Keeping an eye out

I had the idea of a stalker stalked for a long time, but when I came to write it, the story, as usual turned out to be quite different… A stalker, yes, stalked? No, but the stalker tracked and eventually found and identified.

There was a very interesting programme on TV last night about the reality of living with a stalker – sometimes a person you don’t even know. These sad and horrible true life-stories are far removed from my fiction; when I wrote it I didn’t do justice to the terror, fear, anxiety and hopelessness victims feel… but mine was a fiction I wrote about ten years ago, and if I was writing it now, it would be very different.

To return to my fiction… Rosa Czekov was stalked; she escaped from it by catching a train which was involved in a crash resulting in a lot of deaths… now Rosa’s cousin Tyche has arrived in the town on a mission t discover who drove Rosa to take such drastic action.

In this except she is thinking over the meeting she has just had with Rosa’s husband, Luka:

Tyche put down the page and thought about the Luka she had just met. He was still grieving for Rosa but he was getting on with his life, and doing well with his business. Rosa’s descriptions of him as a teenager were fascinating, saying as much about her as they did about him. It was quite clear to Tyche that, contrary to common perception, Luka loved Rosa more than she loved him. What was the French phrase, ‘un qui aime, et un qui est aimé’… When did Rosa realise this, or did she?

Tyche gazed down at the road below, beyond the café patio. People passed slowly backwards and forwards like fowl on a pond, drifting along aimlessly, as if they didn’t know whether to go to the beach to paddle or along to the next beach to swim. There was only the hotel and four or five guesthouses beyond the café, the road ending in a car park. The path led past the swelling mound of Dark Fort; it was a mysterious place, an ancient Neolithic site. A gap in its wall allowed the sun’s first rays to trace a line across its bowl. Eventually the path led to Opal Harbour, a tiny little quay, quaint and pretty, protected by a seawall.

Rosa had decided that the stalker was a man, for no reason. Tyche was not so sure; she looked at her list again; this was the A list, the people closest to Rosa. There was a B list of other people who knew her, and even a C list of every person she could think of. Family, long forgotten children at nursery whose names she had copied from the backs of class photos, junior school, the County, the drama club, her dance class,  friends of  her sister Gerry, friends of Luka’s… There were other people, the milkman, the paper boy, the postman, people who came into the gallery, artists, customers, business acquaintances…

Included on the C list were the names of men who had written repeatedly after she had become ‘famous’. At first she’d thrown away the letters, embarrassed by these strangers, some admiring, some threatening, or creepy, some obscene, some pathetic; some offered love or sex or money or all three. When the things started happening, and she knew she was not mistaken or imagining it, she passed the letters to the police. By this time there were only ‘the regulars’ who kept writing; but the stalker was the one whose messages were on copy paper that could have come from any computer, even her own.

And then there was the D list. Everyone connected with the death of Enoch Chambers, including the man who became her lover.

If you haven’t read my story, I would love you to do so… you can find it here, and if you are kind enough to leave a review I would be very grateful!!


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