The place where I work backs up against a set of train tracks. On the other side of that there is a wilderness area. Deer live in that area. Over time they will browse their way up along the drainage ditches then in among the trees and bushes that line our parking lot. We see groups of three to four fairly regularly. They are rightfully wary of people since the other side of the wilderness area butts up against farmland that people hunt on.
One friday I was the last one in the building. My solitary car sat in the parking lot, equidistant from each one of the light poles meaning I’d managed to park in the one place that left my car in mostly shadow. Mind you the most dangerous thing in the business park I work at is the traffic so I had little to fear while walking out to my car.
However I am a woman alone. Baked into my psyche is all the warnings of dangers of walking in dark places that modern women grow up with. We’ve all seen the stories where the victim is blamed because she was walking alone in the dark or was wearing something provocative or she wasn’t aware of her surroundings and ended up alone with a bunch of men. Thinking about these things is just par for the course if you are a woman. So when I realized that the car was in shadows I grimaced and tried to tell my anxiety to stuff it because I do know the area to be as safe as a clean well run business park in a reasonably middle class area can be.
Walking out to my car though I suddenly had a thrill of fear as I heard something moving around in the bushes directly in front of my car.
“Who’s there!’ I said while yanking my flashlight out of my pocket. It may be small but its bright as shit. Thank you LEDs.
I flicked it on and crazy eyes reflected back at me as the three deer munching on the bush in front of my car all raised their heads to stare in my direction. The reflected light of their eyes and the movement startled me which made me shriek and jerk the light away, freeing them to bolt back into the underbrush.
I am pretty sure we scared each other pretty good so I’m not sure when I will see them again. I took a moment in my car to settle my nerves before driving home.