As I turned the corner and headed for the house, I was positive I was being followed. I had not glimpsed my stalker, but the sounds and just the sense of unease was palpable. The dog kept turning, the smell of our unseen tracker filling the air.
Somewhat nervously the key slotted into the lock, from behind I heard the distinct sound of rustling in the bushes. My pulse a little elevated, I opened the door and let in the dog. Standing at the threshold, I scanned the garden.
*There, in the undergrowth.*
The porch-light shone back at me, reflected on a hidden surface.
“I know you’re in there! Show yourself,” I said with a bravado that did not match my underlying fear.
“Okay, okay,” said the voice of an old man, “you got me.”
He crept out from the shadows.
“Who the fuck are you?” I shouted.
“Now there’s no need for profanity, son. We didn’t speak like that to our elders in my day.”
“What are you doing following me?”
“I got too cocky, moved too close, made too much noise; You’ve never caught me before,” he said chuckling.
“There have been times when you’ve been close,” he continued, “you remember that time when you thought someone was your shed? I was! You almost found me, I was hiding under the tarpaulin.”
“Remember that time when you heard noises from downstairs and went to investigate? You shone your torch right over me.”
I stood there petrified.
“Remember that time when your boy, Thomas, said he heard monsters under his bed?”
He tipped his hat, “See you again soon; good day!”