Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Guns, the Solution or the Problem?

My husband occasionally hunted and had guns in our home. I was scared of guns because I had never been taught much about them. Through the years, anytime that my husband was going to be gone overnight he would pull out a handgun and show me what to do in case I needed it for protection. I hoped that he would just hurry up and put it away, I WAS NEVER GOING TO NEED IT.As our children became teenagers, I asked my husband to place gunlocks on all of his guns. You know, with all the horror stories you hear about kids and guns. We had several arguments about the gunlocks but I finally won. The only time that the gunlocks would be off was if he was going to be gone overnight. I agreed to that.On August 2nd, 1997, my son Justin was supposed to be home at 12:00 A.M. At about 11:30, I called his phone to make sure he would be home on time because I was ready to go to bed. He was at a friend's home playing videogames and asked to stay out until 1:00 A.M. I agreed, but told him he must be home by 1:00, no later. At 12:40 A.M. I heard the doorknob jiggle.

I got up and started towards the door, thinking it was Justin. I had looked at the clock because I thought, wow he's home early. I stopped before I got to the door because I did not hear him set his alarm on his car. I heard a loud noise. My door was kicked in. I heard someone scream, "Get down Ma'am" or "Lay down Ma'am." I was so scared that all I could think was to get to the bedroom where my husband Mike was sleeping. I ran, screaming for my husband.I made it to the bedroom and tried to close and hold the door to keep the intruders out. It never closed all the way but enough so that they could not come through it. I was screaming as my husband ran over and the door broke in half over my body. I do not remember if they shot through the door before it broke or if they shot after it broke. But I know that I took a 9MM bullet to the chest. We still do not know if Mike was shot once at this time because he does not remember. Mike began pushing them out of the bedroom and I guess he was trying to push them out of our home. They were hitting him and fighting him because he was fighting for his life. I called 911 and told them our address and that we were being shot. I hung up the phone.

I could still hear them fighting in the living room. I thought about the gun that was within my reach. Thankfully the gunlock was not on the gun, since Mike had been gone overnight the night before. I grabbed the gun and did what Mike had always showed me. I cocked it and I took the safety off. I thought, if I run out and shoot, I will shoot Mike. Then I thought, if I run out and shoot over their heads, they will run and everything will be okay. I ran out and shot two bullets. They didn't run away. One of the intruders ran after me, as I ran to the bedroom for cover. I turned to fire at him, but he did not follow me into the room. I waited a few seconds to see what he was going to do. I peeked out the bedroom door and I could see his arm and the gun but he could not see me. He was waiting to shoot me again when I ran out.

What he did not know was that I could slide against the wall, run through the dining room and back into the living room. This put his back to me. I opened fire with the gun that I did not think I would ever need. I turned to look at the intruder who was still fighting with my husband, and to my horror, he placed the gun against the side of my husband and fired. I tried to fire my gun but I was out of bullets. As I turned to run, he started firing at me, and one of the many shots he fired, hit me in my chest again. I made it to safety in the bedroom. I didn't hear anything for a moment and thought that maybe they finally left. All of the sudden I heard one of them scream at my husband, "Where are the f------- keys to the truck?" Mike answered, "In the bedroom, on the gun cabinet, in my hat." At least Mike was alive. But now the intruder was heading back to the room that I was in. He paused at the door of the dark room and screamed, "Where are you?" I was about six feet in front of him but he could not see me. I did not say anything, hoping he would leave. He put the light on and stuck a shotgun to my temple. He screamed, "Where are the f------- keys to the truck?"

As I was trying to get the keys he screamed, "Have you called 911?" I lied and said no, hoping he would leave and the police would catch him outside. Where were the police? It took 14 minutes for the police to arrive. I am not holding this against the police; just pointing out that it only takes seconds to be shot and it takes minutes for the police to arrive. It is over before they can help you. The intruders were already gone. The one that I shot made it to my yard and died from the two gunshot wounds that I inflicted from the gun that I did not like, but used to save my life and the life of my husband. His friend ran over him with our truck when he was trying to leave. We are not sure if this was an accident or if he ran over him to make sure he could not talk to the police. I won't go into the horror after the shooting of a month in the hospital, lung surgery, scars that will never go away, the death threats, the trial, the nightmares, and the fact that I had to take a human life. But I will tell you that if you read this story and still choose not to take action to protect your own life then you should not expect anyone else to take action to protect your life either.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Empty Apartment Noises

I live above an eye doctors office, and including mine, there are only three apartments total. My apartment is on one end, my neighbor Michelle's apartment is on the other end, and there is an empty apartment in the middle. I don't know what it is, but people in that middle apartment don't seem to stay long.

The middle apartment has been empty for months, and I really like it. Michelle, my neighbor at one end, and I have an entire apartment between us, and no matter how loud we are we can't hear each other. It is peaceful, because we mainly keep to ourselves, but are friendly when we run into each other in the hall or doing laundry.

It does get creepy sometimes though. I don't live in the best part of my town, near a small bar that runs a lot of drugs, and a liquor store, and some run down multi-family apartment houses. There is the occasional broken window, or fight, or drunk person causing problems.

Another problem is that the downstairs entry door is broken. The door closes, and the door is locked, but a decent tug on the handle and the door opens right up. Both myself and my neighbor notified the landlord, but he is slow to fix things.

Last night I fell asleep fairly early for me, probably around 10:30 or 11:00. However, something wakes up not long after I'd fallen asleep. I sit up in my bed, and try to figure out what woke me. Then I hear it. Voices from the middle apartment. I check my clock and see that it is 12:45am. I immediately think that someone has broken into the apartment. I groggily grab the baseball bat beside my bed, and get up. I listen...

My apartment is also right by a bus stop, and at this time of year there is often an unfortunate homeless individual hanging out there late at night, because the covered benches has heaters in them. So, I'm thinking that maybe a homeless person broke in to the apartment to stay someplace warm... I don't know how well my logic holds, but I was asleep and I'm' groggy.

I listen some more, and hear hushed talking, and then I hear the noise of people sliding the closes doors open and then close. Then I hear the bathroom faucet turn on. The noise is familiar because my closet doors are the same. As I wake up more, I realize that if the water is on it means that it has been turned on, because surely the water was turned off while the apartment was empty. If the water had been turned on then it means that there must be new renters.

I breathe a sigh of relief and realize that the apartment must be rented, and my landlord didn't tell me. I called him the next day, and it turns out I'm right. Now I just hope they aren't creepers.

Probably Nothing

One night when I was 16 (I'm 38 now), my friend and I were in my living room watching movies. My mom was divorced at the time and she was asleep in the bedroom. We heard some noises outside and so my friend and I looked out of the window and saw my neighbor walking down the street. This woman was about 30, and lived at home with her parents. She was single, sort of big and this particular night, she was as drunk as could be. Staggering through the street, she barely made it to her house, which was right across from my house.

We were watching out of a big picture window and began to feel like we might be seen so we shut the light off and lowered the blindes. They were horizontal blinds so that allowed us to "peak" through. Just as we were about to go back to our movie, we saw someone else walking down the street, from the same direction as my neighbor. It was a man dressed in jeans and a jacket. He didn't appear drunk, and he walked with a purpose. Almost as if he were trying to catch up with my neighbor. Eventually he made it to her house and from where he was down the street, he would have been able to see her walk up to her door.

It was late, around 11pm but the street was brightly lit due to street lights. We watched, ready to call the police because after he jerked the door knob trying to get in, or at least open the door, he began checking windows and even went around the back of the house where he was out of our view. We got really nervous thinking maybe we should wake my mom. Before we could decide, the guy came back out of the back of my neighobrs yard, and headed without hesitation toward MY house! He walked straight to where we were as if he knew we were behind those blinds watching him. CREEPY! He came right up to the bushes in front of the window and STOPPED. He just stared straight at the window.

I nearly wet my pants. We both ran to the back of the house to get my mom and by the time she got up and came in there, he was gone and she assumed we imagined the whole thing--being "silly" teenagers. So we went to the bedroom with my mom trying to convince her it was REAL, there he was---right outside the bedroom window. We all screamed and my mom callled the police. It was probably nothing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Suicidal in Sweden

{Thanks for Marcus for sharing his story. Though, we're still taking scary dream stories, Marcus's tale is a true event, and not a dream. - AANSS Staff.}

It's currently December, and as I live in Sweden the month is almost always one with plenty of snow and cold. Seeing it reminds me of something that happened to me around 2001, in December, when I was eleven years old.
Back then, my family used to live in a house in a pretty calm and typically suburban neighbourhood. This particular evening, I remember the snow was falling down hard and, being winter, it had already turned dark. My parents had gone out for the evening, leaving me and a friend of mine alone in the house, but seeing as this had always been a calm area, it wasn't a big deal (I was pretty used to being home alone).

Anyway, our house had a pretty big basement, and one of the rooms down there had been converted into a living room where most of the entertainment could be found. I remember that me and my friend where sitting down there playing video games, when suddenly I heard a noise. It wasn't like some big crash or anything, just a faint murmuring. Thinking nothing of it, we proceeded with what we were doing until – there it was again, louder. This time, it kept going, so I got up to track it down, only to come to the conclusion that it must've come from upstairs. In fact, the more I listened, the more I realized that it sounded just like a voice. Male, from someone in their 30's or so. And it wasn't a friendly voice either. He sounded angry. At this point, my friend could hear it too, and the first rational thought that struck us was – someone's broken into the house.

