The gnarly old shrub started to move. It wasn’t the wind.
Then, I saw an arm reach out. There was a man, he was digging around for something. I knew there was nothing to be found there other than a bit of rubbish that had blown against the fence or the leaves from the deciduous trees growing nearby. Was he looking for treasure? Maybe it was a place he had arranged for someone to hide something for him to collect at a later time? Was he a drug dealer? A user?
I wouldn’t be worried as a general rule, what people do with their lives is their own decision. Everyone has the right to make their own choice- good or bad. They are almost always the ones who have to put up with the consequences.
But this was different. Here was a man dressed up in layers of clothing and wearing a big wide brimmed hat in the grounds of a Public Swimming Pool/Leisure Centre/Gym. He did not fit in one little bit. I very much doubted he worked there as he had no sign of a uniform on, nor was he acting like he belonged there.
He crawled out from under the shrub and started to wander around. He stopped, crouched down and picked something up. He walked over to a concrete water recycling tank and hurled the object at it. It smashed into a million pieces. He had picked up a glass bottle, now it was shattered. Pieces of glass littered the ground where Boot Camp was held on an almost daily basis.
Had he done this on purpose to injure someone? Someone he knew or an innocent stranger? He looked over at me. He was far enough away that I couldn’t make out his face, yet I knew by his body language that he was looking over towards me in what I felt was a threatening way.
He continued to walk around with a large stick in his hand, scratching at the ground, scratching through the leaf litter, flicking it around as though he knew there was something of value hidden there.
Once again he stopped dead still. Looking down at something for a short while, he contemplated his next move. He reached down and this time, picked up a stick. He then proceeded to walk towards the fence and without any warning, he hurled the stick over the fence, missing a car by only a few inches, the stick bounced across to the other side of the road. He walked back to where he had picked the stick up from and picked up another of a similar size. Once again, he walked over near the fence and lobbed it high into the air. This time it only just missed a car that was driving past.
He looked over in my direction, as if to say “Next time it’ll be coming your way”, then turned and walked off.
This left me feeling quite puzzled as to why he was scratching around there and even more puzzled as to why he was there in the first place.
I have seen carloads of youths loitering around the car park at all hours of the night, long after the pool and gym had closed. Was he looking for something they had left behind?
Soon after, the chemical truck arrived to deliver a load of Chlorine.
As soon as the truck arrived, the man hurried off, briskly walking down towards the pool area. Was he known to the driver of the truck?
I did not know if I should have gone over to the pool and reported what I saw or just not said anything? If I did report it, would what I tell them be taken as a fact or just something in my imagination?
If I did say something and he was found and dealt with, would he then come after me? I hope I don’t see him ever again, but I can’t be sure that will be the case.
The way he behaved, the things he did, the body language… it all screamed CREEP!