Photograph by Craig Robinson, Berlin Photographer

Hovering, waiting, pondering what to do next—a stalker contemplates his next moves, in this excerpt from An Accidental Life.

He finished his work for the day, and headed toward his car in the nearby city lot.  He hadn’t seen any sign of Molly all day, but he wasn’t worried.  He would see her soon enough.  It was almost time for them to be together.  He now had the code to her security gate…it hadn’t been that difficult, with his telescope, as he had watched Chase punching in the numbers on the keypad.  He knew exactly where each number was positioned on the pad and had followed the motions as Chase casually entered them.

He’d always been really clever about some things, but few people gave him the credit he deserved.  Even in his job, he rarely received any kudos.  Everyone just expected him to plod along, being there and doing his job, without any fuss.  After all, it was a “no frills” kind of position; the kind where nobody really noticed you unless you weren’t there.

Just like everything else in his life, beginning with his childhood.  He grimly pushed thoughts of his parents out of his mind.  Jerome and Dorothy had received an unpleasant surprise when they’d conceived him!  They had been in their forties when he came along and he’d always been aware of their feelings toward him.  He was a burden.  Even though he gave them no trouble, always following the rules.  Somehow he always fell short of their expectations.  He remembered his father’s punishments for any imagined infraction, and cringed at the memory of that leather belt, the one with the hard, sharp buckle; his father always pulled that one out when he felt that his son was remiss in some way.  But worst of all…The nights he’d spent alone down in the basement, with only the one dim light standing between him and total darkness.  Those were his “time-outs”.  He shuddered at the memory.

But none of that held any candle to his feelings of rage when the girls he met in school laughed at him, or ignored him.  Like Molly.  But he had known that if he could just get Molly’s attention, she would see him in a whole new light.  She might even admire him for his ingenuity.

He smiled to himself as he imagined them face to face at last.

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