Our thought was more or less confirmed a moment later when we started to make out words. I can't quite recall what was said, but I do remember that it struck me as strange and almost incoherent, as if he possibly had some mental disorder. I remember that me and my friend both went completely silent after that. We both stood there, staring intently at the stairway leading upstairs, waiting for someone to burst down the stairs at any moment. I remember that in the span of the twenty minutes or so we stood there, it felt like an eternity. Eventually, it had been quiet from upstairs for a while and we were starting to get the impression it was safe. The basement of our house had windows near the top of the ceiling (since it wasn't completely ”submerged” underground, in lack of a better way to explain it), so we could use those as a way to look outside to the street. What we saw were flashes of blue and red, and we instantly realized that someone had called the police.


Upon entering the street, we were greeted with an eerie sight – the snow-covered ground had small droplets of blood in it, trailing along the street going by our house, ending in a small red puddle. We were greeted by another kid I knew who lived further down the street, and he told us about what had happened. Apparently, this man (unknown if he had a mental condition) had appeared on our street, wielding a knife with which he had previously cut his wrists (not fatally, but enough to cause him to bleed heavily). He had tried to enter some of my neighbours' homes and even asked one of them if he could borrow some rope (strange, but my best guess is he was suicidal and perhaps wanted to attempt a hanging?). Someone had called the police and he had been arrested right there in the street, but not before literally covering it in his own blood. Anyway, he probably didn't pose much of a threat to others but I know the experience scared the hell out of me. There's also the little fact that – I still don't know if he was actually in our house or not.


Have a good one!

/Marcus

Monday, December 13, 2010

Man with no Face


My scariest dream, that I remember, started out innocently enough. I was walking along a cobble stone street, like the kind you imagine when thinking about old Italian towns. The street was very narrow, more of an alley then a street. Building flanked either side of the alley, and stretched far into the distance. There were no doors on the buildings fronting the alley, just stucco walls. As I'm walking along this path, which is very straight and very long, I feel something moving toward me from behind. I turn and there is a man with no face. He is dressed in a dashing black suit, and hat. He radiates menace.


In the dream I am terribly frightened. His lack of face is kind of sucking my mind in. I can't stop thinking about where his eyes and ears, and mouth should be. I'm so occupied thinking about his missing face that I don't notice him moving closer to me. The next thing I know, he's standing right on top of me. What is really odd is that I can feel his warm breath against me, even though he has no mouth or nose. It stinks, and I turn to run. He grabs my shoulder and spins me around to face him. His face is inches from mine, and somehow makes a horrendous muttered scream, part furry and part frustration. He grabs me and shakes me.


Then I wake up.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Burglar Beatdown

I don't live in the best area of my town. In fact I probably live in one of the worst areas of my town. I've been witness to countless drug deals, a gang related shooting, and several homes on my block have been broken in to. Why do I live here? It's all I can afford and it's home.

My security system is non existent, but I have done what I can. My windows are nailed shut, and I have multiple locks on the front and back doors. Many homes on my street have bars on the window, but mine does not. This was a problem.

I'm a heavy sleeper. I mean a heavy sleeper. The world could end, and I'd sleep right through it. I slept through a shooting that happened just two houses down from my place, if that gives you a better idea of how heavy a sleeper I am. Being such a heavy sleeper, coupled with living where I do, I lock my bedroom door at night. It even has a deadbolt on it. I made a decision that I don't want to be murdered in my sleep. I'd like the opportunity to fight back.

One evening I'm listening to some music, a new CD I got by The Black Keys, which was very good btw if you're interested in music, I highly recommend it. They're better than any Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift or any other pop icon of these days. But, I digress...

It's getting late and I have to work the next day, so I grab my CD player, yes I still have a Walkman, and head off to bed. As I'm falling asleep I awake for seemingly no reason. I realize I've fallen asleep with the headphone still on, so I take them off. No sooner did I remove the headphones than I hear glass shatter. Some fuck has broken my window. I grab the baseball bat next to my bed, and unlock my bedroom door, move my way out into the living room, where it seemed the shattering noise came from. Sliding through my window is some guy, looking like a snake wiggling his way in. He suddenly grunts in pain, and I realize he's cut himself on some of the window glass. Serves him fucking right.

Before he can stand, and before I even realize it, I'm after this guy. I'm just going off on him with my baseball bat. He's trying to fight back, but he's got no chance. I give him one more good crack in the head and he's out. For a moment, I petrified that I killed him. Immediately I think of retribution from his family or friends, and how much trouble I'd be in. Luckily, I see that he is breathing.

I run to the kitchen, grab my cellphone off the charger, and then call the cops. As I'm talking to dispatch I hear the guy stirring. I walk out into the living room and see the man pull out a gun. Apparently I hadn't knocked him too unconscious. I still had the bat in my free hand, so I drop the phone, and knock the gun out of the still woozy criminal's hand. I beat on him more, until again he's out. I pick up the phone and explain what is happening. The cops arrive just shortly after the criminal had regained consciousness for a second time, but this time he was too beat up to do anything, and he saw that I had his gun. Cops came and the next few steps in the story are boring, so I'll skip to the end.

Winds up the guy, of course, is affiliated with some bad people, and while he's in jail they're coming after me, their words. Cops are little help, so there wasn't much else I could do. I sold my house, which was bought unusually fast, and got the hell out of dodge. Sadly, moving wasn't enough. At work one afternoon, I went outside for a smoke break, and found my car tires slashed, and a Ken Doll (like Ken and Barbie) headless underneath my windshield wiper. Personally, I'd like to gun up and shoot all the fucks that made my old neighborhood a bad place to live, but I have an intense desire NOT to go to prison. So, that very night I started my job search, and moved from MA to MI, back to the same town as my parents.

It's a shame that criminals can run a decent person's life. Within the law, we are powerless. It might be time that someone steps outside the law. It's Batman time. =)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Safety Tips for Women




The man's hands were on my throat, and I remember thinking that a parking garage was a lonely place to die. The story had all the stereotypical horror movie elements except that it was real. A chilly October thunderstorm, and an empty parking garage set the scene. I was the blond and pretty actress, and he was the masked (well hooded at least) madman. And in typical horror movie fashion I, the leading lady, escaped.

I'd been working in a large law office in Chicago for only three months before this story took place, but I remember being creeped out from day once by the parking garage. First, because I'm a lowly paralegal I do a lot of grunt work that is tedious but essential to cases. This means that I have to meet deadlines, which in turn means that I often work late. Secondly, I knew from the start that the parking garage was going to be trouble.


One October day, 2010, I was working on a case, and the lead lawyer handed me an avalanche of work to do, of course, as he was walking out the door at 5 pm. This last minute assignment which would mean a late evening for me was no longer a slap in the face or even unexpected. The lawyer was an asshole, and I had quickly come to understand this. This evening was just like many others. I watched as one my one my fellow employees left for the day, first the high priced lawyers, then slowly the secretary's and then finally the lowly paralegals, my colleagues and peers. Then, it was me and the night time janitorial staff working away into the early morning hours. About 12:30 am, I had finished enough of my assignment to be able to finish it in the morning hours before the dick lawyer arrived. I decided to go home.


The offices in which I work are not in a bad part of town, but Chicago is a large city and evil people are not limited by imaginary boundary lines demarcating good and bad parts of town. There were stories of other people, almost always women, harassed in the parking garage by vagrants, thugs, and crazies. I dreaded the walk to the parking garage, and often times asked building security to walk me to my car. However, this evening I just wanted to go home. I didn't want to take time it took to get a security officer, whom often times are just as creepy as people you'd meet in the garage, to walk me to my car.

In the parking garage, (safety tip #1 I always try to park near an entrance), deciding the less time I spend walking through the garage the better. This evening, however, there were a lot of early arriver's, and most of the best parking spots were taken. One thing I should mention is that after 5pm the parking garage is electronically operated and thus there is no security, though the building security does do a once an hour (I assume) sweep of the garage.


Running through the rain, I arrived at the garage soaking wet, and pretty chilled. I entered the garage and took the stairs (safety tip #2: never use the elevator.) Climbing up to the third floor I noticed that the first two levels were empty of cars. Reaching the third floor, the one on which my car was parked, I walked out of the stairwell but stopped dead almost immediately. Parked next to my car, but on the far side, was another car. I couldn't see much of it, but enough to know that I didn't recognize it. Of course not recognizing the car doesn't mean much. There are simply too many people that come and go to my office to recognize all the cars. I remember letting go a stream of silent swears before putting on my big girl panties and proceeding to my car.



As I got closer I noticed that there was a person in the other car, and to make matters worse he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, so I couldn't even get a look at him. I decided that my car was closer to me then his car, so I'd go for it. As I got closer the man turned and looked at me. He had a gray scruff of beard, and small eyes. I don't know if it was a conscious decision or not, but the next thing I know I'm running at my car. I remember seeing the shock on the man's face when I began my dash toward the car -- the surprise then the furry.


As quickly as I began my sprint to my car, the man exited his, and moved around the back of my car. I got to my door, (safety tip #3 with keys in hand) but the man was able to grab me before I could open my door. He spun me around to face him, and I could feel his hot breath on my face as his hands grew tight on my throat. Instinctively, I grew up with a couple of mean older brothers, (safety tip #4 I kneed the man in the groin.) He didn't fall like you see in the movies or American funniest home videos clips, but he did let go of me. I opened my car door and locked it, put the key in the ignition, put it in reverse and I tried to run him over as I backed out. I tried to run him over again as I drove away, but both times I missed him. I raced out of the parking garage, checking my rear view mirror like a man woman. I stopped at the gate, which is funny looking back on it, and fed my card into the reader. Why I didn't just blow through it I don't know. The gate opened, and with one last look in my rear view mirror I took off.

