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I always knew to avoid the man in the white van. I guess you could say we all did.
Like a fox stalking a magpie, he sat patiently at the edge of Pinemount Road, every single morning.
A wild and fearsome pair of eyes crept just two inches above the driver’s side window, watching each passer-by with what I assumed were sinister intentions.
Ten minutes to nine, four minutes past three—he was there like clockwork, targeting each person with his fucked up and demented little mind.
I’d look out the window each morning and think to myself how I was going to be able to get around him that day.
New routes opened up to me all the time, and whilst I tried so desperately hard to shave off just a few more minutes of travel time, he still found his way to me.
Picking the leather off of his steering wheel with determined hands and biting his lips with dark and tormented teeth—he knew exactly what he was doing.
I recall very little detail of the man back then, as finding out any more than necessary only terrified me that little bit more.
In my eyes, he was the bogeyman, only he did not hide under my bed, but in my shadows instead.
Murky black eyes and muddy tanned skin—that’s what I remember the most; that combined with the foulest of odours this world can offer.
Other than that I remember very little, because he knew to keep a low profile behind his oh so familiar blackened dashboard.
The windows of his dirty white van were tinted black, making it almost impossible to see what was hiding on the other side.
Although I tried so hard to avoid it, I will always have that registration plate lodged in my brain like a cancer.
BP56 GLE, the numbers and letters that could drive any person truly insane and send them spiralling down the rabbit hole and into madness.
I’d tell my parents about him, but they would just came back to me with some petty responses that meant very little.
"Oh, you are funny" or "you’re just imaging things" were pretty common lines in my household; and whilst I panicked each and every day about this man, I knew that I was on my own for it all.
It would have been fine, having someone around, of course; but when you’ve barely hit puberty and waffle on about strange men following you, you kind of get shrugged off like a bad joke.
Having my parents support me would have been great, but as I tried to spill everything out on the table, they would just grin at me and claim it to be "just another story."
No, he was real, and as each day passed I knew that he was in fact becoming even more of a harsher burden than I had ever wanted.
Months would pass, and although I found new routes to follow home, I sometimes couldn’t help but accidentally cross paths with him.
I could turn a new corner, and he’d be there—waiting, sitting creepily in his driver’s seat, cross-legged and tapping his pointer finger on the dashboard.
He’d grin and he’d whistle such twisted lullabies, all completely out of tune and in a broken style and corrupt, high-pitched voice.
He was destroying my childhood life, and with every little thing he did that was supposed to resemble something good, he turned them into something I learnt to despise.
Lullabies, childhood theme tunes, and playground songs—all gone in a matter of months.
Things that were meant to be so innocent and tame—taken by the hands of the man in the white van.
I would scratch away on my desk with a pencil and grit my teeth, shaking to the core and petrified of my own silhouette.
I became paranoid of so many things, all because of this man.
We all felt the same, but nobody believed us.
Not a single soul found it in their heart to listen to us or even hear us out…not until it was too late.
I was ten-years-old when I first saw this man, and to tell you the truth, it wasn’t to be the last time either.
This deranged man was to be the bane of my life for many years, and this was only the beginning.
My name is Harriet Miles, and I have a stalker.
Thanks for reading the rough draft of the first chapter.
This has been a long process for me and is still ongoing!
If you liked what you read, please do check out my other work!
Two published novels can be found online:
Also, take a look at my poetry if you have a spare minute!