It was just after dark when the doorbell rang again. Once again I somehow ended up answering it. When I peeked out the blind I did a double take. Apparently Mister Psychotic was back. And he had noticed me because the pause in my answering the door had him give an extra knock.
“I know your there.” He called out to me.
With a curse I yanked the blind up and glared out at him. “What is your problem? No means no. Please get off my property.”
“You are making this harder than it has to be.” He answered me.
Me? It was him! The stupid fool didn’t know when to quit.
“I’m calling the cops!” I let him know.
It had worked to get him to leave last time but this time he laughed. I paused in my walk to the nearby phone to look back at the window over my shoulder. He was watching me through the glass. Eyes still unreadable with the sunglasses on. And come to think of it why did he have sunglasses on at night?
I grabbed the phone and started punching in numbers but got nothing. In fact the dial tone was missing. I pulled the phone receiver away from my ear and looked down at it as if a clue might be written on it somewhere to explain its lack of response.
“What’s wrong?” The man taunted. “Something wrong with your phone.”
“What did you do?” I asked him warily.
He stared at me seriously through the window now. “Let me in.”
I ignored the man on my porch and ran into the kitchen. The phone was dead there too. I slammed the receiver down hard gaining the attention of my parents who had been eating and watching television.
“What’s wrong?” My mother asked.
I swiped a hand through my hair nervously. “You know that crazy guy that I told you about from earlier? That’s him on the porch again. And when I went to call the police I found out the phone isn’t working.”
My father stood and grabbed up the phone to check it himself. He shook his head negative when my mother looked at him.
“Okay, never mind.” I announced. “We’ll just use the cell phone instead.”
“Oh!” My mother let out.
“What is it now?” My father asked.
My mother looked apologetically at me. “I lent the phone to your brother. I’m sorry. Had I known…”
But she couldn’t have known. No one could have. Still, that left us without the police. And our house was separated from our neighbors and town by a twenty minute drive. So we were on our own.
The TV had been muted for the conversation so we heard the knocking from out front start up in the silent pause. My father went into the bedroom and came back out with a baseball bat. With a look at my mother and me he led the way back into the front room.
Mister psychotic was still on the porch of course. He had been knocking on the window frame but stopped now. I saw his gaze take my folks in and not miss the baseball bat in my father’s grasp. Normally this would have scared most people but it didn’t seem to faze this guy. He smiled at my father.
“You must be this lovely young woman’s father.” He said.
“My daughter doesn’t want to talk to you.” My father told him. “So please leave and don’t make the mistake of coming back.”
“I just need to talk to her for a….” He started to say.
“You don’t need to talk to her about anything.” My mother interrupted. “Get out of here.”
Mister psychotic had been smilingly politely but that faded. He straightened up in the window now, no longer slouched over and approachable. His voice became hard with aggravation.
“One way or another I will talk to her.” He said, and then turned his head to look at me. “Open this door and come out. You don’t want to drag your folks into this now do you?”
A wave of guilt and uneasiness went through me. I loved my folks to pieces and wouldn’t do anything to hurt them. I didn’t know what this guy wanted but I wouldn’t risk my family over it.
My mother grabbed my arm. “Oh no you don’t. Get away from that door.”
“Yes, come out.” The man was saying. “I just…”
My father pulled the baseball bat to his shoulder as if ready for a swing. “Leave. Right now!”
One minute my mother was pulling me back toward the kitchen, the next I heard loud, shuddering thumps and the breaking of wood. I started to turn to see what was going on but my father hurried up to my mother and I and ushered us forward. He herded us toward the back steps that would lead to the attic.