I live in the suburbs of Chicago, and took a winding path home. I didn't see the man's car once on my way, but felt better to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately it wasn't until I was about halfway home that I thought to call the police. I was just so distracted, and scared that my thoughts weren't right. Of course I never heard anything from the police after filling out my incident report.


I still work at the same company in the same building, and park in the same garage, but now I never, ever, ever walk to my car alone. I always either, (safety tip#5 walk with friend or use security.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

When a Stranger Cries

I like to think of myself as a good person. I hold doors for people, donate a few bucks to charity every once in a while, and buy copious amounts of girlscout cookies. I feel good about myself, and I like being able to help others. Sometimes, however, I think maybe being a good person isn't worth all the hassle.

One summer, I think two years ago now, I was coming home from my girlfriend's house very early one morning, probably around 2:00, and I notice my gas light comes on. My gf lives a good 45 mins away from my apartment, so I have no choice, I need to stop for gas.

The only 24hour station along my route home is a seedy joint, that a lot of weirdos hang out at in the early morning weekend hours. But, I'm riding high after seeing my gf, so I don't sweat it. I pull into the station, and am greatful to notice it is pretty deserted, no oddballs hanging around the payphone calling their drug dearlers, no thugs just looking for trouble, nary a soul.

I pull to the pump and start to fill it up. As I'm pumping a red pickup squeals into the parking lot, comes to a rolling stop, and out flops a woman. She's hardly out the door before the pickup takes off like a rocket back the way it came.

The woman, girl really, she couldn't have been over 21, staggers toward the payphone. Right then the pump stops, tank is full, and I walk inside to pay my bill. When I come back out the girl is now sitting on the curb of the parking lot crying her drunken eyes out. She's wearing a shorty skirt, and high heels, and I that stupid instinct in me starts nagging. The little angle on my shoulder tells me, "It is pretty dangerous for her to be here, in her state, in her clothes, at this time of night."

I walk over to the girl, and ask her if she's okay. She says she's fine. I ask if she has someone coming to pick her up, and she says to mind my own business. I shoudl have listened to her. I told her that it was dangerous for her to be all alone, in this area, at this time of night. She stops crying a bit, and seems to have lightened up. She starts telling me how her and her boyfriend had a fight at some party, that he cheated on her, blah blah blah. I ask again if she has someone coming to pick her up and she admits that she doesn't. I ask if I can call a cab for her, and she explains that her purse is still in her boyfriends truck.

I'm a nice guy, but I'm not a sucker. I realize that this could have been some sort of scam on he part to get some money out of me. However, I looked at this situation like I look at most situations of this manner: I would rather get scammed 9 times out of 10 and help that 1 person that really needs it then to not help anyone to keep from getting scammed.

I ask her where she lives, trying to figure out how much money she'd need for a cab ride home, and when she tells me her address I realize that her place is actually on my drive home. I don't have a lot of money, but I want to help this girl, so I decide to offer her a ride.

As she is considering it, the same red pickup that dropped her off comes barreling into the gas station again. Instantly I knew I was in trouble. Out jumps her boyfriend, and instead of coming at us, he walks to the back of his truck and picks up a tire iron. I grab my cell and dial 9-1-1. The boyfriend quickly walks towards me and the girl, and he's screaming like a mad man. He calls me this and that, and tells his girlfriend he's going to beat her "fat ass to death."

I try to make my way toward the station door, but the girl is holding on to my coat, trying to hide behind me. We get tangled up and both fall to the ground, and I drop my phone. I see that it is connected, so I just yell out the name of the gas station and the approximate location, saying that I need help. I hop back up to my feet, and the boyfriend is within feet of me. The girl is still on the ground. I'm trying to talk some sense into the boyfriend, telling him that I was just seeing if she was okay, and he's telling me how he's going to kill me.

The person running the gas station cashier opens the door, and yells that the cops are on their way. The boyfriend shoots the cashier a dirty look, and the cashier disapears back into the station. The girl is finally back up on her feet. She runs insde the station, and the boyfriend looks at me like it was my fault. I was sure he was going to take a swing at me, but he doesn't.

We both seem to hear the cops cars in the distance at the same time. The boyfriend looks at the girlfriend, hiding behind the counter with the station cashier, screams that she's a whore, and then walks back to his truck. He drives away like a lunatic in the opposite direction of the sirens.

The police arrive a few moments later.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Man's Best Friend


This is my dad’s story. This happened to him around four years ago. I believe a story like this is better in the first person, so I’ll be typing it as if I were my dad.


I own and run a micro microbrewery in Boston. We’re a tiny brewery, but we make some damn fine beer. I’ve run my business for nearly a decade located in Dorchester. For those of you unfamiliar with the Boston area Dorchester is one of only a few semi seedy areas in the Boston area. Up until the night in which this story occurs, I never had any troubles.

Owning your own business is a lot of work. I am there at all hours, day and night. I actually enjoy working overnight occasionally because there is less stress, and fewer disruptions than when during the day when I have to deal with shipments, and my few employees, and the phones, etc. Usually when I work in the early morning hours I take my bullmastiff, Sampson, along to keep me company.


For those of you unfamiliar with bullmastiff’s, Google them. They were bred to guard estates, and according to Wikipedia, attack and immobilize poachers. They’re large, mean looking dogs. However, Sampson is a teddy bear. He never once growled at anyone we’ve ever had at the house. He barks occasionally, but usually it is at his reflection in the window.


When I work alone I usually have the radio blasting. This particular evening was no different. Sampson and I were working late and it was around 3:00am when Sampson went nuts. He began barking like a lunatic and growling as if he were Cerberus. I find him and he’s standing in front of the supply closet door, glaring at it.


I have a .38 special in my office and with it in hand I moved to open the supply closet door. Sampson sensing my intentions puts his 130 pounds against my leg, pushing me away from the door. I don’t want to call the cops before checking the closet, because what if there isn’t anyone in there, or what if Sampson found a mouse or rat or something. I try to open the door again, and Sampson turns on me, and takes a nip at my hand. He missed and I’m sure he missed on purpose. It was like a warning nip, almost like he was saying “Hey, idiot. There’s someone bad in there.”


I can’t decide what to do at first. Then I call out. “Whoever is in the closet, come out or I’ll let my dog inside and close the door behind him. Nothing. I try again. “Maybe, I’ll just unload with my .38 special through the door, and then let the dog in.” Then I hear a voice, which really surprises me. I was certain Sampson was going nuts over nothing. The man says, don’t shoot. I tell the man not to try to leave the closet or my dog would kill him.


I’m on the phone with the police immediately, leaving Sampson to guard the door. Within a few minutes the police are there, and I get Sampson under control, and the police get the guy out of the closet. Here’s the thing, the man was carrying s six inch bowie knife, like the type Rambo used. If not for Sampson, I might be dead. He’s our family hero.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Witches or Bitches You Decide




I used to live just down the street from state park. It was a wonderful place to explore as a child, but around the time I was ten or eleven, rumors started to reach my ears about people doing weird things in the park. I remember one story was about a cult of witches that would hold their ceremonies deep in the woods in the park, where they would sacrifice birds, and squirrels to whatever Gods or Goddesses they worshiped. I was not the bravest of kids at that age, and I recall vividly, nearly twenty years later, something that happened to me in that park.

Normally, even after I heard the rumors, the park didn't scare me. It was a place I'd always known, a place I grew up playing in. My mom and I would take evening walks, and pick flowers (which is a no-no, but we did it anyway). My dad and I would sometimes fish the river running through the park, and as a special summer treat spend a week camping. However, one evening ruined all the magic the park once held for me.

I was around 10 to 12, not sure exactly, and I was playing in the park with some friends. We were on the north side of the river, which was the farthest part of the park from my house. We played hide and go seek, one fall evening. As it got later, I remember a fog rolling in, seemingly at the snap of your fingers. I was getting creeped out and I called out to my friends, saying that it was time to head home. I hated being the scaredy cat, but the fog was creeping me out.

I waited to hear back from my friends, but couldn't find them. I began to really spook myself. I was convinced that I heard voices, and that I was being watched. I remember not being able to see more than a stone's throw away from me. My fright got the best of me and I ran off, not waiting for my friends.

I literally ran, and I headed in the direction of the foot bridge leading over the river, back to the south side of the park. As I reached the bridge I saw two girls, probably in their mid to late teens, standing by the bridge. I stopped in my tracks, all the stories about witches coming back to me instantly.



I can only guess at their motivations, but upon seeing me, the girls seemed to notice my fright, even if I wasn't wearing it on my face I was certain they could have smelled it on me, like dried sweat. For fun, for some sinister reason, I don't know, the girls chased me. They yelled taunts, and they chased me. I was so scared. I ran back the way I came, away from the bridge, and back into the woods. I ran and I hid.

I don't remember how long I stayed hidden, but eventually I made my way out of the woods. I do remember it was dark, and I was getting pretty cold. I didn't see the girls on my way out this time, but for the next year or so I remember I would not go to the park without at least one of my parents.
-Jen

Gang Initiation

I know there are always rumors and urban legends about gang initiations. There is the car without the headlights on one, and the Wal-mart shooting woman with baby one, and probably more. I was the victim of a gang initiation and it wasn't nearly as clever, or thought out, or for the lack of better word -- interesting.

