The Deupty’s car pulls into Liz’s driveway. He has circled a dozen times to show his presence. Every time slowing down by the Greeley house and watching the man mowing the yard. The old lady could chase him off but not throw him off. There’s a risk at showing the source of the compliant. But there’s a clear message too.
Liz comes to the door long before a door bell is needed. Socks the cat hides under the clamshell chair on the porch. Socks stands vigil over the porch. Jesse calls in his location and the response to the call was taken care of. Liz stands outside and sees the man down the street mowing someone’s yard. It creates a chill down the spine. Her eyes follow him. He doesn’t look real. A robot moving on rails but far from a man.
Jesse looks at her. She is shaking slightly. The way someone looks when they don’t want you to know they are scared.
“He has an aunt down the street. She chased me off! Damn, she is part bulldog. I can’t see anything that William has done. But he’s called Joshua by her. There’s nothing on a Joshua Harden, anywhere. I tried to run facial recognition but there’s a hundred white men close in looks named William. I don’t have a close up to work with. There’s not much else, besides drive by him a bunch of times. Keep my number close. Watch out for him. I’ll come running. Don’t worry!! I don’t like his kind either.” Jesse’s word bounce off her. She is somewhere else. Her heart was hoping it was her overreacting. This is too close to home.
“Does he live there? Does he live there?! You got to know at least that much! He has to have a home. I never looked for the truck, but there it is. Look! He’s watching us! He knows we are talking about him! What if he comes around my house at night? I can’t see him in the bushes in the dark! If he got in, who would find us while we are still alive! That’s what they do isn’t? Sneak into your house tie up the woman and rape them. Hoping they don’t kill you and your kids. Beg to be taped to spare my son! What kind of sick game is that! And you can do nothing but drive around. ‘Look we are watching you! Lookee here! Mr Policeman driving by. I hope you don’t have bodies in the freezer! Really! This is what I have to think about. I’m not meaning to yell at you but I’m not good with this” she points at the man down the street.
Jesse looks at the man. The man never stopped and isn’t even paying an attention at all to them. He looks back at a crazy woman. Her breath is with the force of a dragon. Deep wells of air purging the deep fears from blaster furnaces of worry. The heat that burns out minds from living in today for what exists in their minds. He didn’t want to think it is in her head. Years of police work leads to instincts the have vision clearer than human eyes.
“Look, I’m here. I’ll be around. I can’t just stop him all the time. Hell, the turn with no signal. A headlight burned out, speeding..he’s gonna talk to me. Until then…I have to respect his right to be slightly creepy at times. He’s not very intimidating. You flared up at the store and he left. Go inside watch some tv, play a game with Devon. If he’s at soccer practice this week, look in the parking lot I’ll be there.
Jesse gets in the car and drives off. She sits in the clam shell chair and watches him. He has finished up with the yard. Ms Greekey talks with him by his truck. Her arms wave furiously. He seems to cower back. He goes to passenger side and emerges with a stack of pink paper .
As she goes back toward the house, her eyes follow him on the sidewalk and toward the neighbors house. His slow gait carries him as he scans the lawn. His left hand appears to write on the stack of papers. He goes up the driveway toward the front door. He stands there looking around the house. He turns toward the street. Not enough to she her. She watches in disbelief, he acts like he belongs here. He stuffs a pink paper in the mailbox. Then starts for the next house walking away from her. She breaths a deep breath and goes inside.
“He’s a landscaper. Ok, he is selling his service door to door. I’m crazy. Jesse was trying to tell me. Maybe crazy attracts crazy.” Liz retreats into her house. She sits and flicks on the TV. Her minds floats away.
The door bell rings. She shuts off the TV Walking to the door she sees the man, pink paper in hand he looks toward the street. Fear emboldens her. She grabs the door handle. The door flys open and bangs against the wall. He jumps.
“What are you doing here!! I told you to leave me alone! What is your problem?!” Her face is beet red. Her back curls her face out in front of her. Both arms forced down with clinched fists. She is rigid and breathing fire.
“I’m doing landscaping work in the area. You need anything done. I mow, design..what ever you need?” Joshua acts as if nothing has happened.
“Are you stupid?! I’m yelling for you to leave. You just don’t get it, do you?!” She starts to lose her steam.
“Ok, thanks for your time.” He smiles and turns.
“You are leaving just like that! Really?!” She starts back up.
“I figured you were having a bad day. It happens. Sorry, I’ll keep moving.” He won’t look at her now.
“Ok. I might have been a little jumpy there. But you show up at thecstore talking about practice and now you’re here. It’s a bit creepy! Don’t get me wrong. You can go wherever but I’m a little tired of it being where I am.” She tries to relax. It doesn’t work.
“I’ll be going. You seen me at one store and here. I think I was wrong about you.” He turns again.
“Now wait just a minute?! What does that mean?!” She continues.
“You out of control. You have no idea of anyone else, do you? Someone really hurt you. And here you are taking the world out on a stranger. Or is there something else I did to you?” He turns again.
“That’s a little too funny. You psychoanalysing me?! You think I am crazy.” She won’t stop now.
“I have a friend, counselor. I do some child work with him. It’s easy, if you are strong enough to ask for help.” He reaches in his pocket.
“Are you fucking kidding me?! Counseling?!” She is back to furious “I’m really trying to figure out what …you work with kids? Joshua…..that’s who you talk to?”
“Built. I talk to Billy. I’m Joshua. I got nervous around you. He has my same given name. He has hard.” He gathers himself. Joshua stands tall on both feet. He looks taller and more attractive.
“Oh, no! You aren’t what I thought. You seemed like a stalker! You acted like you knew me.” She relaxes. All defenses fall down like rain.
“I know more about most people. Here’s what Willie looks like. You’ll know him instantly.” His hand never left the left pocket. He removes a small black box.
“You’re right I will. Oh, wait is that….” She crumbles mid sentence. A smell of ozone and a crackle tell of a tazer delivering enough volts and amps to stun someone. He pushes her backwards. She slumps to a dull thump.
“You are all the same uptight bitches! You are better than us. You judge us. We beat you at the game. You’re pathetic. The sermon was beautiful, more substance then in your heart.” He reaches into that pocket for a shop cloth and four plastic zip strips. “I’ll just move that SUV out in the street. A tarp full of clippings is all they will see me move. Going behind your truck. Like another day, like another invisible person working around your prefect ass world. I can’t wait til you start moving around. I’ll just put this pill under your tongue to keep you relaxed. You’ll love what wait for you.”