01 Feb THE DOG WALKER
Every morning at the crack of dawn a hooded figure used to walk around the crescent and again at nightfall. He had a dog with him a serious and vicious looking dog like Bill Sykes ’Bullseye in the film Oliver.
He moved very stealthily and controlled the dog, which was on a short and incredibly strong leash. Every now and then the dog would stop and sniff or worse dropped his load and the figure stands and studies the houses in the Crescent. When finished, they would move on never clearing up the muck.
Some of the residents tried remonstrating with him but were ignored and intimidated by the snarling and growling. The dog wasn’t friendly either!
Nobody knew whether he was English, Cypriot or East European as he never spoke.
Jeremy christened him ‘The Mystery Man’ and had a secret fantasy of being a victim under his power and helpless to resist. Raymonde, Jeremy’s partner, just thought that Jeremy ought to be satisfied with what he had. Raymonde said he was creepy and was concerned about the safety and security of the crescent.
The Police were called by Hilda in number six but all they said was it was not an offence to walk your dog on a leash. Fouling the pavements had to be proved beyond doubt for a prosecution.
So a meeting was held and the residents all agreed to get quotes from security companies about tightening up their security. One firm recommended by Mick McCann offered to give substantial discounts if there were multiple orders from the crescent. This was accepted by everybody. Burglar alarms, deadlocks on all the doors and windows, security lights and cctv systems were all on offer. The work started almost immediately and everybody felt a lot safer. Smithy the gypsy was the only one who didn’t have security installed. He maintained that nobody would dare to break into his place not with the fierce dogs roaming the garden.
The hooded dog walker was observed the following morning and it was noticed that he walked a lot quicker. He was not seen again in the crescent. Smug residents patted themselves on the back and everybody slept soundly in their fortified homes.
Down at the pub the word spread about the dog walker and a few weeks later other people reported that he had been seen in their area. Mick handed out business cards for the security company. They won many contracts and were a growing concern in the area.
Then one day a policeman contacted Hilda about her complaint telling her that they had found him and following enquiries it was found that he did not have a licence for the dog. On enquiring what his name was Hilda was informed that the police could not tell her under the rights of protection act. But they did say that he was English and owned a security company in the town!
488 words Michael White 2020