I was walking home one Friday night from a friend's house. He lives only four blocks away, so it is a short walk. The neighborhood in which I live is not that great of a part of town, but having no car, and not very helpful parents, I walk everywhere I go. Usually, when walking back from my friend's house, I walk home down Maple St., because it is more frequented by traffic, has a couple businesses that are open late, and is better lit, but it is also a block our of the way. This night was cold, this only happened three weeks ago, and I didn't want to extra time walking so I went down a side street named Jefferson.

Jefferson st. is a neighborhood st. There are nothing but houses, and houses serving as apartments (part of the problem with the neighborhood). As I walked down the st, bundled up against the cold, I see two guys in their late teens standing just off the sidewalk in an alley. I knew immediately that something was up. They were black and I'm Asian, so I knew that if I crossed the road they'd think it was because they were black. This isn't the reason. I wanted to cross the road because they were flagging for a local gang. I didn't cross the road though because there was the chance that they weren't going to bother me. I tucked my head down and started to walk past them, but as soon as I past them, I got attacked from behind.

True to stereotypes, I am fairly advanced in karate. I fought back, knocking one attacker to the ground. I always carry a pocket knife on me, for protection, whenever I walk anywhere. With one of my attackers on the ground, I drew my knife. This was a mistake. The remaining attacker got me in a headlock from behind, and his buddy knocked the knife from my hand. While one held me the other hit me. I managed to slip free and tried to run, but they caught me.

The next thing that happened will scar me forever, and not just because I have the actual scar. One of my attackers picked up my knife and tried to cut my throat with it. I suffered a three inch cut across my wind pipe, but the guy didn't press hard enough, and the knife didn't fully cut through my throat. With that attack over, my assailants ran off, and left me to die. Not more than thirty seconds after my throat was cut and my attackers fled, the cops arrived. Someone in one of the houses bordering the ally had seen what was happening and called the cops. An ambulance arrived shortly after, and I was taken to the hospital.

For the most part I was okay. I had, and still do, a nasty cut on my throat, and a few bruises. The police caught both of my attackers a few streets from where I was attacked. They confessed it was a gang initiation and that they were supposed to kill someone. I was unlucky enough to be that someone, but I am very lucky too, because I'm alive.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Backyard Hole Digger

In the summer of 2007 I was twenty-four. I’d recently earned my degree, in early childhood education, and found my first real job. No teacher will admit to this, but we get paid pretty well, at least that is what I thought in the summer of 2007. Having only ever worked service sector jobs, you know cashiering at a grocery store, doing clerical work over the summer, that kind of stuff, I was finally making real money. With my new income came the overwhelming desire to move out of my mom’s house. It’s not that I didn’t love my mom, rather that I yearned the freedom that I believed came with owning your own house.


I’d been working as a special education teacher for around six months and I’d saved enough money for a down payment on a house. I’d been searching for the perfect place for months. My must haves included a fireplace, a big master bedroom, and more than anything else a large yard with a view. I did a lot of research deciding how much I could spend, and sadly found that all that money that I thought I was making really wasn’t that much. It looked like I would have to make a few compromises on my dream house.

Too good to be true was how I first viewed it. The house had everything I was looking for. It had two bedrooms, a fireplace, over two acres of land and, best of all, it was in my price range. I was weary when making an appointment to view the house, because of the price. It was almost fifteen thousand dollars less than equivalent houses I’d looked at. The advert said the asking price was reduced, and I was worried something dramatic would be wrong with the house. I brought my older brother who works as a contractor, and all around knowledgeable guy. We toured the house, the realtor making everything seems amazing, and my brother examined all sorts of things, most of which I didn’t really understand, but I took him at his word when he said it was in good overall shape. I was beyond excited. My first house.

Paperwork done, money spent, it was move in time. I had a moving party at which I bribed my friends and family with pizza and beer to help me move all my stuff in to my new house. Not having any furniture yet, we used boxes for seats and tables. It was a magical moment in my life.

My third day at my new house, and all was going great. The roof hadn’t collapsed, the bathroom hadn’t flooded, and all was right with the world. Work was still great, and I remember finding myself sitting in my very own living room just smiling for no real reason. Then my neighbors stopped by.

My new house had a lot of land, but my neighbors had even more. My nearest neighbor’s house isn’t even visible from mine, and at the time I loved that fact. That Saturday afternoon, my neighbor Mike and his pre-teen daughter Katie came over to welcome me. I was in bathroom, door open and why not I lived alone, when I heard a man’s voice. “Hello?” Leaving the bathroom and walking to the kitchen, I peeked my head around the corner of the room, and looked out toward my front door. There were Mike and Katie, the first time I’d met them. They introduced themselves and we exchanged pleasantries. They seemed nice enough and had brought me cookies. I welcomed them in, asking them to take a seat (on the remaining unpacked moving boxes). As we talked I noticed something was a bit off about them. Mike in particular seemed to be looking at me with a particular interest. He also asked a lot of personal questions about my job, my family, and my interests. Finally, I had to ask why the twenty questions. He sheepishly apologized explaining that the last owners of the house had been busted for manufacturing crystal meth.

That explained so much, the price reduction, Mike’s twenty questions, and the mysterious iron door that led to the basement. While touring the house, of course, I noticed the door, and though I thought it unusual, I didn’t worry about it. The house was so perfect, what was one strange metal door.

Day four and I’m home. I make dinner, watch a little local, no cable, television on my new, and temporary, futon. Night falls, and I head to bed. The one downfall of the house was that it didn’t have central air conditioning. This Sunday night was an especially hot night, and I had my windows open. I awoke from the heat around two in the morning. I was still adjusting to the new creaks and groans of my new house, but the sound I heard wasn’t anything I had heard the house make before, and it seemed to be coming from my back yard. I lay in bed listening and I heard this steady sound. I got out of bed and looked out my bedroom window, the one overlooking the back yard where the noise seemed to originate. By the dull moonlight I could barely make out a man in my yard, and it slowly dawned on me that he was shoveling. He was digging a hole.

I use my cell phone as my alarm clock, so it was on hand, and I dialed 911. Before this event if someone had asked me how I would react to such a situation I would have guessed that I’d freeze petrified, but I surprised myself. As the emergency number rang I walked to my front door and checked that it was locked, then I moved toward my back door. I walked through the kitchen toward my small covered back porch/mudroom and then listened to keys turn the lock, and then watched as the handle turned. I was connected to dispatch almost simultaneously as the back door opened, and man entered my house. I screamed, and ran immediately to my bedroom, locking the door almost before I had shut it. Hard knocks resounded on the frail wooden door. Standing, looking at the door, I remembered I had 911 on the telephone. I gave the dispatcher my address, explained what I knew of the situation and then, against dispatch’s advice I hung up the phone.

I hadn’t yet bought a frame for my bed, so I was just sleeping on a mattress laid on the floor. I didn’t have a dresser yet, or any other furniture aside from a small bookcase. As the man outside my bedroom kicked the door, I moved the tiny bookcase against the door, and then for good measure I leaned my mattress against the door, also, fully realizing neither would stop the intruder.

I looked out my window at the man still digging, now more frantically in my back yard. I watched as he bent down and removed something, couldn’t quite tell what in the oppressive darkness of the night, and stepped back in fright as he ran toward my house. I called my mom, not sure what I was going to say. As the phone rang I heard the shovel man stomp his way into my house, and then the two men exchanged words, which I heard. “Got it,” says one, “Who is in there?” Then guy two, “Some girl.” At this point I yelled that I called the cops. Man one, “Leave it.” Silence, and then two sets of footsteps leave out the back door, and I watched them run across my backyard away from the house. My mom never answered the phone, but I did accidentally leave a message on her answering machine. On the message you can hear two men softly talking and then me saying that I called the cops. My mom saved the message to give to the police. It is a haunting reminder of a terrifying occurrence.

The police arrived just a few minutes after the men ran from my house. I saw the lights, and came out of my room. The cops figured that the drug manufactures that owned the house before me had buried some cash in the back yard, and the their family, or friends had come to retrieve it. The cops scolded me for not changing the locks on the doors as soon as I bought the house. They explained that it was something everyone should do, but especially people who purchase a house previously employed by drug dealers. I in turn scolded my realtor for not telling me that the house was previously a meth lab.

The police never found the people in my back yard, and I’m sad to say that the experience caused me to move back with my mom where I lived another year until I had recovered the courage to look for a new house. I now live in a condo, sharing a wall with a nice family, in a brightly lit neighborhood. I don’t have my fireplace, or my big yard, but I do have piece of mind. One day I think I will return to a house with land, but it’ll be a while.

