Older Daughter (who was visiting): The man next door is sending you "Love and Kisses".
(Looking out the window she could see a circle and a cross, painted on the lower panes of the man next door's kitchen window.)
Daughter: Oh year, I hadn't thought of that. And have you seen the man next door's ute lately?
Mother: What about it?
Daughter: He's written all over it in texta, and on the front corner, closest to our house, he's written my name, then xxx.
Peter: Watch out for the people in the house along there. They look like bad types.
(Then, as he waited for a police car to drive by)
Be careful what you do. I've seen another police car too, and they must be closing off streets, and looking for someone.
Mother: (To her older daughter.) I'm not as suspicious or paranoid as Peter, but on my way here I saw a scarey looking young man in the side yard of a house, a few doors up. There was something sinister about him. It wasn't just his dark clothes and hood, it was also the way he walked. He leaned forward, looking very tense, with an angry expression on his face. I think he must be mad, or evil, or both.
Older Daughter: Maybe he is the mad guy Frank has seen around.
Mother: I think you should be very careful, and make sure that you always lock your front and back doors. I'm going to go and secure the side gates right now, so he can't sneak into the back yard. When I saw him I got the distinct impression that he might murder someone. I worry about you and little Igor being alone here sometimes.
Mother: (on mobile phone to daughter) After I left your place just now something scarey happened. Before I crossed the road I checked for headlights, and I let one car pass. I was about to walk up the lane across the road when suddenly I had to jump aside to avoid being hit by a car that came out of nowhere. It must have done a U turn at the lane.
Next thing there were the lights of a car coming up the lane behind me, so I moved to the right hand side to let it pass. But the car moved to the right too.
When I moved to the left, so did the car, and then it moved back to the right when I did, to keep just behind me. Then it seemed to stop.
Older Daughter: I wonder what the car was doing. Was that all?
Mother: No. I got scared when the car started following me again. I turned around angrily, hand raised, muttering "What are you doing?", and I could see that the small red car had stopped close behind me, with the interior lights on. I could see that the driver's door was open, but I couldn't see the driver. I thought "Maybe the driver is now coming after me on foot."
Older Daughter: Did you eventually see the driver?
Mother: No. I was scared, so I hurried as fast as I could to the end of the lane. When I turned to look back down I saw that the car had gone.
Older Daughter: Are you alright now?
Mother: Yes, just a bit shaken by it all.
Older Daughter: You shouldn't walk up that lane after dark.
Mother: I know. I won't do it again.
Older Daughter: Do you think you should ring the police?
Mother: I don't know. Not tonight. I'm going out.
(She decided not to tell Peter about the red car in case he got anxious.)
(To be continued.)