Things not as they seem.
For three years four times a week, Ryan walked by the fence but never thought twice about it.
Today, however, the gaping hole between the bars caught his attention. It was as if the strong man in the circus came and pulled it apart. Only that was not the real world, but in a circus with a paid strong man.
Ryan knew wrought iron fences because he worked for a company that built and installed them many years before. There was just no way it could be bent that easily. Wrought iron is hardened and tempered to prevent such manipulation. Yet, in the morning light, that’s what appears to have happened.
Kids? Nope. Not strong enough.
Body builder? Still beyond most human strength. Remote possibility.
Mechanical? It damaged only one bar. Something mechanical would’ve pulled two bars apart.
Something hit it? No, that would’ve bulged the bar in or out, not sideways.
Continuing his walk, he rolled the fence mystery around in his head all the way home.
The whole scenario bothered him so much that he got up early the next morning – his non-walking morning – and walked by the fence again, this time stopping and kneeling down to examine the fence further, looking for traces of tampering or hooligans.
He found nothing.
A strong man could’ve done it but the odds of finding such a man in this neighborhood was rare. It had all the evidence of a strong man and yet that theory had flaws.
Just as he was rising, he smacked his elbow against the fence, tickling he funny bone. Typical wrought iron fences would have tickled his funny bone but he barely felt the bump. He looked at his elbow and saw a plastic paint chip. With his knuckle, he rapped the fence twice and walked away disappointed that after so many years he couldn’t tell the difference between a plastic or wrought iron fence.
A small kid could’ve bent the plastic rail.
And a small kid probably did.