Night Terror

They began when I was maybe 5 or 6; around kindergarten. I am now 28 and still have these "night terrors" at least once a month. Most people who have night terrors will tell you they can't remember details of what frightened them. Most of them just awake with an immense feeling of terror. I, too, awake with an immense feeling of terror. However, I can tell you the details about what has terrified me.
When I was younger, I would awake screaming for my mom or my grandma. I would be in a cold sweat, heart beating out of my chest, tears streaming down my face. My mom or grandma would race in my room and flip on the light. As my eyes adjusted to the light, the images of what frightened me so much would start to fade away. But in my mind, I could recall every detail of what had exceedingly terrified me. I would ask whoever was in the room with me, "don't you see them...DONT YOU SEE THEM"? The "them" were the mice or snakes, but more often then not, bugs and spiders all over my bed; all over me. My skin is crawling now just remembering. It would take a while for me to doze back to sleep. My mom or grandma would sit next to me and stroke my hair, repeating to me, "its OK to fall back asleep now. they're all gone". Invariably, the next morning, I would awake to find bites and scratches on my arms and legs. Everyone was convinced I did it to myself in my sleep or during my frantic wakening. I knew it was more then that. I never knew when the next night terror would be. So, I just had to learn not to think about them, or the effects of, until another night terror would decide to grace me with its presence.
It was a while before the man in the hat showed up. I was much older by this time; maybe 16 or 18. I know I was in high school. It was as if all of the night terrors before him were in preparation because once he showed up, the snakes and mice and bugs never came back. The man in the hat I would see was a shadowy figure. I could make out the curve of his cowboy hat and the shape of his body. The way in which I would awake was much different with him then with my previous experiences. I still felt an immense amount of terror, my heart still felt like it was beating out of my chest, I was still in a cold sweat. But, when I would first wake up, I would feel like there was a brick on my chest; something holding me down. And when I managed to sit up, I didn't scream for anyone. I couldn't scream for anyone. I just sat there and stared; and he stared back, but not in a way that made me want to scream. Eventually I would fall back asleep on my own.
Now I am married. My husband tells me that he will wake up to find me sitting straight up in the bed, rocking myself back and forth, with my eyes wide open. He tells me that I ask him if he sees the man in the hat, but he says he never does. He tells me that I insist the man in the hat is standing only feet away staring directly at us. It takes him a while to get me to lay back down. He says he has to stroke my hair and whisper to me to get me to lay back down, just like my mom and grandma had to do when I was little. Now, none of what my husband tells me, I remember. I don't recall anything that he says I do. But, those same nights that he says he wakes up and sees me like that are the same nights I know I see the man in the hat standing in my bedroom doorway, or in front of our bedroom window. I wake up in the morning and the man in the hat is the first thing I think about. I don't know what he wants, he never talks, he never moves; he just stares. I really hope he doesn't come around tonight. I probably jinxed myself.

_Sara H.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Alone at the Cones

This happened probably in the late 1990’s. I used to go out to this place and park my jeep about 1.5 miles SE of the cones. It was a little stand of mesquite trees with a cattle tank and feeding area and an almost purpose built parking space for my old jeep. I would pull in among the mesquite trees and toss a camo tarp and camo net over my jeep and you could walk past my jeep and never see it. I was (am) totally paranoid about leaving my vehicle out there- I always wondered whether it would be there when I got back.
For this trip, I had planned a fairly strenuous 18 mile round trip from where I had parked my jeep going NW to Aden Crater. I had spent enormous amounts of my time while in college driving around out here and I had mapped out where all the old jeep trails and cattle trails and cattle tanks and wells were located. (I was a biology/ecology field worker as a student and I had extensive experience with GPS mapping and orienteering.) So, I had a number of waypoints along the way where I knew I could filter water.
I don’t remember exactly what time of year this was but I don’t think it was very hot out but it was the usually bright and clear blue skies. I made my way out and it is fairly rough volcanic terrain. I made it about ¾ of the way to Aden Crater and I was stopped to take a short break -I needed to go over a barbed wire fence so I had my pack off. So, I was just standing there, letting the sweat cool on my back where my backpack covered and I was looking around. Again, there was absolutely no reason to freak out but I did.
As a solo backpacker, I have had this experience many times before and it usually passes quickly- that feeling of being in the middle of nowhere and just getting freaked out. The area has deer and tons of coyotes (the 4 legged kind) and rabbits and lizards but no predators that would have given me that sense of being watched. While this was within 20 miles of the border, back then I had never seen any illegals or druggies or even many border patrol agents. The main roads were fairly well traveled and many people would go out there but I have never actually seen another person while I was hiking away from the roads. I was in the middle of the lava fields and there were not even any cattle trails within a square kilometer.
So, I stood and was quiet and tried to figure out what was wrong. I heard the usual train going by on the tracks a couple of miles north. I could hear the vague sounds of a helicopter down south near the border. But there wasn’t anything else. I looked toward Aden Crater and it was probably less than 2 miles away. What to do? Press on and hope the feeling would go away? I looked back the way I came and I could see the Gardner Cones. That was my safe place- I had spent many, many nights there before. After a few minutes I said the heck with it and shrugged into my pack. I took a quick bearing on the Cones, even though they were prominent enough to clearly see my way, but it always made me feel better to concentrate on my compass work. So, I headed back. I thought I was nuts to turn around and go back and do more miles than I planned on that day but I felt very comforted to be heading back to “my” place.
It was a long slog back there. I had passed the cones within a couple of hundred meters on the first time out and now I was tired and leaning hard on my trekking poles as I went up the side of the cones and into the middle area. I was tired but I felt good. It was a very sheltered area and I always felt safe in between the 3 cones. I made camp and had my dinner and settled down for the night. I did my customary sitting on top of the one cone to watch the sunset and then went and settled into my sleeping bag. I had picked up the custom of listening to my shortwave radio at night when I camped (from reading the book Bravo Two Zero) and I probably read a paperback book for a bit as well before falling asleep.
Back then I wasn’t too terrible concerned about my safety when camping. I had my Glock 23 that I carried in my pack and I set that out next to my sleeping bag. I had the general rule to always camp away from major terrain features- roads, hills, water tanks, etc… but the cones were my exception because it was my area where I had first camped alone and I had been coming here for years at this point. I was in my trusty Kelty Vortex 2 and I feel asleep. The only problem that night was the sound of the helicopter getting progressively closer and I thought that it was going to keep me up that night.
After sleeping for an undetermined amount of time I was woken up suddenly. I am always a light sleeper while camping and now I was awake and wondering what woke me up. I grabbed the Glock and I was laying there in my sleeping bag, tucked into a fetal position when the night turned bright white and there was an overwhelming amount of noise. Dirt was flying around in the tent, the fly and the inner tent were violently shaking, and the noise and hurricane like winds were buffeting me. I had my eyes clenched shut against the flying dirt and debris and a death grip on the gun and I thought “you have got to be kidding me!!”
The sound of the US Customs Blackhawk and the blinding light of the Nightsun searchlight became even worse as I wondered how far down on top of me the helo would come. I didn’t think that they could land in the area in between the cones but they got damn close. I froze and thought that if I moved with the gun in my hand I would be dead. I don’t know if they said anything over the speakers because the sound and downdraft were overpowering. Then it stopped as they gained altitude and left.
I looked at my watch and it was something like 2 or 3 AM. I was wide awake and shaking and in disbelief. I thought “to hell with this!” and started breaking camp as quickly as I could. I set my compass bearing by my GPS and started bushwhacking in the darkness, afraid to put on my headlamp. I managed to do my best ever night compass navigation and managed to hit my Jeep right on without an offset and started the long drive home. I still have the tent and the poles have a bend in them from the force of the Blackhawk’s downdraft. At least I can say that the Kelty can stand up to near hurricane winds! And I was never bored camping.

S.W. Raider

Lucky



It took place a while back when I was attending Northwestern University. I was driving out to see my girlfriend who lived about 2 or 3 hours away from Chicago. Well, I was basically driving in the middle of no where, on a very long and straight road, when my car crapped out on me. I tried to start it a few times but I essentially knew nothing about engines or how to fix one. So I called AAA to send a tow truck. I was only able to give them the road I was on and the most recent crossroad I had passed, since there was literally nothing but corn fields and telephone lines around me.


Well, only about 5 minutes after I called AAA, I saw an old pickup truck driving towards me coming from the direction that I was headed. After it finally passed me, the driver stopped and pulled off to the side of the road. The reason this movie reminded me of this incident was because there were 3 people in the truck. The driver, a woman and another male passenger. After like a minute of sitting there, the driver came out of his truck and starting walking towards my car. One thing that really struck me as odd was that the two passengers in the pickup truck just sat there, facing forward so I couldn't see their faces, throughout the ENTIRE time. They never once turned their heads or moved an inch.

So the driver, a rather big guy (around 6 foot 4 I'd say) walked up to my car and started knocking on my window, asking if I needed help. I told him I was fine but he kept knocking. I said to him that a tow truck was on its way right now. Then he started to grab the door handle to open the door, but thankfully I had locked it when I saw him coming. Something just didn't feel right. I was like, "what are you doing man? I said I'm fine." Then, all of a sudden, he stopped pulling at the door handle, and paused for a second. He looked both directions down the road and it seemed like he was hesitating about something. Then he muttered one word.. and that was what scared me the most... at barely a whisper, he muttered under his breath, "lucky..." I could hardly make out what he said at the time. Then he stared at me for like a good 15 seconds, went back to his truck, and drove off. But instead of driving down the road, in the direction he was headed, he drove back the way they CAME. The road was a good 1-2 miles long. I never understood why he would drive that far down the road to my car, if he wasn't intending to pass by.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving, Growth, Comments

Hi everyone. First, We'd like to wish you all happy holidays, if you're in the U.S. and if you're not... happy regular days.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mormon with a Baseball Bat

Most of my shocking stories, though, are from the time I worked as a home health/hospice aide in Salt Lake City, of all places. I was given a sizable chunk of the downtown area which included The University of Utah and the South Campus of Salt Lake Community College. Being from Vegas, I was well, shocked to learn that there was quite a bit of crazy in Salt Lake City, which supposedly is a very safe place to live!
One of my patients lived on a small side street and one day I came to her home at 8 am for my visit as usual. Well, 15 minutes into my visit, after I had gotten my patient up and sitting on the couch, and had begun to tidy up her room, a bright red convertible drives down the street and stops right in front of my car. The driver gets out, and proceeds to try to open the door on my locked Saturn. When he couldn't get into my car, the guy, who is obviously on something, decides to walk up and down the street, opening trash cans, and attempting to open doors and windows. This patient suffered from very advanced Alzheimer's and had no clue what was going on. I closed and locked all her windows, and locked the door--she protested my locking her front door. Then I made sure all the windows and doors were closed and locked and after that I remembered that she had a baseball bat in the laundry room, went and got it, and waited for the man to show up on her doorstep, with the baseball bat in one hand and my cell phone with SLCPD on speed dial in the other hand. So the guy goes to my patent's next door neighbor's house, finds the door locked, tries the window, finds it locked, walks down the front walkway, and leaves the neighbor's property. Then he heads to my patent's front gate. Then he looks up and sees me and the patient both standing there staring at him, me brandishing a baseball bat and holding a cell phone to my ear. He gives off a look of "oh crap, I've been caught" and runs off, gets into his convertible, and drives off.

