Following the Sunset

I am a teacher’s aide and student at college on a small island of a family of islands in the tropics. It was summer break, which meant no work and no school for some time. This was my time to do me and unwind big time. On a good day at work I needed a lot of energy to run around, play with and teach the children. On a bad day at work I needed a lot of energy to run around, play with, teach the children and calm multiple screaming tantrums or little fights.

College is just papers, presentations and tests non stop, so summer break is my time for peace and tranquility. Consequently, one of the things I like to do is watch the sun rise or set over the sea.

On this particular day I decided to follow the sunset on the cliffs at the most western point of the island. As always, I went alone.

The seaside cliff is a beautiful place, where the waves make continous music against the rocks, sometimes gentle, sometimes wild, but all beautiful.

I breathed in the salt air and began to follow the sun as it made its retreat. I was careful, because even though this was a tranquil place it could also be dangerous. The sea constantly ate away at the rocks which created many holes that a person can fall through into the deep. Cracks were everywhere and one had to respect the fact that the ground beneath you could give way at any time.

Again my confidence on walking this cliff was built up over many short walks and fishing trips I made, so this time I went further than I had ever traveled before.

I walked for as long as I can see the sun in the sky, only stopping when there was no more open cliff to walk, and I was to the edge of the thick, darkening tree line. There was only a gentle breeze, and being the whimsical person I can be in these situations, I began to sing … thinking I was alone.

As I sang I heard a branch break in the tree line, but I thought nothing of it, it is nature after all. I began to sing again letting the view take in when I heard not only a branch but some leaves crunching. I turned around.

This was the first time that I realized that altough there was still some light in the sky, I could see nothing beyond the first two rows of trees in the tree line. It was really dark there. I got the sense that I should go, but it was still so beautiful, I was stupified… because I decided to finish the song I felt inside of me…

I kid you not… stupified…

I did finish my song when I heard the crunching of leaves again, this time closer. I turned around scanning the tree line, but I could see nothing. Sighing I turned to leaves when suddenly I heard many branches breaking and heavy hurried steps like running towards me, so I ran.

In the fading light on the errroded cliff side I ran. I ran fast and hard, jumping over the holes to the deep, staying close to the tree line in spite of my persuer because it was the only sure ground on the erroding cliffs. I cannot recall when I kicked off my slippers, but I had them in hand, running in the wind all the way to my car. Thank God I was a former high school athlete.

I wasted no time getting in my car. I didn’t fumble my keys. I got in, locked my doors and sped to the most populated, well lit, high traffic gas station in that area. It was only then, when I knew I was safe, that I sat in my car, and pulled out over ten fairly deep, and slightly painful splinters from each foot… I never went to the cliffs alone again.

Stalker of a teacher

My foster Mother was a an Angel, she loved all her kids Foster kids and her students. So why this happened is beyond me.

When I came to live with her there were only girls in her home 6 of us and they made me feel like this was more then just a foster home it was a family she also tought 2nd grade and always had the problem child in her class every year. but that enough of background.

About a year after I moved in we lived in a two story home with a large yard and an in ground pool, we had a fort in the vary back and a privacy fence with hidden gate back there that open to a main road that not many knew was there I would use this gate when riding in to town on my bike.

We started getting calls at first the basic creeper calls whispered creeper calls all sexual that it go to the point only I or my mother would pick up the calls.

I was a fearless kid that did not like ppl harassing my little sisters I was short and little for my age too. This went on for 6 or more months and a time before caller I.d. and the like tho we did talk to the cops and they did put a trace on the line he did not say on long enough to track him 3 minutes at that time I had a timmer by the phone to track it.

Then it go worse I started to notice a man with sunglasses and always had a hat on watching our house at night and then in our yard but by the time the cops would get there he was gone.

He stated using our names in the calls telling me what we had been doing that day how he like me in my bikini that I only wore when I was by my self or with family. Then the knocking on Windows when I and mom were awake.

For 3 years this went on we would find dead cats in our back yard and a duck we had gotten for Easter was hurt bad when we let him outside to run around the yard wile I was making lunch.

I was livid at that after he healed up we gave him to a friend that had a farm to make sure he was safe. Then one day for reasons unknown he called and talked to me.

He harassed me as normal saying things I will not repeat here but let’s just say he was telling me what he wanted to do to mom me and the other girls before he killed us.

I listened to him for 8 minutes sick to my stomach at this guys depravity, but I had him he was on for more then 3 minutes for once. The call was traced but when they got to the home the Guy or should I say 16 year old kid had shot himself in the head. He was one of mom’s old students and we never found out why he wanted to make her life and ours a living hell

Sorry if this is not as scary as some but to a young teen who had already been tho a lot this was still one of the scary parts of my life.

