Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Prowler in the Night

My parents are divorced; have been since I was very young. And from being very young I used to live with my Dad through the week, and visit my mother on a weekend.

I have a brother and sister who also used to visit her with me. We still do from time to time.

The story I am about to share requires a little background information , so here goes.

When I was about 10, my mother lived in an upstairs flat. Out the back of the flats was a busy road; beyond that, some fields.

My brother, sister and I never played out the back, due to the road. However, outside the front of the flats was a large green which ran the length of the flats, and ran further back sloped down to a hill which went a fence, beyond which were some houses.

The green was not lit up. On the contrary, at night it was very dark indeed. The adjacent car park was lit up by some street lamps, but the grass itself was not, as at night it did not need to be.

Right beside the car park there were two doors to two flats, around the corner from my mother's door.

One night a resident from across the car park reported a man dressed in black peering into a frosted glass window of a ground floor flat. He could see the man from his window, due to his being lit up by the street lamps in the car park. This window was the bathroom, where it later transpired the woman who lived alone there was taking a bath.

One can only imagine her sitting or lying in the bath, facing the wall, unaware of the distorted black form peering at her from behind.

Other residents had reported seeing him loitering around the car park, and walking around the area of the flats.

The man in question was most likely a prowler checking the place out, looking for an opportunity.

I remember the first time I saw this elusive prowler for myself. In one of the bedrooms of the flats my brother and I shared a bunk bed. I was playing on the PlayStation this one time, a Saturday night; maybe about 9 o'clock.

I sitting on the top bunk with the bedroom light on, playing some game or other. The TV was on a fixed bracket high up on the wall, level with my line of vision.

Right next to the bunk bed was a long and high window which faced out on to the front of the flats. The green. I was in full view of anything below.

Like I said, I'd never seen this prowler before, and for some reason I just happened to turn my attention away from the game, to the window, looking down at the green below. I looked for a few moments before suddenly seeing a man dressed in black, creeping across the green, far back towards where the hill was.

I went and told my mother, who came to the front window in the adjacent bedroom to take a look. I asked her if she saw him, and what she told me some time later still gives me chills.

Today's true story comes from a source who wishes to remain anonymous.  This is a tale about a prowler harassing a neighborhood and one person who almost got too close.

My mother saw him, alright. He was walking up the path towards the section of flats where she lived, and she saw him turn into the tunnelled enclosure where the doors to the flats were. She said, "He must have gone,", before I heard her leave the window and go downstairs to the door which led into the flat. I thought nothing of it at the time, as I no longer saw him either; I just assumed he'd gone.

What she had done was seen him come into the enclosure where her door was.

She'd gone downstairs and locked the door. She later told me that, as she looked out the frosted glass pane of the door, she saw him just standing there, slightly to the right, near the door opposite hers. Had it been me I wouldn't have known how fast to get the key in the door and lock it, but somehow she managed.

I don't know what would have happened if she hadn't locked the door when she did. Maybe nothing. But maybe something.

I'm glad I saw him, for this very reason. There's a very good possibility that he saw me as well. I was after all in full view, lit up like a Christmas tree.

Maybe that's why he came to the section where I was; who knows.

It happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it.

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