Hotel Hell

Oh man, these stories are making me so glad that I live in Chicago, and police FLY whenever a call is put in!
I have one to add... pre-story, I just want to say that I have ALWAYS been a tweak in hotels. Doors must be locked, chained, bolted, windows CLOSED, bathroom light on, I run down hallways when I'm alone, and I still can never get a full night's sleep.
Me and the BF were staying at a hotel in KY for a family reunion (my family). Most of the rest of my family were staying at relatives houses. This hotel was crowded, and a bunch of guys were in the lobby when I went to the vending machines around 10pm-ish by myself... BF stayed in the room, so it must have looked like I was alone. I didn't really think anything about it, but later on, around 1AM, I wake up to the door banging and a guy yelling in the hallway... I was still half asleep so it took me a second to realize he wasn't banging ON the door, but instead the door was OPEN already and he was slamming it against the security bolt on the inside of the door. I woke up the BF and hid under the covers while he went to the door, told the guy off and slammed the door shut and relocked it. I give him credit that he never undid the dead bolt thing, just looked at him and yelled through the crack in the door. He said that he looked drunk.
THIS is the kicker... I called the front desk to let them know, and the guy behind the desk had GIVEN the guy a key because he said that he lost the key to "his" room... and the guy never went back to the front desk to ask for a different room key. Creepy! And I didn't get a look, so I didn't know if it was one of the guys that had been in the lobby or not. (And yes, the desk guy got an earful from me...)
 
- Corine

Chicago Citizen Chases Creeper Cops Congratulate (alliteration at it's finest)

When I lived in Chicago, I lived in a coach house...the house behind the big house, which was essentially a converted garage. It was a nicer area around Lincoln Park, and about 100 ft. off a major intersection where there were stores and lots of people. However, in order to get in to my place, I had to walk down an alley, and go through a gate with a motion detector. I was always nervous going in and out of the alley at night, and when I had to do this I would often run from my place, through the alley to the busy street as FAST as possible. As busy as the intersection was the alley was usually empty-scary.
I am tall and thin, and at that time attracted a fair amount of unwanted attention. I'm guessing I was being watched, and my comings and goings were noticed.

One night at around 10pm or so, I heard the gate open and the light detector went on. I assumed this was the owner on his way to the big house through the back entrance, but I'm super cautious and looked out the window to the alley. As I was doing this I heard a loud knock on my door. I could see a car waiting in

the alley...a low 70's Nova type, and this was the later nineties....a very old, beat up car.
I went to the door, and of course didn't open it. I asked..."Yes, can I help you?" A man answered: "I got lost...could you help me with directions? I told him I didn't drive and was terrible at directions. At this point I was so afraid my head was swimming, and I can't remember exactly what he said next, but it was something like "could I come in for a minute and have you show me where we are on my map."
I asked him why he had come into an alley, opened a gate, climbed up my coach house stairs and knocked on a strangers door, when just outside the alley there were tons of open businesses. He ignored this, and asked to come in again. I said that I was calling the police, and did so....I called 911.
He runs down the stairs and gets out of there in his Nova, where his male friend was waiting, as fast as possible....screeching tires and all.
The police @ 911 told me that I did the right thing, but if he came back, I should mention that I have gun(I don't really have one). A really cute officer was on the scene very quickly and calmed my nerves.
NEVER open the door! Ask what they want through a locked door, and even if you feel it's legit, offer to call assistance for the person, or direct them to a gas station...etc.

911

Shortly after my divorce, I was living in an empty house that was for sale - my friends allowed me to stay there for a few months while finding a new house. It was pretty empty, not a lot of furniture. I didn't spend a lot of time there, basically just slept and showered there.
So, 2 a.m. one night/morning there were headlights shining into my room and a really loud, aggressive knock at the door (a little background - very small town, everyone knows everyone, in the rainforest of WA state). I was totally freaked. I froze.

The person at the door started yelling my name. Scary! Finally, he said "It's XXX, please answer me if you're in there!" It was the local sheriff's deputy!! I ran to the door and opened for him and he pushed past me and said, "Who's here?" I told him nobody but me, i was sleeping. He said, "Somebody is using your phone and calling 911."  I flipped. I was crying and I stood outside in the freezing rain. He checked out the whole house and every closet/bedroom/bathroom (it was a huge farm house and I didn't even use the upstairs).
Finally between him, dispatch, and the phone company, they figured out that the massive rain had interrupted my phone wires and made it call 911. I dunno, but I didn't sleep there for a week after that! I stayed with friends!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Striptease for Creeper

One day I came home from a short shift at work one morning to an empty house and I walked in to find that the doors on the balcony at the back of our house were wide open and the latch was broken off, like an idiot, I didn't think anything of it because it was a hot day and I thought someone might have wanted to let the warm air in. I wanted my mum to wash my work clothes and I was going to swim at my friends place later so I stripped naked in the hallway (hey, no one was home) and chucked all of my clothes in the hamper, I put on my swimsuit and my clothes, but not before striking a number of poses in my bikini in the hallway mirror *blushes*.

I then went downstairs to do some homework in the living room for a few hours, and for some reason I had this sense of being watched so I closed all of the curtains downstairs. And then, like two hours later I went to go upstairs again and I saw that the front door was wide open. I knew it had not been open before, but I still did not realize what was going on until I went upstairs and saw that all of my jewellery was gone, ditto my mum's and sister's along with my ipod and some other stuff. I called the cops and they explained that the burglar had climbed onto the balcony via a this frame thing for vines to grow on the wall, forced the door, and had headed upstairs, planning on taking the biggest stuff (laptops, xbox etc.) which was downstairs last and getting the jewellery and smaller stuff first.

They found that in my parents walk in wardrobe at the back a bunch of clothes had been pulled down and forced across and a crowbar and a bunch of empty individual jewellery boxes had been dumped: they said that when I came home the burglar had heard and hidden in there until he had the opportunity to sneak out. Here's the kicker: when the bedroom door is open (it was) the hallway where I stripped is fully visible from inside the wardrobe. I performed a private striptease for the hiding burglar!! I did not tell the cops that though

Scream

2 years ago when I was home alone around 10-ish PM(How convenient) I was in my room upstairs on the phone to my friend when I heard the front door closing. Assuming it was my Sister I walked over and leaned over the banister calling her name and some guy dressed in the scream black gown with the mask was standing in the hallway, he looked up at me and proceeded to make his way up the staircase.
Now if asked what you would do in such a situation you'd be like, I'd grab my baseball bat and beat the *beep* outta them, or i'll run and call the cops etc. But no, like a pussy I stood in shock and only when he was like a 1/4 of the way up the stairs I screamed and yelled running into my room and shutting the lights hoping that would confuse him..
All the while my friend was still on the phone (And he was a witness later, although he didn't see anything)
My friend knew where I lived and I told him to call the cops to my address in case the phone cut off or something stupid.. and I proceeded to call them too. During this time I heard the door open/close again (This was all within seconds of getting into my room and shutting the lights).
I considered opening the window and yelling out, but it was like 10 PM, and that would only indicate where I was in the house. Anyway, while dialling for the cops I heard the door open/close again, I pulled back a small corner of my curtain and saw nothing, assuming he had made a run for it hearing me yell.
After calling the police I called my parents to tell them what happened. I was instructed to go downstairs and insure the door was in fact closed and to lock it.
I decided if I was to go downstairs I'd run and do it fast unlike the silly people in horror films who walk down so slowly and wait for something to happen - It made more sense to me. As I ran down it turned out that the guy didn't actually leave, he had just shut the door making me believe he did and was in my living room "attempting" to steal things.
After seeing me he began running towards the stairs again but he was far into the living room. I yelled and screamed as I ran back into my room and opened the window and yelled like crazy. This time he actually did leave the house and I saw him running out of my front door as I was looking out of my window.

The police arrived, so did my parents. They took down the details and contacted my friend. They concluded NO forced entry and that the door had not been properly closed by my sister when she left the house earlier. They also concluded he was just a normal thief and didn't have violent intentions
 
I.E. Flam

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Won't you be my Neighbor

This happened to me about 2 yrs ago. I had a neighbor that had been stalking me for years. Throwing stuff at my windows, dumping oil on my car, letting the air out of my tires, trying to run me off the road, harassing me at school, tried to run my mom over with his car, etc.

Well for a few months in a row this guy kept throwing rocks against my bedroom window at night. It would stop for a while then start up again. This one night around 2:00 am, I was just sitting on my bed watching a movie and there he was throwing rocks against my windows. Then it just suddenly stopped. But I kept hearing what sounded like talking outside my bedroom windows. In my room is a door that leads outside but it had a dresser in front of it and it was double bolted so no one was getting in there.

