I called the phone number. They put me on hold, listening to music. No, it was not the usual elevator tunes we have all come to know and loathe. It was so much more disturbing. It was hype and trendy and new with the times. The rock band is called, "Puddle of Mudd." The song is titled, "Psycho."
I gave the company a "10" for originality before hanging up. Maybe I’ll send them a letter instead.
So, I’ve come back to these posts. Yippee. Uh. Yeah. Whatever. Opening dark closets can really send a shiver down a person. Or it can just make someone angry, like the puncher made me so angry because I had to deal with his freakiness. These stories aren’t meant to upset anyone. Fact is, I never expected to tell anybody about these stories. I don’t really know what has come over me. Perhaps I’m telling them to inform people of the dangers. Perhaps I’m just a regular person blogging to be noticed on this gigantic ball of spinning dirt we call Earth. Perhaps I just want to tell a story.
I like the third option.
Oh, well. It’s time for me to write about the next stalker on the list. But I have a confession to make. I made a mistake when putting the guys in chronological order. I said, puncher-follower-phoner-ringer. That isn’t right. The ‘puncher’ did come first. But the ‘phoner’ should go last. Then the ‘follower’ is second to the last. This leaves the ‘ringer’ as third to the last, or the second in line . . .
. . . or the story that is now.
Stalker number 2: Ding-dong! It’s not Avon calling!
Still back during my college days . . .
Well, finally, the college student had blackmailed her parents to shell out some greenbacks so she could move up the ladder in this scheme of life. This means that I had gotten a new apartment away from all the construction goons living on the sixth floor of the complex. It was hard work to find one. I had to say to my parents, "IF YOU DON’T HELP ME FIND A NEW APARTMENT AWAY FROM THE PERVERTS WHO ARE THREATENING TO TOSS ME OUT OF A SIX-STORY WINDOW, THEN I WILL HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO BUY A JUNK CAR AND LIVE IN THE BACK OF IT IN THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT WHILE TAKING SHOWERS IN THE RAIN GUTTER!"
It took awhile for my parents to help. They had two cars, and I’m thinking they had a debate on giving me one of them to sleep in. But it would have been too much of an expense to drive it out to me (remember, these are very thrifty people.) So they helped me find a new apartment . . . inside the same building . . . up on the ninth floor.
Was it an improvement? Well, reread the title to the post. It doesn’t say, "Michelle found a stalker-free accommodation." If only life could be so fair.
I was away from the people on the sixth-floor, and in a larger place: a bedroom/livingroom with a huge kitchen, and a bathroom all to myself. About eight apartments were on that floor, but there were only two others along with mine at one end of the hallway. One was empty. Then there was the end apartment. Another tenant introduced me to the guy living there. He was so sweet and reminded me of Forrest Gump without the southern accent. And he was helpful. He always came out into the hallway to lend a hand if my arms were full of groceries as I fumbled at the lock with the door keys. Or he carried my basket of dirty clothes whenever I was headed to the laundry area. Or he would just come out and talk after I had mopped the wood floors and was sitting in the hallway reading and waiting for the apartment to dry.
Hmm, strange. He always knew when I was going in and out of my apartment. He always appeared in the hallway while being so friendly. A gentleman.
It was the doorbell. I got up and peered through the peephole. I saw no one outside. Maybe someone noticed it was the wrong apartment number only after they hit the buzzer. I shrugged my shoulders and walked away.
My back turned, I heard the mail slot on the door clink open. I turned around, not expecting to see any letters since it was 10p.m. I went back to the door and took a gander through the peephole again. Still nothing. Then I leaned down. My fingernail hooked the slight lip to the metal cover of the slot. I slowly lifted it up.
Sorry. Apiece of lint landed on my keyboard. I tried to blow it off, but it scooted underneath the keys. I hate it when this happens. It makes me want to scream sometimes. Now, where was I? Oh, yes. The mail slot.
I lifted up the slot and looked through to still see no one. So I unhooked the latch and opened the door only wide enough to stick my head out. A fist came swinging for my face and laid me out on the floor. Cindy cried in the corner of the bedroom, hands covering her wet face so she wouldn’t have to witness the dark figure as he leaned down and grabbed my hair - sticky with blood. Dazed by the blow, my hazy sight focused on the only bright object in the hall. A knife. A blade so bright in the lamp’s reflected light as he brought it toward my throat. The gentleman rushed from his apartment to save me, but got jumped by two burly men covered in dust and sweat from their construction jobs. The dark figure sneered as I felt the knife press against my skin.
Whoa! Wrong story! My imagination can just take over typing fingers when I’m not paying attention. Shame on it! I will scold the dream factory after I finish this post.
I found no one in the hall. I closed and locked the door. Then I went to bed.
Ten more times for the next several months the doorbell buzzed and the mail slot clinked at all hours of the day. Each time I went into the hallway trying to catch the pranksters. Each time I never saw anyone. It was starting to drive me crazy. Then I heard heavy breathing.
After someone clinked the slot, I rushed angrily into the empty hall. One thing I forgot to do before my mad dash was to put on my pajama bottoms. I just had a long shirt on and my tidy whities (pink undies, actually) as I prepared myself to kick butt and take names. Oh, one other thing, I’m not the type of person to just race into unknown danger while defenseless. I had a baseball bat in my hand. I was sick of dealing with this crap.
When I turned to reenter my room, I glanced at the door to the gentleman’s apartment. It wasn’t completely closed. The crack along the door and frame had a shadow lurking near it on the other side. Then I saw the light flicker when he fidgeted. And I heard breathing. Heavy breathing.
I officially had my head-slap moment of clarity. Why hadn’t I considered it before? The halls were always empty when I had checked them. I never heard a door slam on any of the other apartments or for the stairwell. The elevator doors never shuffled close as if someone had hit the stop button, pulled their joke, and then made their escape in the lowering box. Only track athletes had the speed to disappear to safety in a matter of seconds before I opened the door, or someone who lived nearby. Someone who made it their business to know what my daily schedule was. Someone who knew when I was home.
Hum-hum . . . maybe I’m the one . . . who is . . . the schizophrenic psycho. Yeah. Maybe I’m the one . . . who is . . . the paranoid fake. No. You’re the one . . . you’re the one . . . who is . . . the schizophrenic psychoooo!
Dang! Sorry. I can’t get the band’s song out of my head. Yes, "Puddle of Mudd" is a real band and "Psycho" is a real song. Anyway, I’m signing off now. I have to write that letter to Stalkers ‘R Us. What? Oh, you want to know what happened at the end of the story. Well, he cracked. Completely. The gentleman/ringer went loco and had to go to a mental institution. The janitor told me about it when cleaning out the apartment.
Ironic, isn't it?