’t get away with much these days.