Then all of the sudden I felt my door and my walls shake violently. He and one of his buddies were trying to get into my room! I jumped up and went and got my mom who was sleeping in the next room. She jumped out of bed and ran to the window where she saw them running away from my bedroom door laughing! She got a flashlight and decided to sneak around the back of the house in order to see what they were doing. She told me to sit on the couch and be quiet.

I decided to look out the window to see if I could see anything and here comes this drunk girl, who I had NEVER seen before in my life, walking up to my bedroom window screaming "mother effer get out here!". I was freaking out, I didn't know her! Then she starts to fall over, being as drunk as she was, when this boy comes out of nowhere and helps her leave my yard. When my mom came back in I told her what just happened and she said she had heard it from the back of the house.

We then decided to call the police. When the police got there they said they couldn't do anything because they hadn't seen it themselves! I was like WTF?! Then why even have a trespassing law in the first place! This guy did lots of horrible things to me and my mom! It was years before he backed off even alittle!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bad Luck

Another time, we were driving to this absolutely tiny town in the middle of nowhere to catch up with some girls my friend knew. These two cars drove past us, then quickly swerved off the road and turned around behind us. This guy popped out of the passenger side window and started yelling, holding his fist up against his head... I have no Idea what that was meant to signify, although I can guess. They followed us around for about twenty minutes until we took some backroads and finally lost them. it was like a scene from "Deliverance", I half expected "Duelling Banjo's" to come on the radio.
Free from our pursuers, my friends crappy car decided to give up the ghost and broke down. Not sure where to go for help in such a tiny town, and too low on funds to pay for assistance, we walked to the house of the girls we were to meet. After explaining the situation, they said that there was a mechanic's auto shop further into town, and that they may be able to help us. So we walked there, and to our chagrin, recognised the two cars parked nearby as those of our pursuers. Panicking slightly, we turned a corner and walked into a crowd of about twenty "Friggers", Australian for rednecks, basically. They recognised us as the outsiders they'd chased, predominately due to our lack of cowboy hats and flannelet, and started chiding us. We sheepishly asked for some assistance, mainly some oil. They started getting really rough, pushing my friends and spitting tirades of abuse at them.

I was amazed at our sheer bad luck. What were the odds that the only people who could help us were those who had earlier engaged in an unmitigated pursuit with us, and by proxy, were the reason our car, overworked, had died.

For some reason, which they attributed to my tangled birdnest of an afro, they seemed quite partial to me, but those sentiments didn't extend to my friends. After pleading with them, they finally agreed to help, on two conditions: !) My friends buy them a slab of beer for their troubles, and 2) That my friends leave their left shoe behind. I, thankfully, was exempt from this. We dutifully agreed, and adhered to their demands, got our oil and left unscathed, minus two left shoes.
These morons seemed to have the run of the town, and they could have done anything they wanted to us, the town doesn't even have any police. We were thankful to get away unharmed, and vowed never to ever set foot in the town again.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Peep

About 8 or 9 years ago, when I was just a young teenager, my parents had decided to take my brother and some his friends to a baseball game. Since they felt bad about leaving me home alone, they said I could invite some friends over. So I had about 2 of my friends from the area come over.
Apparently, there had been a couple incidents of peeping toms in our area, so my parents wouldn't let us stay alone and had my grandparents come over while they were gone. Of course, none of really believed there had been any peeping toms...we thought it was rumors or what not.
Anyway, at around 9 PM, my two friends and I decided to start playing a game of volleyball in my front yard(it was pretty dark at this time because it was early September) Being young kids, we could be pretty loud and scream a lot. My grandmother made us come back in the house around 10.
After getting in the house, I realized I had left the volleyball out in the yard. So I went out my front door to get to the front yard and pick up the volleyball. After I got the volleyball and was going to put it back in the garage, I noticed a huge shadow of a person being cast on the driveway. There was clearly someone standing in the garage, but I didn't panic because I assumed it was my grandfather (he has Alzheimer's, and for some reason, that caused him to need to take walks every 15 minutes or so. I assumed it was just him going for another walk and that he had gone out through the door in the garage) Even though I thought it was most likely my grandpa, I just had a feeling that I should have just gone right back in the house instead of going into the garage to put the volleyball away.
It was a good thing I trusted that feeling I had. When I walked back in the front door, both of my grandparents were sitting in the living room with both of my friends watching the end of the game my parents were at. Whoever was in my garage had not been anyone that had permission to be at our house. I guess there are a lot of possibilities. It could have been a neighbor coming over to tell us to shut up. Or maybe it could have been another one of our friends that heard us outside and came to see if we were still around. Or... the peeping tom had heard us making noise outside and decided to come over and spy. We may never know, but all I know is that we were all extremely freaked out because of the whole peeping tom thing. We locked all the doors and my grandma called her friend to come check things out. When he got to my house, there was no sign that anyone had been there, but those 20 minutes while we were waiting for my grandma's friend to get there were terrifying. I was only 13, and I was crying and just scared to death that it really had been the peeping tom and he was going to try to get in the house or something.
The creepy thing is that we later learned that there had been 2 more peeping tom reports made that night---one 4 blocks from my house and the other 2 blocks in the opposite direction. So to get from point A to point B, the peeping tom would have had to cross my block.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Half-Way Suggar Momma

Back in 2005 or 2006, I was still living at home with my parents. I worked overnight and would come home around 6 a.m. There's a halfway house on the end of the cul-de-sac where my parents live. They live on the inside of the cul-de-sac, about 4 houses down from the halfway house. We really never had or have problems with the people who live there, however a lot of times, the police get called, which causes an issue with them living in a residential area. You don't necessarily feel too safe when the police or ambulance repeatedly come to your neighborhood, because someone overdosed or whatever. My parents don't like the fact that there's a halfway house just a few houses down from them, but I believe there's a rule that they have to keep to themselves in order to live there.
Anyway, there was a new lady that moved into the house. She was tall and burly with big bushy hair and a very harsh complexion. One night we were having dinner or whatever, and she came to the door and asked for sugar. My parents, as nice as they are, gave her some. She said thank you and left. Next day, she came by and asked again for sugar. My mom gave her some, but in a Tupperware and told her to go ahead and keep it. She then kept coming around and asking for some girl named Lisa. My parents told her there was no one there by that name. By this time, they weren't liking her coming around, because obviously she there was something not right with her. They thought she was scoping our house out.
Well one morning, I had come home from work and fell asleep. My mom was getting ready to go somewhere when she came by again and rang the bell. My mom didn't answer. The lady then plants herself in front of our front door and was just sitting there for quite sometime. So, my mom couldn't leave and was worried about answering the door or even leaving with me sleeping there. She didn't know this woman enough to know if she was capable of doing anything. Finally the neighbor next door happened to come home a little while later. When he spotted her sitting there (she had gone to their house too a lot), he ran inside and called the police who then came and got her away from our door. She STILL lives at that house. We see her in the parking lot by some stores near our house asking for money and whenever we would drive by, she'd smile this creepy smile at us. She seems harmless, but obviously has some issues going on and isn't all there..

Cupcakes

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Was He Doing?

A creepy thing that has happened to me lately happened when I was leaving out of the back door at work. The store where I work is not opened yet, because it's in a strip mall that is still under construction and isn't opening until next week. It's right off the highway, but there is seriously nothing else around for miles because they are just now starting to develop the area. The roads are blocked by security, who will only let you in and out if you say that you're going to work. Basic gist is that there is NO ONE else around except the people working in the stores to set up, and by this time we were about the only people left in the area.



The store where I work was letting the employees shop that night before the grand opening but I didn't want anything so I left while everyone else was shopping. One of the managers let me out of the back door, but after that I was alone. There is a bit of an alley and then a driveway for the delivery trucks with grass on both sides before getting to the parking lot. I was walking down this, and there was this man crouched down, rinsing his hands off in one of the sprinklers that were on. He looked up at me and just stared and stared as I walked past. My heart started pounding, and my car seemed to be SO far away. It was also in the opposite direction of the man, so when I walked my back was completely turned to him and I couldn't see what he was doing. I turned my head a bit every couple of steps, but I didn't want to look like I was suspicious. I was about 10 feet from my car when he stood up and started walking toward me. I was so scared that, once I got to my car, I kept fumbling my keys and couldn't get the door unlocked. I finally did, got in and locked the door. Meanwhile, he just kept walking slowly toward the car. I took off as fast as I could, and he stopped walking and just stared. I haven't been back to work since this, but I can assure you that I will not be walking to my car alone again. I don't even want to know what he was washing off of his hands in the sprinkler

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Frosty Reception

This is my story. It’s probably one of the only truly creepy experiences I’ve had. About 4 years ago a couple of good friends and I decided to take a trip during our Christmas break. One of those friends grandparents has a house in Leavenworth, Washington, that they’ll usually live in during some of the summer, but for the rest of the year they rent it out to tourists or let friends and family use it for free, so since we were money deprived college students, we decided to go there and use the place for free. The place is a snowy, German inspired town that is a huge tourist attraction all year long, but especially in the winter, and since it was nearing Christmas the place was packed. My friend’s grandparents had rented the place for most of November to a family they knew only through friends, and they had just left about a week before we came.


