Stalking the Stalker
I am not a paranoid person, but something is not right with what is happening to me. At first, I thought it was my imagination, there is no way this car is following me. After all, a car cannot have a mind of its own; it must have a driver. Yet, there was something weird about that car. Everywhere I turned, the sleek black sedan was there. It stared at me, it watched me, and it would not leave me alone. I am not sure when this began. Honestly, I have tried but cannot specifically remember the first time we crossed paths. While I could be wrong, as I usually do not pay attention to parking lots, I believe it was Sunday sitting outside my favorite antique store.
That day began as any other. I ventured inside to see if I could find something new for my cabinet of curiosities. Between the bones, fetuses, taxidermy oddities, wet specimens and Victorian era medical devices, it is quite the extensive collection. Unfortunately, it is becoming harder to find items that catch my eye. That was until I saw the shrunken head. There it sat inside a small bell jar in all its shriveled glory. The dark, manicured skin, the braided beard, hair, and mustache; the head was something out of a museum. Although the eyes were sewn shut, I felt it peer into both my mind and my soul. When I looked at it, I could hear a deep voice cry out in pain; he wanted me to care for him. There was no doubt. I needed it, and at $250, it fit into my budget. I scurried to the counter, paid for the artifact, and headed for the door. That is when I stumbled upon the car.
Yes, that was it. The car was parked right next to me in the private lot to the right of the store. We were the only cars in the lot, yet no driver was around. This was peculiar, as there were no other customers in the store. I did not care; I did not have time, I had to find a location for my new discovery. That night, I did not notice anything strange, and I definitely did not see the car again. At least, I did not think so.
After that point, I could not rid myself of the sedan. On Monday, the car crept into my world. During lunch at Burger King, it was there. At the library picking up some research material, it was there. Everywhere I turned, it seemed to follow. The driverless vehicle would be there sitting idly almost waiting for me to depart. I would never see it on the road, yet it always appeared.
Early on, I found it somewhat laughable; there was no way someone would find me interesting enough to stalk. Could they, I was just an electronics instructor and writer. No way, this had to be my imagination playing tricks on me. It had to be. Unfortunately, the situation got worse. On Tuesday, the same thing occurred. Wednesday, check! Thursday, you bet. By Friday, it was getting old; the damn car was in front of my house all night. Incredibly, there was still no sign of a driver. I know because I started stalking the car. Yet, it was always just there. I would scurry into my house and quickly turn to the window, nothing. The car would seem to just appear in that split second where I was not paying attention. This bizarre situation had become both mentally and physically unnerving, and had to end.
When I woke on Sunday, there it sat. The sun reflecting off the blue starburst paint, the redline tires almost glistening in the brightness, but still, no one was in the car. Hell, in a week, I never witnessed anyone even approach the car. That had to change. After some thought, I decided to confront the vehicle. I know it may sound a touch extreme or insane, but I had to do it. This car was driving me crazy. I could not sleep, I could not eat, and all I could do was stare out the window hoping to see who (or what) was torturing me. It was a simple plan, step outside, and take a closer look. I had to see what was inside; hopefully find a clue to what was going on.
At four o’clock, I stepped toward the sidewalk and made my way towards my nightmare. Everything was quiet, as a dull murmur overtook my head; my eyes fixated on the car. I was captivated by its beauty, yet shook from the overwhelming sense of dread. I could hear my pulse echo through the emptiness. One more step and I was there. I hoped it would just one more step toward an answer.
“Hey, get away from my car,” a woman’s voice said, “I don’t know who you are, just get away, or I’ll call the cops!”
Startled by the person’s voice, I felt an inexplicable weight lifting from my shoulders. At that point, I realized something was amiss; that the stunning dark sedan that had been haunting me had disappeared; replaced on the street by a red sports car. That’s impossible, I thought as I looked up and down the street with no sign of the vehicle. What had happened? Where did that car go? This cannot be happening to me, I am not crazy.
Frustrated and confused by the situation, I collapsed to the ground staring with my eyes fixated on the coupe. Crack! A muffled sound came from my pocket as I hit the grass. What was that? I thought.
“Damn, not the head! That car made me forget about the head. I’m sorry,” I said looking at the shattered bell jar. Unexpectedly, the sound of laughter erupted in my mind, and once again, those deep voices echoed through my soul, “please, take care of me... and my caretakers car.”