The distant sound of footsteps could be heard from the foot of the close, all the way down on Cockburn Street. Passers by, revellers and people of all ages going about their evening business, hustling and bustling, jostling and carrying on with the daily life Auld Reekie brings.
The hustle stopped. The footsteps were gone and all of a sudden an eerie silence had filled Anchor Close. It was then the footsteps could be heard again. Not the same footfall passing up and down Cockburn Street; this, was different. Slow, pounding footsteps each, more laboured than the next. The light mist had formed and was thickening as the haar rolled in and started to engulf Edinburgh.
The footsteps stopped. The fog wasn’t too dense yet and then he emerged. The sound was now fully understood, the limping, pounding footsteps hammering down on the cobbles now explained. HE stood there, looking on, no more than the lantern behind for company, his shadow cast long towards the High Street and St Giles beyond.
He was here. The sickening steps would soon start again and slowly he would limp towards this very spot. In no time, he would be there and there was scarcely a second to draw breath and consider the next move. The mysterious man on Anchor Close had returned. The night air was pierced as he lit a match and slowly put a cigarette in his mouth, putting the matches back in his pocket, making for the High Street. The wait was over…