We got to the house and actually found the door wide open, but the house didn’t look to be broken into at all. The place was freezing and we had found that all the electricity outlets had been screwed with and we were not able to use any of the electricity. We were cold and irritated, but we had a free place to stay, so who couldn't really complain. The house was surrounded by huge evergreens and was on the outside of the town where there were maybe one or two houses within a mile, so it would take a lot to find the house, so someone must have known where the place was. There were also no tracks in the snow leading to the house, so we knew it had been opened for a while. We concluded that someone had a key and left the door open, because nothing was screwed with other than the electricity and nothing appeared to be missing.

Anyways, we went upstairs and picked rooms, and in the main master bedroom there was a dead crow on the floor next to the bed and the window was wide open. That was enough to creep us out and we ran out of there and got in the car and called my friends grandma. She didn’t really have an explanation as to why there was a dead bird in the master room but she did say that the last family who stayed there only paid them half of what they owed them and from what she knew, they were potheads who had quite a few parties while staying there. I have no idea why she would let those people stay there knowing that they weren’t good people. She thinks they copied the keys and gave them to friends, and that’s how they must have gotten in because she’s had people do that before, but in reality, who knows? We decided to get our money together and stay at the cheapest place available. We still really don’t know what happened, but I don’t plan on staying there again anytime soon.







-Cara

Friday, September 3, 2010

Should Have Just Gone to the Dance

I was 16 and working at a local burger joint. It was devils night, and I was closing the store. I was the last one to leave at around 12:30am. I pulled out of the parking lot onto the main road which was deserted. As soon as I pulled out I noticed head light in the rear view mirror, and was thinking where the H did that car come from. So I drive down this road for 1 mile to the next Rd. The car is tailgating me the whole time. I turn and drive 2 miles to the next road and turn. Car still tailgating me the whole time. Now I am think that this is too much for coincidence. So I think, OK devils night or whatever, stupid prank. But, then they start harassing me. Getting real close to and hitting my bumper. flashing brights constantly. driven up next to me and trying to intimidate. Now keep in mind, I'm driving a little 65HP chevette. If I had the jeep I would have just went off road and lost them. Also it was a pitch black night, and I was in a very rural area.


So i am starting to get a little nervous. I am hoping that I don't break down or get run off the road. I don't know if they want to hurt me or whatever. As soon as I start getting close to home, I remember that no one is home. I don't want to pull into the drive because, first I don't want them to know where I live, and 2nd I would have never made it to the door before they got to be. So I keep flying around the dirt back roads trying to lose them. I drive by the house one more time and see that my dad just got home. I pull into the driveway, which is about 400 feet long and straight. they other car stops at the end and turns off its lights and engine. I ran into the house and told my dad the situation. He grabbed the trusty shotgun and we stepped outside. Whoever was in the car must have saw the shotgun, because we heard the motor start, no lights, and they slowly back out of the drive and sped away.

Anyways, to make a long story longer. I found out about a month later, a girl I worked with wanted to ask me to some dance, so she dumped current boyfriend before she asked me. She asked me I said no. Well the BF was really pissed, she was really pissed, so the BF thought he would get even with me. go figure.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

You're Creeping Me Out!

I was followed on a dark Brooklyn street one night.  Getting off the subway and heading home, I noticed this strange little man who was keeping a few paces behind me. After a couple of streets, I was totally freaking out.  I lived in a really bad neighborhood and it was 2AM, the streets were completely empty, so instinctively I just turned out and shouted at him:
What? What the f*ck do you want? You're creeping me out!
He apologized and said he was afraid I'd run into trouble and was just following me to make sure I was alright. YEAH, SURE! He was actually really tiny so I thought I could take him worse comes to worst, so I walked with him for a while, we started chatting, and he told me he'd just gotten out after 7 years in jail. I was TOTALLY PETRIFIED.
Then we got to my door, and I realized I didn't have my key. I rang and rang the door but my roommate wouldn't answer. The guy kindly handed me his cell phone (I didn't own one at the time) and told me to call a friend and find a place to stay. My friend wasn't home, and I was just standing there like an idiot, wondering where they'd find my cut up dead body the nest day.
But the guy was like - "hey, I've got an idea!" : he helped me climb up the fire escape and open my window from outside, and I got home safe - and found my douche of a roommate in a bubble bath with his headphones on and some horrible music blaring.
So... I never knew what to think of that crazy, weird encounter. That guy was shady from head to toe, yet he was only just really sweet and helpful to me, and I never saw him again. Who knows!? Don't judge a book by its cover!

Karlotta

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One is Lucky and One was Unlucky

My dad worked as a supervisor at a large industrial complex for many years when I was a kid.  One day he discovered an employee of his who doing drugs on the job.  My dad had to fire him, and I remember him coming home telling my family about it, and about how crazy mad the druggie was.

Apparently the guy was so riled over it, that the next day he planned to kill my dad. So, and we'd later find all this out from the police, the guy got himself real drunk, then drove over to my dad's business, planning on finding my dad and shooting him. The problem was, my dad's business is in an industrial park where the whole row of units look identical, and the guy was stinking drunk. In his drunken stupor, the disgruntled employee could not identify which unit was my dad's, so he just guessed, entered the wrong business, and shot and killed the wrong person. 

He's now in jail forever. This was like... 10 years ago... it's the closest brush I've had with any real crime.

Monday, August 30, 2010

To Shoot or not to Shoot

About 10 years ago I was exiting a convenient store and walking to my car. A very unsavory looking character was approaching the store and we were going to closely pass each other on the narrow sidewalk. I am approx 5’ 9” and 160 lbs…..this guy was about 6’ 2”, leather jacket and bandana around his head….he looked like a Hell’s Angel. Looks do not necessarily make you a bad person….but I made sure to get out of his way and turn sideways to allow him to pass. To no avail….he made no attempt to also avoid a collision and actually leaned into me as he passed and bumped me pretty hard. Wanting to avoid a confrontation I ignored the bump and continued to my car.

As I was shutting the door to my car I noticed that he was right there outside my car door. I quickly locked the doors…..he knocked on my window and I rolled it down about 4 inches and asked what he wanted. He informed me that “People like you are suppose to get out of the way for people like me…” I told him that I had tried but it was him that bumped into me. I guess he didn’t like the fact that I disagreed with him and he squeezed his arm through the 4” opening of my window and tried to grab me. I leaned away toward the passenger side and retrieved my Glock .40 cal. From under the seat. I did not have a carry permit at the time. I pointed the gun at him and I saw that he now had a knife in his right hand while his left arm was flailing about inside the car trying to reach me.

At the sight of the Glock I fully expected him to quickly retreat….but he didn’t. He actually laughed and said “You think that little pee shooter is going to hurt me?” Even though I had previously though about what I would do in a situation like that, I have to say I was scared and shaking, my skin became cold and clammy. In hindsight, I was scared because I honestly thought I was going to have to shoot him….and I didn’t have a carry permit and was not sure what would happen to me from a legal standpoint. I wasn’t sure if I was legally justified in firing at this point. He pulled his arm out and grabbed the top of my partially rolled down window and started jerking it very hard trying to break the glass. All I could see was him attempting to break the glass with his left hand and a knife in his right. I told him several times “

As soon as the glass breaks I’m going to shoot.” By this time I could see other people watching the unfolding event. It only stopped when his buddy came to him and convinced him to stop. If the glass had broken I would have fired. To this day I am still unsure if I would have been justified in shooting as he was attempting to break the window….or even what would have happen to me legally if I had shot him with me not having a carry permit.

The First Time I got Mugged

San Francisco, July 1995
It was my first night out by myself since I'd moved to San Francisco to be with Mark, a month earlier. I bounced around the Castro a bit, dropping in at The Midnight Special, Badlands and Detour, before heading over to The Jackhammer, which was somewhat on the outer edge of the Castro, at 16th Street and Sanchez.
The Jackhammer was packed as usual, even on a Wednesday night. It was Mark's favorite bar, he was friends with most of the staff, and had taken me there several times already during my first month in The City. I sat at the bar for an hour or so, and chatted with the bartender until he gave last call at 1:30AM. San Francisco, for all its gay fame, is still an early town.
From Jackhammer, I headed south on Sanchez Street, intended to turn right on 18th and suffer up that hill to Corbett Street, where we lived. I had gotten about a block and half from the door of the bar, when I noticed two very large men cross over from the east side of Sanchez seemingly on an intercept course with me, on the west side.
The street was rather poorly lit, I could see the men in silhouette only. My first thought was to turn around and head back for the safety of the bar. My second thought was to walk out into the middle of the street, where the light was brighter. Unfortunately, I also had a third thought flash into my mind.
"This is THE CASTRO. I am safe. This faggot ain't gonna turn tail and run, not this time, not now that I'm finally on home turf."
I was just processing how satisfied my third thought made me feel, as the men passed me on the shadowy sidewalk, when that thought was literally knocked out of my head by the fist of the closest man.
"Give it up, nigger! Give it up! We will FUCK YOU UP, nigger!"
The man speaking was brandishing a shiny silver handgun, with an impossibly long barrel. Later, it would occur to me that his gun looked like the type a circus clown might use, the kind that shoots out a flag that says "Bang!" I was dizzy from the blow to my temple and I staggered a bit as I jammed my hands down into both my front pockets, from which I produced all their contents and held them out. I never carry a wallet when I go to bars, usually just a small cardholder for my ID, and ATM card and some cash.
The second guy grabbed everything from both of my hands, then pulled something out his pocket and pointed it at me. Mace. Instinctively, I closed my eyes and jerked my head back and I felt the liquid hit the base of my neck, but none got in my eyes, mouth or nose. A moment later, I reopened my eyes and my two assailants were already retreating, back the way they came, not hurrying at all.
 
Joe