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It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Trashbag Man

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There was this one time… when my kids were still little, we all lived in this tiny little house in Hartsville SC, just my children and me. It was in one of the poorest sections of town because being an unemployed single mom at the time, it was the best I could do, but overall it was an okay neighborhood, mostly pretty quiet. Now I will say that to look out the window and see cops swarming all over somebody’s house like a bunch of angry hornets wasn’t surprising, but I never heard any gunshots or anything. There were a lot of kids in this neighborhood, a hodgepodge collection of all colors and ages and for some reason, they all always seemed to wind up in my yard, so I eventually became at least nodding acquaintances with most of my neighbors and that was okay too, they seemed like nice people (except for this one lady, but that’s another story). An older man lived directly to the right of me and sometimes I would see him piddling around with his plants while I was outside watching over the kids while they played and he would throw up his hand and give a wave. Occasionally he would call the children over and give them a piece of candy or something (but only after he had asked if I would mind, which was very mannerly of him). So there came a time when I didn’t see the man any more, but there were other people coming and going, so I just assumed that he had probably moved out (because nobody seemed to stick around for too long on that street) and that new people had moved in. I didn’t know a lot about these new people and to be honest, I didn’t really want to. I usually tried to stay to myself and mind my own business as much as possible, but a couple of times I heard a knock on the door and this young girl from next door would be there asking to borrow a lighter. She seemed harmless enough, no bigger than a minute, (I could have took her if I had to), but I was pretty sure that they were smoking up something over there. So I wasn’t overly friendly, not wanting to encourage her to hang around because after all, I had a family to think about. Then one day, there came a knock at my front door and I answered it to find the older gentleman standing there, very distraught. “I’m sorry to bother you” he said, “But I just got home, I’ve been in the hospital and my girl has trashed my house! Do you have a garbage bag I can have? Because I’ve got to start cleaning up all that mess, I just can’t stand it, I don’t know how she could have done that to my house! There’s trash everywhere, cigarette butts, dirty dishes, dirty clothes, I love her, but I just can’t live like that!” I was very sympathetic, I could just imagine what a shock it must have been to come home to something like that and I was more than happy to help him out. He had always been so nice and I felt bad for him, especially since he said he had just gotten out of the hospital. So I gave him the biggest bag I had, told him it would all be alright, he’d get it straightened out and then watched him walk across to his side of the yard, his head slightly hanging. Poor old guy… The next day I was outside with the kids and the neighbor from the other side of me walked over. She was pleasant enough, but I hardly ever saw her venture out, so I was surprised to see her ambling toward me. I greeted her with “Hey, what’s up?” “Did you hear?” she asked. “Hear what?” (I never hear about anything because I usually just limit myself to those neighborly nods remember). “Your neighbor, that man that lives on the other side of you, he got arrested last night.” “What?” I immediately had visions of him strangling his little girlfriend because he flipped out over the mess she made. “Yeah, that’s right. He was high as a kite on crack. The police caught him running down the street buck naked. Not a stitch of clothes on, but he did have a trashbag tied around him.” A trashbag, a big black trashbag… The very same one I had just given to him…

Lacey ☮

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Peeping Tom

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There was this one time… me and a friend had gone out to a local bar for a few drinks, just to cut loose a little bit and relax and had just gotten back to my house (which was out in the middle of nowhere). We were laughing and joking, in a really great mood after our night out, but then I left her in the kitchen and went into the bathroom to take care of business. So I sit down on the toilet and just happen to look over toward the window, (you have to amuse yourself when you pee right?) and I see this big eyeball and the shadow of a head! So I let out a scream and quickly pull up my pants as I’m jumping up and running toward the kitchen while she’s running toward me and we meet in the middle of the living-room, “What is it? What’s wrong with you?” she’s all excited, ready to take me to the hospital or something. “Somebody’s looking in the window!” “What? Are you serious?” “No, I completely made it up and screamed for effect, of course I’m serious! Find a flashlight or something, let’s catch him!” I kept a flashlight in a little junk drawer in the kitchen, so I grabbed it and we ran outside around to the side of the house where I saw the offending eyeball. She’s on her cellphone to 911 and I’m shining the flashlight all over the house and the yard and… nothing, we’re seeing nothing. Finally a deputy pulls up and she wants to know what happened and she walks around shining her bigger flashlight and sees nothing too. Of course she doesn’t see anything, it takes so long for somebody to show up that he’s booked it, but still she looks at me sideways. “Have you been drinking?” she asked us. I said “Yep! and as soon as you leave, I’m going to have another one because I’ve now been scared sober!” No statements signed, no reports written, the deputy just shakes her head and before she leaves, she says “You girls stay inside and give us a call if he comes back.” Robin and I go back inside and she’s looking at me kind of indecisively, so I tell her “Go home, I’ll be fine.” and I really meant it, after the initial fright of being caught off guard, (who really expects somebody to be sneaking around and watching them pee) I wasn’t scared anymore. So she walks out with a lot of exclamations of, “Lock all the doors! Call if something happens! Be careful!” “Yeah yeah, I got this, you just be careful going home. See you at work tomorrow!” and I watch her back slowly out of the drive and disappear down the road. So now the adrenaline has wore off and the alcohol has kicked back in and I’m really tired, yep, I’m taking my butt to bed. Now there happens to be a door that opens to a tiny outside porch in my bedroom, (I think my room used to be used as an office) and I decorated the little porch with flower pots and I had a wind-chime that would tinkle softly. It was really cute with it’s old ornate metal railing and having no close neighbors, I would often leave the door open to catch the breeze coming in through the locked screen door as I lay in bed at night. This night however, of course I closed the wooden door and made sure it was secure before climbing into bed and fell into a deep sleep almost immediately. What, what was that? I hear the wind-chime, but it’s not the soft ringing I’m accustomed to, this was a loud sudden clanging and then complete silence. The scumbag had come back and was on my porch! Evidently he had hit the wind-chime trying to peek in through my bedroom window and had grabbed it to try and quiet it. I was so tired and sleepy, still under the effects of a lot of beer and I just didn’t want to deal with it. I knew every door and window was locked tight, so what did I do? I told myself to listen for a window breaking because that was the only way that anyone would ever get in and I rolled over and went back to sleep! The next morning I went outside and walked around the house, inspecting around the windows of both the bathroom and my bedroom. There were distinct hand and finger marks in the layer of grime that coated the casings of both windows and a big rock had been dragged over to sit under the bathroom window, (I guess Mr Sleazy was kind of short). I didn’t call the cops, I didn’t think it would make any difference, but I did send word through my circle that whoever it was would get shot next time (I didn’t have a gun, but nobody else knew that) because by my reckoning, it had to have been somebody that knew me and maybe had a crush or something, why else would he have taken that chance and come back? There were no further sightings of roaming eyeballs after that, or signs of unnatural disturbances around the house, so that was that and now Robin laughs her butt off every time I see her! “The look on your face!” she says, bending double as she roars with laughter. Yeah yeah…

Lacey ☮