The Creep sits alone in his dark apartment. The windows are shut and the shades drawn closed. The stifling heat is thick with the smell of cigarettes and perspiration. Darkness surrounds him, conceals him – just the way he likes it. The only light in the room comes from his smartphone and the tip of one of his endless cigarettes. Rage permeates the air. He clicks on his “Find Women Nearby” app and no less than 20, model beautiful, selfie obsessed, fools pop up on Google Maps. Their ignorance infuriates him. Every photo you take, every status you post, every single place you ‘Check-In’ alerts EVERYONE of your location – your exact location. GPS and vanity. It’s all so easy now. Hunting from the convenience of your own home.
The Creep locks in on one woman in particular on the map. She has short, blond, spiky hair. Tan skin and piercing blue eyes. There is no method to his choosing, just luck of the draw, as it were.
“You want me to find you, don’t you-” he zooms in on her picture, “Alicia. Beautiful name. It’s lesson time, Alicia…see you soon.”
The Creep smashes out his cigarette in an overflowing ashtray and ventures out into the night.
Kat is beautiful. Beautiful hardly covers it. She’s just shy of 6′ tall, barefoot. Long, dark brunette hair – silky smooth like satin. Kat’s eyes are green, an exquisite Emerald green, to be exact. She has endlessly long legs and flawless olive skin. Kat is beautiful, but that is the least interesting thing about her. She’s funny and smart and despite her drop dead beauty, she’s warm and kind and truly loved by many. Kat graduated college two years earlier and quickly landed a fabulous marketing job at an up and coming new company. She recently moved into a new condo, walking distance from work. Her first place of her very own. Home. Kat has numerous friends, near and far. Her active Social Media life keeps her connected to them all. Life is good and she is happy.
Kicking off her running shoes as she reaches for her ringing phone, “Hi, daddy!…. I just got back from running… yes, I brought mace….No, daddy, I won’t run with a gun! What if I trip and shoot my eye out? I am being serious, daddy! I know that I can shoot, you made me take classes. I only agreed because I don’t want an armed bodyguard following me around. Yes, it’s in my nightstand, safety on. If you’d like to speak to it, I can put it on the phone.” Kat laughs. “Ok, OK…Yes, I’ll meet you and mom at The Trattoria at 8…love you, too.”
Kat adores her parents. Her dad, being a cop, is a bit paranoid and overprotective. But, Kat knows it’s just because he loves her. She never wanted a gun in her house, but her dad convinced her a young woman needs to know how to protect herself, a lot of crazies out there.
Before Kat heads out to dinner she takes a quick selfie and posts it to Facebook “Dinner with the parents -SELFIE!”
She laughs as she heads out for dinner. Social Media can be ridiculous, but it’s fun!
As Kat walks into the restaurant she Checks-In on Facebook. “Kat is at The Trattoria” a map pinpoints her exact location as she heads in for dinner.
Much later that evening, The Creep walks into his apartment. His rage is calmed. It can only be calmed once the lessons are taught, and more importantly, learned. Beauty and ignorance are a horrible combination. Tonight a lesson was taught and The Creep sleeps peacefully.
Kat wakes up early Saturday morning, puts on her running gear and heads out the door. “Early morning run, down by the river — Selfie!” she hits post and takes off.
The Creep sits in a darkened room. Morning, night – it’s all the same to him. Darkness. He finds a new app this morning to add to his collection. This one is actually called, “CREEP”… how ironic, he thinks. Just about every day there is a new app to help him find women… stalk sounds so harsh. My students want me to find them, why else would they give me their location so readily? If not me, then it will be someone else. There are no less than 50 apps out there that let anyone into your life. Your phone and stupidity open the door for us.
After her run, Kat texts her best friend, Jill, “Meet for lunch at ‘The Patio’ at 1:00?”
“Heck yeah! See you then!” Jill quickly texts back.
A few hours later Kat is heading out the door to meet Jill, “Lunch with Bestie, Jill!” She snaps a picture and quickly sends it to Facebook, where it’s loaded to her timeline. Her exact location is posted, as well. Viewable by anyone.
The Creep clicks on his “Who’s Nearby” app. Faces & names pop up all over Google Maps, marked with push pins. He refines his search to a 2 mile radius. The field of faces and names narrows to 5. One in particular stops him in his search, Emerald green eyes staring back at him. Inviting…
“Well hello… Kat. We’re practically neighbors. Have a nice lunch, Kitty Kat… I’ll see you tonight.”
“So beautiful….so stupid.” The Creep thinks, as he lights another cigarette and scrolls through Kat’s Facebook page, Twitter feed and numerous texts easily hacked for the taking.
Much later that evening, under the cloak of darkness, The Creep walks directly up to Kat’s door and knocks. He never sneaks in through windows or doors left open. The Creep, if nothing else, is direct. Kat opens the door. The Creep’s heartbeat quickens, her endless photos don’t do her justice, she takes his breath away.
“Umm, can I help you?” Kat asks with a bit of trepidation. She looks at the deathly pale man standing at her door. He reeks of cigarettes, even from a distance.
With lightning speed of a man who’s done this before, he shoves Kat forcefully back into her house. He is always amused how quickly their beautiful faces turn from distant and cordial to unbridled fear. Why they don’t know he’ll eventually show up is beyond him.
