Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Tattooed Man


As I write this, I am also staring out a nearby window, into the darkness of my street.  I’ve even moved my desk just so I can keep this vigil.  It needs to be done, though—I believe I’m being watched.

It started several days ago.  I try not to leave my house more than I have to for fear of revealing my location, but I have this pesky habit of eating occasionally, so trips to the store are necessary.  It was on such an outing that I first encountered him

I was making my way through the frozen foods when I noticed a man at the end of the aisle.  He struck me as odd immediately; he had no cart or items of any sort.  Nor did he seem to be shopping.  Instead, he looked to be waiting on something or someone.  Despite my paranoia, I wrote it off as nothing and continued to stock up.

It wasn’t until I reached the next aisle, that I started to become worried.  There he was, at the end of the walkway again.  It was almost as if he’d been there the whole time, still waiting.  I chose to skip the aisle.

His presence seemed to loom over me as finished making my rounds through the store.  The Pale Forest market is quite small, and its aisle’s are tightly packed, so I was acutely aware of this specter even when I couldn’t actually see him.  My heart raced a little every time I went around a corner, fearful he might be only a few feet away.  I even rushed through checkout, one eye fixed on what might be behind me.

But I didn’t see him again that day.  I had even convinced myself that I was being silly for allowing my imagination to turn a shopper into a devil.  But that was before I drove past my old house again.

I know this wasn’t a good idea.  Going back to a place that is likely under surveillance was both stupid and risky.  My curiosity got the better of me, though.  I don’t feel any sense of nostalgia for the house—it was my parents' but I’m not a sentimental person.  I am intensely interested in finding out who broke in originally, though.  I had finally decided to go inside and look around, but I didn’t get the chance.  As I drove past, there was someone standing in my driveway.  I immediately recognized him as the man from the store.

I sped away, but thankfully he didn’t try to follow me.  What he was doing there I can’t say, but it didn’t seem logical to attribute it to coincidence.  He was there waiting, as he had been before.  But this time it was obvious he was waiting for me.

Despite the threat he represents, the man is at first glance quite unassuming, both thin and of average height.  At the store and my house, he was wearing a long, brown coat, cinched in the middle.  He is bald, which combined with the wireframe glasses he was wearing, made it difficult to discern his age.  I would guess he is in his late forties, though.  Most distinguishable, however, was the tattoo on his neck.  I hadn’t noticed it in the store because he’d been wearing a turtleneck, but now it was mostly visible.  It looked like letters or perhaps numbers, but I couldn’t see it clearly from my car.  Either way, it seemed in stark contrast to his otherwise quite businesslike appearance.

I haven’t left my house since that day, but the possibility of this threat suddenly showing up here is forever in my thoughts.  I now have a face to put with my fears.  I’m not sure that really makes me feel any better, though.

Until next time…