This morning while I was out on the dawn-silent streets of my town I crossed paths with a large and unruly tree branch. It was lying in wait in the street-light dappled shadows on the sidewalk, bristling business end of sticks facing me. I ran straight into its stabbing clutches. Hot pokers of pain shot up and down my legs and abdomen as my feet tangled in the woody tripwires and for one sickening, swaying moment I thought I was going to lose it, to take a tumble to the pavement. Feet fumbling, kicking off the grasping fingers, I reached down and grabbed the offending assaulter and flung it aside onto the grass, shouting, "For fuck's sake!" Rhythm reattained I continued onward, but a reminder of my tangle with the tree in the form of sore spots stayed with me until I arrived home.
For all you low-light runners out there: beware of rogue tree branches.