Thursday, August 12, 2010

Telescope Moment

This story is rated PG-13 by my standards, for sexual references and the suggestion of violence.

Breathe. Turn and adjust focus. Nothing. 

Breathe. Pan across. Ah, there! The blond with her kid at the kitchen table. Doing homework. 

A worthless pursuit, watching them. A tall chest of drawers sat by the side of the entrance, obscuring from view the bottom two-thirds of the door. Who places a wardrobe next to the front door? Nothing worthwhile to see here. If she were to move the wardrobe, however—but he thought of the child and shook his head. No. Kids complicated things.

Breathe. Pan down. First floor. The slats of his blinds rustled as he panned the scope across the windows of the first floor apartments of the building opposite his. 

His hands trembled and his breath caught in his throat. 

That one. 

The careless brunette was getting ready for work. He could see in through her open bedroom window, her curtains parted just enough for the view. Her hair was sopping wet (fresh from the shower). Her naked back was turned to him. He felt a warmth begin in his stomach and spread to his groin. 

Breathe. He struggled to get his breathing back to normal as he watched her dress. She turned slightly when she put on her bra and he caught a glimpse of her breasts. He shuddered. He grunted angrily when she moved away from the window. He wanted to see if she would turn around when she put on her panties. So far, he'd yet to have a glimpse of that treasure. 

His frustration was made complete when she stepped back in viewing range a short while later, fully dressed. His erection subsided. He sighed, and contemplated how much she looked like that other one, the girl from that complex he'd lived in across town...he couldn't remember the name, that was so long ago and he moved around a lot. The frequent moves were necessary, of course. He couldn't take a chance on being caught. He'd nearly screwed up with that nurse who had worked at the hospital. But she'd been a lowly candy-striper. Far below the notice of a top-gun surgeon. He was one of few people the police never bothered to question. He'd been very lucky that time.

His excitement increased again as she disappeared in the direction of the living room. Trembling, he panned the telescope in that direction, following her movements to the door. She opened the door and began to exit, then stopped, locking the door from inside before closing it

He cursed under his breath and turned away from the telescope. He thought for sure she was going to slip again.

She'd been careless once before and he'd not caught it. He'd caught her reaction, though, coming from her bedroom one morning to discover she hadn't even chained the door, let alone locked it. He cursed himself time and again for not being more observant with that one. He could have completed his work and moved on. 

Still, she'd been careless once. She might be again. And so he watched. And waited. He kept a small bag of tools ready: rolls of duct tape, several pairs of latex gloves, a sharp knife, a sharper scalpel, a syringe, and a bottle of a certain tranquilizer to knock out and, eventually...after an indeterminate amount of kill. If only she would make the same mistake twice. Until then, he would bide his time. He had become very good at that over the years. 

Yes, the brunette from 610 might very well be The One, thought the man sitting in front of his window in unit 524. 

He turned his attention back to the telescope. 

If not her, then—

Breathe. Pan across. Adjust focus.


  1. Chilling.
    Well written but yikes. :)

  2. OMG, is that how a serial killer works? Creepy Telescope Guy with tools. Well written for sure..:)

  3. Yes, very disturbing subject matter, but so very well done.

  4. Auugh! *closes curtains, re-checks door* Chris said it: well written but YIKES.

  5. Can't beat a bit of voyeurism... I've written & will be performing a piece also about a man looking through a telescope, allegedly at the stars, but always tilting his focus downwards into other people's windows... My tone isn't as heavy as yours though.

    Great work.


    Marc Nash

  6. You ain't going to believe it, but the word verification was 'voysta' which seemed somehow appropriate!


  7. *Shiver*

    The way you returned to the beginning, so methodical, was chilling and effective.

  8. My oh my Maria... you just keep getting BETTER and BETTER and BETTER... this story is so sick it's great! :)

    Please keep it up in this type of writing and genre... I think you've found your voice!

    Jim Bronyaur <-- my #fridayflash if you care to read

  9. Chilling indeed. This probably affects me more than "the norm" because I've been the one on the other side of that lens, stalked. A very scary time in my life.