We never saw them

Not sure if anything will come of this but I’d like to share it anyway.

Two years short of a decade ago, I used to teach at a local high school. During my time there, there was, of course some strange things and people we’ve encountered.

But this one, while maybe not the most extreme, was probably one of the most unsettling. The security at the school was pretty lax, we definitely had security guards and cameras but the guards typically remained at the front of the school, though they did patrol the hallways.

Sufficient to say, the school really needed more people. There’s only so much a camera can do.

On this particular day, it started just as any other and while a good handful of people, myself included, were not happy about being dragged out of bed, everything seemed perfectly normal. Grumpy maybe, but normal.

The first few hours passed, normal.

Lunch came around, and that was perfectly fine too, loud but fine.

In fact, the rest of the day went according to plan to, my coworkers and I didn’t see or hear anything unusual.

Fast forward to the next day, about an hour or so into the day and a video is spread around from the Principal. We turn on our computers, boot up the projectors and watch.

For the next 10 minutes or so, we watch someone filming themselves going around the school. (The doors are locked before and after the students arrive so we’ve assumed another student let them in.) we never see the person’s face, they never speak, just watch as the make their way through the building.

They pass by a few classroom doors, a glimpse of an ongoing class can be seen inside (there are small glass panels on some of the doors), they walk upstairs and then back down, continuing to film, they managed to avoid all of us. They were here for at least a few hours and we never saw them.

I’m not sure about the security cameras, I wasn’t notified of anything regarding that, but to be honest, I worry that some of those cameras were just there for show.

The video ends with them leaving the building.

This video, as we would come to learn, later than evening, was sent to one of the local news stations. We watched it.

For a moment everything’s pretty quiet, I’m wondering if we’re just going to continue on with the day as normal (we obviously understand the severity of the situation but we also don’t want to fuel any fear the students might have.)

But then, that’s when the phone calls start.

Some teachers go back to work, some are on the phone and others are typing up emails, and here and there, students are calling their families.

Their parents.

Security is brought together to have a nice chat, there are many would be explanations to parents, reassurances. A handful of other teachers cancel their classes for the day to help monitor the building, thankfully nothing else happens.

Since then things have changed, things are stricter, security is much more advanced, the guards are stricter and now they’re all around the school and surrounding grounds. That apparent warning about the security of the school was taken seriously.

It could have ended badly if someone let in the wrong person, for awhile there was still some paranoia lingering a little, here and there. But there were no repeats.

Hopefully it’ll stay that way.

School Shooter Prevention

This happened several years ago when I worked at a very small, glorified homeschool.

I was the designated Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and 2, and Geometry tutor so I got to spend time with just about every single one of the high school aged kids that attended. I was younger than the other teachers and could relate to the students more, so I was naturally more popular and the kids would tell me things more easily.

One day at lunch, one of the girls came up to me and told me that one of the guys was trying to touch her and making inappropriate comments.

I told my superiors, hoping they’d handle it, but they all have me the “She’s encouraging it by the way she’s dressed” spill and did nothing. So I asked the other students, especially some of the girl’s guy friends to keep watch and let me know if crap started happening again.

I needed proof if I was going to talk with the principal because the older teachers were too self righteous to even try.

The same situation happened with one or two other girls, each saying that he either tried to touch them, said gross things to them about their bodies, etc. I tried again with my superiors but they did nothing.

Everyone started avoiding this one kid though, let’s call him Darren.

He was a little off beat, like he’d just say random things in the middle of a conversation in class or he’d just stare at the wall all day long without so much as touching a pencil. Days passed and I heard that he’d threatened a teacher one day but I had no proof until he threatened me. I’d been trying to get him to focus and he got angry.

“GOD,” Darren exclaimed angrily. “I could just cut you!” The comment sent a cold jolt into my gut but I tried to shrug it off, like everyone else had been doing but I just couldn’t. The Sandy Hook shooting had happened just recently and I’d been listening to news reports about the shooter, talking about his mental illness and so much of what they said made little danger alarms sound off in the back of my head because they made me think of Darren.

The guy even brought a screwdriver to school, kept in his pocket, and no one did anything. The principal saw it and said “I can’t do anything because of a tool.” Which I understood, but I was still alarmed at the lack of action from anyone.

I went home that night and spoke to my parents about it, who’s opinions I trust deeply. My dad gave me something to think about. “If you take al this before your boss, the least you can say to yourself is that you tried, because if this kid snaps and no one is prepared, you’re going to either die for your students or you’ll have to fight for your life. You shouldn’t be even having to consider this. That alone should tell you to listen to your instincts.”

