I stepped out of the front door, turned the key so the cats couldn’t escape and stepped out on to the pavement down the road when I noticed him.
The white socks gave it away first of all. They skipped steadily ahead of me, leading the way for the shiny patent leather shoes which weren’t too far behind. A skip, a hop and a jump and a quick stock still; then a mini pirouette and they were off up the road again, skipping, skipping, hopping but always skipping.
I put it down to a heavy night on the ale, and dismissed any fancy ideas of early morning lookalikees, second life apparitions or improbable resurrection. I walked on steadily, not looking up from the autumnal gutter of leave slush, Macdonalds wrappers and used condoms.
But in a breathtaking flash, he’d passed on beside me, in the air, throwing his trilby up and striking that victorious pose upon landing. There was no doubting it this time: Michael Jackson was back in the land of the living and he’d come to visit me to tell me everything would be alright.
I shrugged and continued my schlepping to the bus stop. Michael may well have defied death but he hadn’t stopped it raining and he would be unlikely to hold up the bus for me.
Meanwhile his cavorting was becoming a tad irritating. He was now mid- dual carriageway, moon walking for all his worth, white socks gleaming as never before. That little hiccup in the legs, his feet at odd angles, arms akimbo, mad staring look at passers by: he was at his best leaping gracefully from road side to pavement, torso jerkily cavorting in three different directions simultaneously.
There’s no getting away from him I frowned. He’s infectious, that’s what he is as I found myself stepping out in time, joining him in his Thriller routine, grimacing along with the best of the zombies who we’re joining me on their way to work.
There was the usual orderly queue waiting at the bus stop initially but before long, under Michael’s superb direction we were jazz handing like never before, rolling around in the gutter like we were possessed and on his command all leapt up fifteen feet into the air, tearing our clothes from our sodden bodies, blood streaming off our faces but dancing in cahoots with Michael as if our lives depended on it.
He disappeared as he quickly as he had appeared, no more white socks or shiny shoes to be seen anywhere. We all blinked in the sun that suddenly shone out from behind the clouds, looked at each other, disbelievingly. No one at work would believe us either but that didn’t matter. Michael was back in town.