The Cat and the Mouse
I overslept last night and missed my flight from Atlanta. I was trying to write a short story. I looked out the window. I knew that he was watching me, most likely from a shadow that I couldn't see. The man was my stalker, a serial killer that had become obsessed with me years earlier. I feared for my safety, security and health of myself and my family, particularly my husband, mother, brother, father, my kids and my brothers kids. I had even had a vision of my husband and son walking toward heaven, the sun shining behind them and a trail of his blood behind them. In this dream, it happened on a weekend, when I was out of town. I went chasing after them, only to see in the second part of the dream, I saw myself being killed. In what way? Over twelve different scenarios popped into my head: Being thrown out of a car window. Having a car sped up in front of me and then slamming on the brakes. An airplane crash. Maybe I would get into a car accident and kill somebody. Over maybe someone in my family would do something bad. My paranoia over the future began to overwhelm me. I began looking over my shoulder on a daily basis. Did it really matter how I died? I lived a short, painful life.
My stalker, knew a lot of people. He was charming and persuasive when he wanted to be. So he used that and had tried to get me thrown in jail (or the psych ward) for almost a year to life in prison with/without the possibility of parole, unless I married him. Even the jail cell was terrible. It was a horrible, rotten place with a terrible smell. I was beaten up daily, attacked in the shower, molested by the guards and other cellmates. Everyone was really nasty to me, the food was terrible, the cell small and dirty and windowless. I couldn't go outside or move around. No one to talk to. Everyone was afraid of the jinx that might be placed on them. Of the magic that he had learned in New Orleans. Besides, who would believe my story?
This would please the serial killer because he thrived on others' misery. He counted down the days. Once she was there, she would be his. He could do anything he wanted to her and no one would truly be on her side. No one in power would dare question his motives and if anyone did, he would punish her. He would take away her television privileges, put her in solitary confinement, keep her alone and play with her mind at night. He would keep her from seeing her family and friends. He would also enlist the help of anyone he could. He would try to make it hard for her to leave prison when her time was up by using his influence. He would mess with her on the weekend. He wanted to wait one night for her to come home, end her and then frame someone else. Or he would have someone else do it instead.
But it wouldn't stop there. It would be a lifelong obsession-He felt he owned her like all women that crossed him. He dreamed of ways that he could write her letters to scare her out of her mind. He dreamed of how he would destroy her. He needed psychological help but he didn't believe in being social. He was a different person when no one was around. He would not be silenced. No one would be able to stop him. He would enlist the aid of anyone he could think of but especially firefighters, neighbors, former coworkers and even the owner of the home she would someday rent. But before the dream, that very dream, I had received his letter in the mail. A proposal of marriage where I would take a backseat to him. But why would I marry a serial killer? Then I began to think what would happen if I never married and never had kids. He didn't want me with another man, unless he was abusive and nasty too or had a really bad drug habit, womanizing ways, sex secrets or a gambling problem. When I didn't marry him, he spread rumors about me through other folks that ruined me. I had to start all over and then he was still there, watching, waiting. He sent my husband a nude photograph of me, along with some dead roses, a home video and him laughing. Then, he sent it to the media, a former boyfriend and an tryst with a married man but even better than that, he sent it to the man's wife. But I didn't know. But she didn't care. I feared she would come after me too. So my love left me and took our children with him. Even if I had left him, I still would have been sad. I couldn't breathe.
He listened in on my phone calls--How I didn't know. He taped bits and pieces and used them against me. He followed my work and used his powers of persuasion to try to make my stories come true. Fictional characters became real. The least exciting characters with the most exotic-sounding names in the stories began showing up at strange places such as the grocery store. But they were supposed to be based on fiction and I was labeled crazy. But that wasn't even the biggest problem. He actually had someone climb into my window at nighttime and watch me sleep. A blonde-haired woman with one of those Mickey Mouse type names and a twin sister. She was his accomplice and I was their lair. He would recruit others, including former schoolmates and a red-haired woman with one of those old-lady sounding names. He would also recruit her closest black friends both near and far.
I remember when I met both of them. They had seemed nice enough. But I hadn't played his game, a game of chess with an uneven amount of playing pieces. I had less and I was surely to lose. But I had never wanted to play. Nor had I wanted to win but in his world, he was sure that I was losing and that my insecurities would bring him back into his arms.
If that wasn't bad enough, he was stalking a friend of mine, a guy that looked eerily similar to a Mexican baseball player that all the girls loved. So, my friend didn't want to be friends with me anymore because the serial killer had actually sent a friend of his to me. The friend had cast a spell on me, we had sex and I ended up with a STD, which I gave to my husband and my son inherited.
I didn't know what to do. I had already made amends but that didn't stop his obsession. He continued to follow me around and I continued to dream about the future. When I woke up from those dreams, I wrote and hoped that my stories wouldn't come true, not in the news, not in the newspaper and not in my real life. The next time I saw the serial killer, he was sitting outside my window, with no shirt on. He was sitting in a car, plotting his next move. Even as she wrote her stories, he was not too far removed from reality.
I sat down at a typewriter and began writing the words to my next story. Or maybe I would look out the window. Waiting for someone to throw me a life raft. After all, I had nothing else to offer. All of my friendships were ruined. My family turned on me. I lost my job. Couldn't find another one, not one that paid good and I never published again. No books, not anything. No one believed me. They thought that I was crazy. Worse yet, my dreams of the future were coming true. I tried to block it out but couldn't. His claws were slowly suffocating me. He was winning but someday, would his luck run out? Would he win? Only time would tell . . .