Telescope

I didn’t know what her name was, but I did know that she was one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. The first time I saw her was the morning of July 4th. I remember it well because I was on my way to my brother’s for the fireworks festivities. She was just returning home from jogging. The sun gleamed off her skin, she glowed like an angel. To my luck, she lived in the apartment complex directly across the street from mine.

Ever since that night, I felt that I had to see her. I didn’t have the nerve to walk up and identify myself. I had always been too shy for that. A history of let downs and early destruction of my self esteem made that impossible. Girls were never interested in me. They were attracted to the jocks, musicians, and preps. I was a loner who didn’t really have any close friends. My parents moved from town to town, never staying long enough for me to get to know anyone. To make matters worse, I had been diagnosed with ADHD and was prescribed Ritalin for several years. One of the side effects of the medication was that it sucked the enamel out of my teeth, leaving them a dingy brown color. It was the first thing that people noticed about me. It made it very difficult to smile.

Twenty years after high school, I was still unattractive and alone. I made a fairly comfortable living as a writer, being a nerd helped me in some ways. It didn’t help me socially, however. The closest that I ever got to meeting my mystery girl happened every evening at 8:00. I went out on my deck, which was four stories above the ground, and watched her through my telescope. She was also on the third floor.

I didn’t feel too ashamed of my behavior, It wasn’t as if she was naked or had sex in her living room. She would go about her daily routine, which at 8:00, was to eat supper, watch television, and talk on the telephone. I watched her until 10:00 when she usually went to bed. Her bed was on the other side of the apartment, and out of my sight.

On the last night that I saw the object of my fantasies, she was fixing her supper, Chinese I think. She had her sandy colored hair in a ponytail and wore my favorite pink pajama bottoms and t-shirt. She took her plate of food to the couch and watched a television program. I deducted that it must have been a comedy, judging by her laughter.

The lights inside her apartment flickered several times. She looked at the lights with a puzzled look on her pretty face. She returned her attention to the television. The lights flickered again. This time, the lights went completely out for a moment, turning back on a few seconds later. She sat her plate on the coffee table and disappeared, I assumed that she was checking her breaker box.

I waited for her to return to the living room. I started to worry when I saw a family picture fall from the wall. She walked into the living room and stood over the picture, she looked around. She picked the picture up off the floor and sat it on the kitchen counter. The lights flickered once more and then shut off. Her apartment was completely dark. Outside security lights faintly illuminated her apartment. I scanned the other units in her apartment and saw that all of their lights were on.
I returned to her apartment, she stood in the living room as if she was frozen to the floor. It appeared to me that she was trying to listen to something. She slowly turned her head and looked around. I saw something flash in the window behind her and watched her lurch to the wall. She crashed to the floor. I readjusted my telescope and zoomed in on her. The fear that was on her face would stay with me forever. Tears trickled down her face. Something stood between her and the window. I couldn’t quite make out what it was, but it appeared to be a shadow. She sat on the floor, crying, looking up at the strange shadowy figure. She was lifted and flung into another wall. She made no attempt to get up. I could see her plead to the assailant.

I wanted to break away and call the police, but I was in a trance. I couldn’t walk away from what I saw. I couldn’t understand what was going on, but I didn’t want to miss a single moment of it.

I saw her head jerk to the side, as if someone pulled her hair. She was disappeared from my sight. Suddenly she appeared. She seemed to float in mid air. She drifted toward the window. She was suspended in mid air. Without warning, she crashed through the window and plummeted to the ground. I heard her scream and cringed at the sickening thud on the parking lot below. I could see her broken body sprawled on the asphalt. Her eyes were wide open in horror. I looked back to her apartment until and saw the shadow standing in the window.

What I saw nearly stopped my heart. At first glance, it looked like a man. As I looked closer, the figure was transparent and much larger than a man. To my surprise, it was looking directly at me. The face was hideous. The eyes were much too large for the head, but emitted such a sense of hatred and evil that I nearly lost control of my bladder. The creature’s mouth held teeth that were impossibly long and sharp. I forced myself away from the telescope. A thin sheen of sweat covered my face, despite the cool evening. Reluctantly, I looked into the telescope again. The figure was gone.

My conscience struggled over the next few days. I saw the police and rescue arrive and load her on a gurney. They carried out their investigation and left a short time later. In a way, I wanted to tell the police what had happened, but I was pretty sure that they would find no fingerprints or other evidence inside of her apartment. I would sound like I was crazy, or a suspect. I decided to keep quiet.

I found that I had difficulty sleeping over the next few nights. When I did sleep, the vision of the being’s face haunted my dreams. Perhaps it was my conscience trying to persuade me to step forward and say something. I often woke with my sheets soaked with sweat.

I was drawn to the telescope like a junkie to the addiction. I watched the vacant apartment at different hours. Several times I thought that I saw something, but I couldn’t be sure what it was. I thought that perhaps I had imagined the entire ordeal, until Sunday night.

It had been a long day. It was one of those days that nothing seemed to go right. It was nothing serious, just a series of minor complications. I was glad to get home for the evening. I made myself a quick supper and watched television. I was on the verge of going to sleep when the lights in my apartment flickered. I had taken some medication to help me sleep, so I wasn’t sure if the lights had truly flickered, or if I had dreamed it. I sat up and noticed that the television had been shut off. There seemed to be no sound at all, I couldn’t even hear the traffic on Main Street, just two blocks away. My apartment shook, knocking pictures to the floor. The lights shut off.

The silence was deafening. I felt as if I was being watched. I ran to the balcony to get some air, I felt as though I was suffocating. My telescope had been moved and was now facing the interior of my apartment. I couldn’t feel the air on my skin, I felt numb. I looked at the apartments adjacent to my own. I could see dark shapes moving against the lit backdrops of their apartments. I spun the telescope around and looked through it. Everywhere I looked, someone was watching me through a telescope of their own. Every balcony held one person watching me. I looked to the apartment east of that complex and found more people on their balconies watching me.

I stepped away from the telescope and went back inside. The living room spun out of control. I sat down on the couch and covered my face with my hands. I don’t know how long I stayed in that position. I looked up and saw movement in the darkened hallway. I saw someone walking toward me. I immediately recognized the figure as the murdered woman. She floated toward me, into the living room. As she came closer, I could see that body and hair looked the same, but the similarities stopped there. Her face was white as snow and her lips were blood red. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her horrible face. Like the figure I had seen the night of her murder, her eyes were too big for her face and her teeth were terribly jagged and sharp, like a sharks.

She stared at me for what seemed an eternity. I couldn’t tell if she smiled or grimaced at me. I looked into her eyes and saw Hell. I saw suffering and sorrow, gnashing of teeth, and the failure of humanity. In that moment, I lost all hope and desire to live. I saw how useless my life had been and how there was no way out for me. I suddenly realized what I must do. I stood up, faced the balcony and ran. I leaped from the balcony as far as I could jump. The ground met me. I felt no pain, no sorrow, only peace. I looked up from the parking lot and saw her standing at the edge of the balcony.

I don’t regret what I did that evening. She showed me how terrible my life truly was. At least now, I have peace and solitude. I go where I want, see what I want to see, and nobody knows I’m there. The next time you get out of you’re shower, or prance around your house nude, think about this. Are you really alone, or is someone watching you?

Telescope

mattbridge4

Ashmore, United States

  • Artist
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Artist's Description

Supernatural thriller

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