The Bus Stop Man

It has started off as part of his social work course at the suggestion of his tutor

He’d advised the students to sit in their local town square and observe just how many people there were with mental health problems in their community. This would give them an insight into just what they’d be dealing with when they qualified. So this is what Peter Ehrlich  been doing everyday, sitting with a coffee, people watching

Within the first week he’d identified at least thirteen people who were exhibiting severe mental health issues. The numbers were a shock at first but by the second week he’d realised just how they seemed to blend into the background. Most people ignored them or just kept their distance and he realised this must have been what he’d been doing otherwise he’d have noticed them before now

One man really fascinated him as he had the same routine everyday without fail. He would walk around each of the bus stops in the square as though waiting for a bus but would never get on one, even though he had queued up at each one. He would be muttering under his breath the whole time but never loud enough to hear what he was saying. His routine, along with his clothing never seemed to change over the time he was being observed

The part of his routine that really fascinated Peter was that every three hours he would stand absolutely still, move his head in an almost robotic fashion and angle his eyes up to the sky. Depending upon where he was in the square he’d always orientate himself to face the same way. He’d stand like this for precisely thirty seven seconds (Peter timed him on his phone) before coming out of his trance and going back to his previous behaviour

It couldn’t be readily explained by any condition that Peter had read about so he was even more determined to watch and take notes. This was when it happened. On the fifth week of watching him the man without warning snapped his head around in Peter’s direction during one of his standing still moments. He moved his head in small, jerky movements like an animatronic dummy until he’d fixed his eyes on where Peter was standing. He fixed his gaze without blinking for what seemed like minutes before falling back into his previous behaviour

This had shook Peter up as the way he watched him was completely different to any behaviour he’d exhibited before but the next day he was back to see if it happened again. The man as usual after three hours of bus stopping started his standing still behaviour but what happened next was different. The man looked up to the sky, slowly nodded before turning towards Peter’s direction. He raised his right arm, pointed at him and emitted a sound like an old dial up modem. This sound started hitting Peter from different directions from within the square causing him to look  to find the source

The twelve other people he’d been observing over the weeks were all pointing at him, emitting the same sound. It crashed into his brain causing him to put his hands over his ears to try and block it out as he started to run away. It wasn’t until he’d reached the shopping centre that the noise finally subsided and he was aware of what thoughts were running through his mind

‘We know you are watching us. There is nothing to see here. You have been warned’

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