So the next day, I went to my boss and I put my job on the line. I told him about the girls who’d complained, about the threatening of teachers and about my own personal experience. He was receptive but cautious and asked me if I could bring forward students to back up what I was saying; he needed proof.

And so I did. I got the girls to come in one by one and give their statements and then I was surprised when students began quietly volunteering to give their own, particularly the two guys who sat on either side of Darren. They knew something was happening and they were just as scared as I was, it turned out. Their statements chilled me to the bone. They both said that Darren muttered to himself all day long about knives, guns, and killing things.

Then he whispered to them about ripping out their guts for everyone to see.

They’d also seen knives in his backpack on multiple occasions and they expressed to the principal that they were frightened of Darren.

My boss was livid, particularly with the teachers I worked with for not being more observant and for not telling him about the girls having trouble with Darren. He called the school that Darren had attended before ours and found out that Darren had been expelled for threatening and then attacking a teacher. Needless to say, I was pretty furious myself that my school had accepted him without a background check, eager for the money his parents would pay and not even bothering to check as to why Darren never seemed to stay in one school for very long.

My boss called Darren’s mother and she wearily ensured him that she’d be pulling Darren out of attendance. I never saw him again after that. The school I worked at has since closed for multiple reasons, but I’m a little glad because it was so irresponsible run.

Last year, when the shooting happened in Florida, I felt nausea claw at my stomach when I saw the face of shooter. The expression, the odd way his eyes seemed to not look straight at anything, he looked just like Darren.

The more I heard about him, his obsession with weapons specifically, the worse I felt. I’m not saying I stopped a shooting, because things might have not gotten that bad.

I still wrestle with that, wondering if I did the right thing, if I was overreacting.

This is what my dad said to me when I talked with him about it. “The future is something we can never predict, but how could you explain to the parent of a dead child who’s life you could’ve saved that the reason you didn’t report the early warning signs was because you didn’t want to step out of line or make waves with the other teachers? You’d never be able to live with yourself.”

Scary Subway Stalker

This happened to me a few months ago when I was 14. A group and I had traveled to California for a dance competition and since it lasted the whole weekend, we had to find restaurants for every night. We had planned to go to this Italian restaurant, but due to messing up our reservation, we ended up at subway.

Don’t get me wrong— I used to love subway until this happened. As we walked from the Italian restaurant to subway, I noticed quite a few homeless people and beggars along the sidewalk, but I dismissed it as we were in an urban area.

I was walking next to my friend when I abruptly saw her smile turn into a frown so I looked over in the direction she was and I saw a lady. She was clearly homeless with short blonde scrappy hair and tattered clothing.

“Hello children.” She said in a slight whisper.

I heard it and started to walk faster. But unfortunately before I could get completely away, we made direct eye contact.

The two things that crept me out the most though, were her teeth and her height. She had maximum of six teeth and they were disgusting. I shivered just looking at her. But even though she was sitting down I took to notice her height. She looked tall stopped over, but I couldn’t imagine her standing up.

We made it to the subway and took a seat inside. It was only our group and our mothers. It’s important to note that the way it was layed out, people outside could see most if not all of the inside due to the windows and lights, but we could not see outside.

I ordered my sandwich and went to get a drink from the fountain. As I was pouring my iced tea, I heard the bell from the door ring, and everyone went silent. I capped my drink and turned to see what was up— but something blocked my way.

Standing no more then two inches away from me was (yep, you guessed it,) creepy homeless lady. I almost screamed. I wanted to. I saw her reach for her back pocket, and that’s when I bolted past her.

“Is this your family?” She asked in a low raspy voice.
“What’s your name? How old are you?”

She followed me around the restaurant and right before she started to corner me, the manager came out and yelled at her to leave, and I’ve never seen her run faster.

I wiped the tears from my eyes and sat back down with my group and we tried to laugh it off. But since I was facing the window, I noticed something else in the darkness.

A man was walking past the store, and not just once but about ten times. I started to get nervous because of what had just happened, but I shrugged it off because he didn’t look that disheveled. But then he came in and yep, he was definitely homeless, and drunk.

As he stumbles in our chaperones start to pick up their bags and get ready to leave. I do to and as I start to stand up he says to us,

“What a lovely family. You’ll make a nice family yes?”

We shrug it off as a drunken comment and as I turn towards the door I notice his unusually large backpack. Before I can grab the door handle, he starts to stroke my hair from the back and says I’m beautiful.

Not wanting to get snatched 2,000 miles away from my home state, I bolt out after my mom, and thankfully that was the end of it. But to this day I still don’t feel comfortable going into subways.