    Very well told Maria.

  10. Ohhhhhh that's creepy. There's something invasive about a peeping Tom anyway but one who does so to select his victims?

    Very well written!

  11. This just went from bad to worse. Totally creepy. I think the scariest part is wondering just how many such people might be out there with all of us none the wiser.

  12. Chills. Goodness, creepy as all get-out. The writing is smooth and devilish.

    Yeah, checking my doors and windows in broad daylight right now.

    Great story.

  13. Whew! Chilling! It felt like a Hitchcock movie, I could really feel everything happen as I got pulled further in. I wanted to yell "lock your door, honey!"

    Very well done.

  14. You embraced the Friday the 13th theme in spades. This sets the stage perfectly for a horror tale. Well written, great story!

  15. Great use of short, long and broken sentences for pace. Reads out loud very nicely.

  16. The last line is wonderfully chilling. Great sinister read.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  17. Creepy! The thoughts of a mad voyeur. Well done.

  18. The word "chilling" has been used in many of the comments, aptly, since it describes this piece so well. Great work!

  19. Very creepy piece and great structure

    good stuff

  20. Wow, that was really creepy, and so damn believable. And a successful surgeon -- which just goes to show you never know about anyone, really, which makes it all the more creepy. Well done.

    And my wife wonders why I close the blinds at night.

  21. Very nice. I love Hitchcock's Rear Window, it's one of my favorites of his.

  22. That was seriously creepy! I will now go lock every door and close the blinds... ;)

  23. Oh Maria, you scared the hell out of me. I'm checking and rechecking my door locks and closing my blinds and it's still daylight. Eerie, scary thriller.

  24. This story creeped me out with its subject matter and rhythm. I'll be double-checking the doors tonight. :)


  25. Nice take. I felt like we were watching the watcher. Now I'm off to close my blinds. Thanks for the well written reminder.

  26. You got us right inside the head of your main character. Well done. Now I need to go shower.

    Tautly written. This didn't let go all the way to the end.


  27. Creepy and chilling - well written! Yuck and unfortunately totally believable.

  28. Very cool and creepy story! Well done.

  29. Very creepy. Just thought of someone watching you is very disturbing. Great story.

  30. I just want to take a moment to post a thanks for every one of you who commented on this story, and to comment to a few of you individually:

    Sulci Collective, I hope you have a lot of fun with your play. It sounds awesome!

    Jim, thanks for wonderful comment and for your help and invaluable advice. I'm glad I know you.

    Deanna, sorry to hear that. I was also stalked once, so I know how terrifying that is. I was stalked in broad daylight as I shopped store to store in downtown St. Pete. I often liked to hit the thrift stores there. I finally figured out that this same guy in this same orange bug was parked in front of every store I'd come out of. As I stared walking down the street, he followed me in his car. I went to McCory's (dept store) & told the manager. He walked outside & the man was waiting behind the doors and took off. I called my mom & she came with her friend & they walked me home. Whew! I've never been so scared.

    John, I'm glad you like they style and rhythm. I might want to have someone read it someday, along with WWW.

    Cyndi, sorry for scaring the hell out of you, lady. I'm glad you liked the last lines.

    Kevin, thanks for commenting. It's not easy to get inside a head that creepy!

    Laura, thanks for the comment. It is unfortunately too believable nowadays!

    And thanks for everyone who used the words "chilling" and "creepy" and even "ugh!" That's exactly the reaction I was trying to invoke.

    Peace, friends!

  31. Yes, Maria, it is very scary. In my case I never knew who was following me - a guy I went out with ONE time, (and decided I didn't like), had me followed everywhere I went. He'd call to tell me what store I'd just walked out of, where I'd been, what I'd eaten for lunch - he knew it all. He even, somehow, got into my locked apartment, (no signs of a break in), and filled it with gladiolas - hence the reason I can't stand the sight of them now.

    This went on for two months before I finally moved. I was angry about it at the time of course, but am grateful now, (that I came back "home"), because it's where I belonged anyway.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.