“No, but I can help you.” The Creep pushes Kat down onto her sofa. “Have a seat, Kitty Kat…It’s lesson time.” His breath comes in raspy hitches.
Kat looks around helplessly. A terror she has never experienced before overcomes her. Her blood runs cold through her veins.
“Wh-who are you? Why are you here?” She asks with a shaky voice, that she barely recognizes as her own.
“I’m here to teach you a lesson. You’re a smart girl, graduated with honors. You probably think that makes you pretty smart huh?”
“Ha! Sir? I like that, a respectful student.”
“Please… don’t hurt me. If you need money, I-I-I can give you –”
“I don’t need your money, you ridiculously stupid girl. This isn’t about money.” He spits out with venom. “This is about lessons. Now shut up and listen… Class is in session.”
The Creep shuts off the lights and closes the blinds. The only light comes from a scented candle on a nearby table. There is just enough light for The Creep to see Kat, and more importantly, for her to see him. For true enlightenment to be received, his students must be able to see him.
Kat begins to weep. The Creep reaches out and brushes a tear away with his thumb and slides the salty wetness across his dry lips. Kat wants to scream, but no sound leaves her dry throat.
The Creep picks up a rubber band off the end table and tosses it at her.
“Put your hair up in a ponytail like you wore it last week at the gym. ‘Workin’ Out Selfie!’ ” The Creep mockingly squeals.
A muddled sense of understanding hits Kat. “H-h-how did you…”
“See that?” The Creep finishes her sentence. “I SEE EVERYTHING! Every post! Every ridiculous fucking selfie….God, I HATE that word…you send! Every location you ‘Check-In’ – I See you…EVERYBODY SEES YOU, Kitty Kat! Finding YOU was the easiest thing I have ever done. You TOLD me 50 times a day where I could FIND YOU! Did you want me to pay you a visit, Kitty Kat? Sure seems like you were inviting me over.”
The Creep walks slowly towards Kat.
She begins to cry harder, “No…please…don’t.”
The smell of his sweat and cigarettes fills her nostrils, it makes her gag. The air in the room is thick with his presence. She can barely breathe. Terror. “I think I’m going to be sick, can I go to the bathroom…please, it’s in my bedroom… please, I really feel sick.” She begs.
Laughing, “I’d imagine you do, Kitty Kat. But no, you can’t go in your room. That’s where the gun is…”
Eyes wide with fear, “I don’t…understand. How do you know about…it?”
“The gun? Is that the IT we’re talking about? So beautiful, so fucking stupid. You sent a text to your friend, Jill…she’s beautiful…do you hang out with any ugly girls? But, I digress…”
The Creep begins to speak in a frighteningly girlish voice, “My dad bought me a gun! Can you believe it? That or an armed guard and my dad would never get me a cute guard…sooo, gun it is! Ugh!”
Kat felt bile rise in her throat as she heard her exact words to Jill, in a text, recited back to her.
“You’re precious daddy, so worried about his little girl he buys you a gun. Meanwhile, everyday you invite danger in!”
The Creep runs his fingertips across Kat’s cheek, “So soft…so FUCKING STUPID! You made this too easy, Kitty Kat. No challenge at all. Do you know I live 1 block from you? Well, I did anyway. I’m leaving town tonight, when we’re through with our….lesson. New town tomorrow, every town is full of vain idiots begging me to find them and teach them a lesson. I bet you wish there was a tree to climb, to get away from me…don’t you, Kitty Kat?” The Creep leans down, directly level with Kat’s terrified face, “ANSWER ME!” He yells.
Crying hysterically now, “I don’t know…what you want me to s-s-say…”
“I don’t want you to SAY anything, Kitty Kat. I want you to learn a lesson! Sometimes the best teacher is fear. Are you afraid Kitty Kat? Trying so hard to not imagine all the ways I can hurt you? But, you are imagining them, aren’t you? Do you understand how your own ignorance caused this? How YOU invited ME into your home… into your life? Every single day you open the door, you can’t be too surprised someone walked in. Do you see how terribly wrong this could go for you? Do you UNDERSTAND what I’m trying to teach you?”
” I-I-I Think so…Y-Y-Yes.”
“Don’t just say what you think I want to hear! Don’t fucking patronize me…this part is crucial, Kitty Kat. Have you learned a lesson?”
“Yes, I have to be…s-s-smarter…s-s-safer.”
“I think you’re catching on now. Do you want me to leave, Kitty Kat? Go far away and leave you alone… unharmed?”
A brief glimmer of hope rises in Kat. “Yes… please. I’ve learned a l-l-lesson, I’ll be smarter!”
“I think you mean it, Kitty Kat. I think you understand now, how you can protect yourself in ways that don’t even involve a gun. I know tonight has been traumatic for you, Kitty Kat, but it could have been worse…so much worse. You see that now, don’t you?”
“Then my work here is done.”
The Creep tosses a business card on the table, lights a cigarette off the candle and walks confidently out the front door, “Class dismissed.”
With shaking hands, Kat picks up the card and reads it.
Computer Repair Expert & Enlightenment Pro
We Scare the Stupid Out of You.