She Is Wearing A Gold Head-Piece

The wind held one wisp of hopeful autumn in the 100 degree weather we were having. It was a late Sunday morning. Son was already on the computer watching Star Wars. I felt uneasy about this as I put the dishes away. I made up some coffee.
“Mom, come here!”
I just sat down with my coffee and was talking to my sister on the phone and did not want to get up.
“Mom, there is someone sitting on the white chair in front of the house? He said nervously. “They are smoking?”
I looked out the beige blinds and saw someone. I saw a person with a dark hoodie over their head smoking a cigarette. It was very strange. I was not familiar with what I was seeing.
I told sister I had to go while thinking to myself, “maybe I am seeing a gangster?”
I dialed 911,
“We will have a police officer drive by. Please do not make contact with this person. Dial 911 if they come up and jiggle the door.”
“But…I am feeling threatened!” I said with a nervous voice.
Son and I waited about a half hour as this person slowly smoked their cigarette. Then something strange began to happen. The gangster was not wearing shoes. I saw sandals. I looked closer and then I saw purple pants.
“Mom I think it is an older women smoking in the chair!” I then replied,
“Yes, it looks like an older woman with a hoodie over her head. Maybe I should go out and talk to her?”
“No!” son said. “She may have a knife or something, just wait until the cops get here.”
I then told older son who was sleeping in bed. He did not break his sleep for a moment, but to say,
“A strange woman is sitting in the front yard…”
“Mom she is leaving.”
Son and I got ready to hop into the car to follow her and see where she was going. Before I got into the car I looked up the street and could see that it was a woman indeed. She was wearing a dress as well and she walked slowly. She was now at the end of the street and I could only make out her silhouette. I then son,
“Let’s head down Main Street and then turn right and see if she is walking back to the retirement home for the elderly. I see many of these folks take walks past our house.”
“Mom, maybe she went down the alley before Main Street?”
We drove a circle around the neighborhood and up and down all the streets. The woman was gone. Son and I wondered. How could a slow-moving woman disappear so quickly? The cops arrived later. We told them the whole story.
“Maybe someone is looking for her. Maybe she is an old woman with dementia, lost?” I said.
The cops said they would drive around and look out for her.
Now, as son and I think it over, we realize that I was a bit foolish to call the cops. What is the danger of an old woman sitting in a chair enjoying a cigarette?
“When she took her hoodie from her head she was wearing a gold head-piece, maybe like a scarf,” said son.
The only thing that now remains of the mystery lady is the cigarette- butt below the white chair. I kicked the butt aside into the green lawn because the desire to smoke one myself still pulls at me. I had a feeling as if seeing a wild thing. Sometimes wild ducks come and swim in our pool and now and then we see coyotes, possums and raccoons. Maybe she was a wild crone?


The Haunting Flash Mystery

It was a late spring night leading to the hot nights of summer. Sunday at BJ’s got the old appetite going just right. Arriving at 10 pm seemed like an easy sitting for some food and a few beers, yet this was not the case. We were handed a restaurant blinker and the wait began. We went outside to wait under the night sky sitting on the red brick. We watched women in their stilettos, young men and their dates, groups of computer nerd men and happy families coming and going from the late night pub. This evening something strange happened. I did something I usually do not do. I started to scan the hotel Hilton a couple of parking lots across the way.  I would say this Hilton is a 20 story high Hotel. Some nagging thoughts came to mind,

“Look at the lights in the rooms” and “I wonder if I could see any people in these rooms?”

As I scanned the now black and white hotel I realized how the rooms looked fairly empty. Some curtains were drawn and some open, a few lights on.  Then one room pulled me in as a focus magnet. It grabbed me in. I could hear my family talking besides me. Yet, time blurred and I felt time slow down as well. In my view was a large big screen TV monitor which was the size of the hotel room. It was unique and the image was set back but I could tell what it was. The image was the movement of soft hues of blue and it was moving around and around in the dark room. I thought to myself,

“How strange it is to see this, There are not any other room like this one!”

Flash. I saw a flash. This flash lit up the room like an electrical storm, and then I saw the flash again and again go off.  My senses were on edge and my focus was even pulled deeper not knowing at first what pulled me like water down a drain into this drama that was unfolding before my eyes. My over curious mind told me,

“I know that light, it is the flash from a camera, and it is quick and bright and blinding.”

Seconds later the lights in the room were turned on and I viewed the back of a man. No one else was in the room that I could see. He had on a white shirt with long sleeves, a black tie  and he had black hair, wavy black hair. He was a husky man. The room was still dimly lit. Then he took some more shots with his camera. It looked like he was taking his pictures on his camera towards the large TV screen from different angles.  The light from the room went off completely in moments. He continued to take more shots with his camera. Then it stopped.  I was slightly aware of talking next to me again and of people coming and going around me. I clearly said to myself,

“This is so strange and I feel awkward about this, why am I continuing to stare?”

In another moments time he took another picture in the dark. It flashed and lit up the room. I noticed him clearly behind the flash of the camera. He was taking the shot in the direction towards the outside of the hotel room. I woke up and my mind yelled,

“What? He has turned around and is taking pictures from his hotel room of this town, of this restaurant?”

I was shocked like the electric flash of his camera.

“Has he caught me looking at him? Is he communicating to me by flashing his camera my direction?”

The room was far enough away and high enough  not to catch my gaze from the inside of a hotel room. Yet in my mind I was thinking,

“Oh my, he has sensed me, he found my interest. Why is he taking these pictures, of whom is he capturing in his camera in the room? I see no one else there?”

I did not want to watch anymore so I slowly with great strength moved my stare away from the room. I noticed from my peripheral vision that the flash went off a few more times, and as my gaze stopped so did the flashes. The room faded and the restaurant’s blinker went off.  Our time had come to go into the restaurant. We waited only 10 minutes, but my heart was racing from this awkward experience as we walked into BJ’s. The black and white of the night died to the warm bright colors of the pub inside and as I took my first drink of beer I let my paranoid thoughts melt away.

“Will he be waiting for us when we leave; was I a witness to something unspeakable or on the edge of the diabolical?

Unpublished Works@ Hudley Flipside June 2012