After hunting for her front door keys in her laptop bag for a minute, she gave up and knocked on the door. The first few drops of rain had just started to fall and she turned around while she was waiting to gaze up at the storm clouds that now blanketed the area.

Carlos opened the door, then went straight back into the other room before she’d even turned back around. ‘Hello to you too, honey’ she said as she stepped inside and took off her coat. She then followed him into the sitting room where he sat on his laptop, head slightly turned as he surreptitiously looked outside.

‘Sorry, but he’s at it again’, Carlos said nodding through the window towards the fence line. Maria walked over to the kettle, checked the water level, and then turned it on. She got down a cup from a cupboard and was about to reach for another when she stopped, ‘how much caffeine have you had today, honey?’. Carlos looked down at the empty cup sitting by his keyboard, ‘Um, maybe five or six’. She closed the cupboard door and filled her own with coffee.

‘I’m telling you, he keeps staring, it’s not natural’ Carlos continued as he turned his chair facing the window, all pretence of subtlety abandoned.

Maria sighed, causing Carlos to turn to her with a scowl. ‘Look, I’ve been working at home now for months and I’m telling you, there’s something not right with him’. Carlos flicked open a notebook and began flicking through page after page of neatly ordered dates and times. ‘See here’ he said holding the book up for Maria to inspect. ‘Here he was pretending to trim the rose bush, but every time I looked up, he was staring at me’.

Maria walked over with her cup of coffee and looked at the figures, he flicked over more pages, ‘And here, he was doing something with wire over near the bushes along the fence line, but again, staring. That went on for a good hour or two, look’, he said pointing out specific times.

‘You’re just being paranoid, you had one little disagreement over parking across the drive and suddenly you think he’s out to get you’. She placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder, then lent down and gave him a kiss on the cheek. ‘Come on, close that laptop and stop pretending to work. You finished an hour ago’.

‘But he’s still out there, look’ Carlos said pointing to another page in the notebook. She looked down at him and frowned, which was always his queue to admit he was being ridiculous, so he pulled down the lid of the laptop. ‘I tell you what though, just thinking about him creeping about, it puts shivers down my spine’, Carlos said as he followed her into the kitchen.

Outside the rain was now pouring, as he gazed into the house from the bushes. A smile crept onto his face as his hair became slick with water; he pulled a voodoo doll out of his pocket and ran a finger down its back.

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