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Clare twitched the curtains aside a tiny, little way and looked out the window apprehensively. The man was still there, just about out of sight. Not quite though. He would look around, up and down the street then watch her house, staring at the front, looking intently at all the windows and probably the door, and then looking up at the top floor. She had turned off all the lights, the only illumination coming from the various little indicator lights on the appliances, as well as the LCD display on the video recorder.

Clare shivered, and decided she should turn the heater on. She got up from the couch and walked across the room to switch it on, and then went back to the couch, and moved the curtain that little fraction of an inch aside to look out, and got the shock of her life.

He was still on the other side of the street, half behind the tree just out of the pool of light from the street lamp, but he was looking right at her. He had seen the curtain move when she had got up and he had waited patiently for her to come back. He was watching her intently, hunched forwards a little, with untidy messy hair, dirty clothes, and a straggly beard. Clare shuddered and let the curtain drop. She stood up and moved slowly through the house, to the stairs. She knew the way well in the dark, and she was glad of that now.

As she put her foot on the bottom step she heard the howl of a cat -probably the neighbours- and the sound of a rubbish bin hitting the ground. She ran light-footed up the stairs and softly shut her bedroom door, reaching for the phone. She dialled the police quickly, telling them about the creepy man watching her house. They would come right over, thank god.

Clare edged to the window seat and moved the curtain gently. It wasn’t much of a gap, but enough to see that he was on the other side of the street still, looking at the ground floor. She felt better without him looking at her, and she relaxed a little.

He looked up at her. He looked up and held her gaze for a moment, even though there was no way he could see her she could feel their eyes meet, and then he looked along the top of the house again, and then along the ground floor windows. Clare wondered when the police would get here. She glanced at the clock on the nightstand. One minute down. She looked back at the man.

He was gone.

No, he was crossing the road! He was coming to break into her house!

As he stepped onto her lawn she heard a car pull up and voices. The police were there, two cars, one of them covered him with a gun and the other ran up and took him down, cuffing him and leading him away. She heard fragments of his shouting from inside.

"....Go! ....Kill her! ....Stop.... ....She....cut her open!

Clare shuddered. There was a knock at the door, and she went downstairs, expecting and finding a police officer. He said they would take him away, lock him up, and she was okay now. She thanked him and locked the door, going up to bed.

* * *

Detective Johnson stepped into the interview room and regarded the man in the chair. The dishevelled, untidy homeless man they had brought in last night. The crazy one. The one who wouldn’t give them a name. The man looked up at him.

"They got her?"

"Who are ‘they’?"

"I told them, I told them last night. I said they would come for her. They were waiting so long, so long."

Johnson held up the knife in it’s bag. It was old, and looked like some kind of antique. It had markings on it, and the lab said blood, animal blood, but none they could identify.

"What were you going to do with this?"

"Kill them. I was going to save her."

"Save her from what?"

"I told them last night when they brought me here. The ones who wait in the shadows for us to turn out the lights. The ones who can open the locks and slip the bolts."

Johnson nodded. He didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, but he had to keep going.

"How do they do that, exactly?"

"I don’t know. They just open things. The locks and bolts obey them."

"Okay," Johnson sighed. Another one for the nuthouse, no real proof that he had anything to do with it, so that was that. He got up and left the room to write the report.

* * *

Case #: 65656
Date: 7/9/99
Status: Open

Summary: Woman killed at 93 Pembridge Street, stomach sliced open horizontally, left to bleed to death on the floor. Various organs missing (see attached coroner’s report and forensic summary).

Point of entry: Back door; locks opened, but no sign of tampering. Bolt on door also open, though neighbours and friends say the victim locked her doors every night.

Fingerprints: No unusual prints.

Suspects: The only suspect was in police custody at the time (ref. case # 65655). Claimed to be watching the house and waiting for the murderers. Suspect is being held for psychiatric evaluation.

A Story I wrote over a year ago - Added for Everything Quests: Scary Stories. Go read some other people's stories.... IF YOU DARE....


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