Mystery and Crime Flash Fiction posted December 28, 2014

This work has reached the exceptional level
short story

Neighborhood Watch

by michaelcahill

I guess you could call me a stalker. I roam the hills above Dodger Stadium looking for victims. I have my eye on one right now, a young widow with a little girl. Gloria Sandoval lost her husband to whatever one would call the action in Afghanistan. War suffices for a widow with a little girl. The house they stay in is her late husband's. He inherited it from his grandma. She's pretty and the little girl is cute.
She is being stalked by a patron of the Denny's she works at. He eats there every Friday evening and sits in her section. She hasn't noticed. He thinks they have a relationship building. She is unaware of them even being acquainted.
I'm stalking him. I've seen this many times and I know it won't end up good. He'll find out the truth and when reality and his delusion don't match the violence will begin. I'm going to prevent it.
I heard their little talk tonight:
"What time do you get off?"
"Not soon enough!"
"No, really, I thought we could go out for a drink. We hardly get to talk here."
"Oh, I'm not looking to meet anyone, sir. It's just me and my little girl. I can't think of anything else at the moment. But, you're sweet to ask."
I could see you didn't like her flippant tone dismissing you like that. All these months coming here to share your Friday evenings with her only to be treated like a stranger--dismissed like a little boy. Yep, this would be the evening you'd follow her home for a little one-on-one conversation.
As I sit here now and see your car pull up a block away with the lights off, I wonder what could possibly be going through your mind. You have a decent car. You appear to be groomed and self-supporting. Why now? You've made it twenty-five years or so without this happening … or have you? Well, not my immediate concern. I have to let it reach a certain point or it will just be a trespass or a breaking and entering. Timing is everything.
He's doing everything exactly as I expect. He knocks on the door still optimistic. She answers surprised and more than a little frightened to see him standing there. She rebukes him rudely. He stomps away heartbroken and angry, very angry. He paces the sidewalk for a little while and heads back towards his car. He turns and watches the light in her bedroom extinguish. He walks back hunched over. He slinks up to the back door and punches in the window to gain entrance.
The bedroom light goes on. I make my call to 911. I hear pounding on the door. I hear sirens in the distance. I hear screams. The sirens grow louder. More screams, more frantic. The cops arrive. A man bolts out the back door. He's met by the butt of a shotgun, knocked to the ground and roughly cuffed.
The statements are taken, the stalker is carted away, her daughter is tucked in and finally her bedroom light is once again extinguished. The police are lax if you ask me. The back door is left unsecured. Well, no worries I suppose, her stalker is in a squad car on his way to the station. He won't be back.

She doesn't realize how close she came to being raped or worse. I wonder what she'd say to me if she knew I'd rescued her. She is about to get that chance.

"If your daughter awakens, she's dead."


Surprise Me writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
This is a flash fiction contest. Write a story that has a surprise ending. Since it is flash, the word count must be between 200 and 600 words. The ending can be funny, sad, shocking, etc. But the reader has to be surprised.


Microsoft word count 596
FanStory word count 598
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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