Its 4 am and I was woken up by a loud crash next door.
In my kitchen I could see the lights were off at the house. I pulled my dressing gown on and put on the kettle, listening into the cold darkness I held my breath as more noises appeared. Another crash, then doors slamming so hard it made the windows rattle. I quickly rang the police, since there was no lights on I figured the neighbours weren't home so it had to be another break in. I sat on my kitchen bench listening and waiting. The noises were the same as the other times. I was just more aware of them now because it was a couple living there and not a bunch of students who I always figured were just doing crazy drunk stuff early in the morning. I though I heard the police car pull up and when I got up to look there was an almighty crash that made my heart leap out of my chest. The force of it was so loud my first stupid instinct was to duck. Both my dog and cat scattered to the other parts of the house, and I shakily went to the door, hoping the police had turned up and heard it too. But sadly no. What I did see as my eye focused through the hedging next door was the new security light come on. Then I finally heard Sarahs voice. She was sobbing and they were running.
Instantly I threw my door open and ran down my drive way, looking over just in time to see Sarah and Gary jump into their car and it start up hastily. When the car lights switched on I could say Sarah was almost hysterical, hitting at the dashboard to make Gary move. The tires kicked up gravel and they reversed blindly, backing out onto the street and disappeared with squealing tires down the road.
I stood dumbfounded, heavy breathing and confused. WTF! This couldn't be happened. I couldn't bring myself to look up at the house so I averted my eyes and searched the street to see one or two other neighbours coming out in the night clothes. Well at least I wasn't crazy. They had witnessed it too lol
Shortly after the police turned up conveniently late and once I told the policemen what I saw and heard I nearly kicked him in the shin when I heard him radio in that he was at a simple "domestic dispute." Sure it was, of a kind, but not the kind he was implying. He was telling me that it was all under control when I made eye contact across the street at Maureen, the other neighbour. She gave me a knowing nod and I gave her a small wave before watching as the lone policemen, armed with only a flash light wandered casually up the drive to the house. It was then that I finally let myself look at it. The hallway light was on and from what I could tell the front door was open but the rest of the house was in steely darkness.
The policemen casually knocked on the door with his torch and called out to anyone in there then disappeared within. One by one the lights on the lower floor turned on and I could see the policemen through the open curtains systemically clearing each room. I lost sight of him as he walked passed a doorway and headed up the stairs. Then I lifted my eyes up to the front room window and my blood went cold. A shadow stood in the window, its silhouette outlined by the dim light from the stair case. It was just standing there, looking out at the street. It was definitely a man, a well build man, he had square shoulders and shaggy hair. The shadow moved, as if to shift and look back at the door, then ever so slowly it turned back and I was struck with complete horror that he was looking back at me. I was rooted to the spot. Though I couldn't see his face at all I could sense his eyes on me. It took every tiny bit of my strength to move, to pull my eyes away and go for it. I took off running onto the damp lawn towards the open door of the house, gathering my dressing gown up so I could run fast, to yell up to the policemen that someone was up there, to be careful but I skidded to a halt when the light turned on and the shadow had finished into thin air.
Not believing my own eyes I looked back and saw that most of the neighbours who had come out to investigate were gone, even Maureen had missed it as she was waling back down to her house.
I held my head down, not daring to look up again. It must have been my imagination, I thought desperately knowing pretty much I was lying to myself. The cop appaeared, looking at me oddly as I stood in the middle of the lawn like a stuck post. I pulled it together long enough to agree to inform them if or when the neighbours returned.
I suddenly felt the chill of the cold winter's night hit me, as if I hadn't realised it before hand and I wearily went back to my house.
I double checked the locks in my house and left the door to my bedroom ajar so the dog or cat could come protect me while I slept. But I doubted sleep was going to come any time soon.