Freaked Out

May 7, 2008
By Sean Qualres, Fairfield, IA

Have you ever been so randomly freaked out by a total stranger that you almost soiled yourself? Have you ever opened a story with a cheesy overdone question as an opener? I sure have. You are about to be graced with the chronicling of my near shank experience.

One evening my friend, Alex and I decided we would like to go see a movie. There was really nothing to go see in Ottumwa so we decided to go see “Jumper” in Fairfield. Alex had seen this movie before, but I had not and he was willing to see it again.

We parked on Broadway in downtown Fairfield and stepped out on to the sidewalk and began to stride to the movie theater. We noticed a strange man pacing back and forth on the sidewalk just ahead of us. It was around fifty degrees and this guy was dressed as if it were eighteen. He wore a long heavy brown coat over a black sweater and slacks. He was wearing a brown cap and glasses; he also had curly grey hair down to his neck.

Alex and I walked past this man and as soon as we passed directly by him, he threw himself at my side and began to walk along with us. The weirdo was literally sticking to my side!

"Going to the flick?" he asked.

"Yeah," Alex replied completely shocked. It was at this point that I made a break for it. I picked up the pace and power walked forward to break away from him. I immediately reached and grabbed my wallet to make sure it was still there. I could not figure out why on earth this strange man would wait for us to walk by him and then follow so closely. REAL CLOSELY. It was like he was glued to my side. Man, I was freaked. I had no idea what was going on. I seriously thought I was about to be shanked!

"What are you going to see?" he then asked.

"Jumper," replied Alex.

"Oh, is that good?

"Yeah, I liked it."

"What did you like about it?"

Alex was also becoming a little freaked out. "I don't know.....the fiction part of it?" he said just before he then hurried to catch up with me.

I strolled into the theater, followed by Alex, not knowing that the man had not followed us in. So I stood there face straight ahead at the desk. "WEIRDO! OH MY GOD!" I then heard Alex exclaim while laughing. I then turned around and saw the man standing outside the glass doors looking in.

"Oh dude I know! I thought I was getting shanked!" I said in a nervous laugh.

"Don't let that guy in!" Alex told the ticket clerk.

"Why did you have to tell him what movie we were seeing?" I asked him.

"I don't know," He said. "If that guy comes in, tell him we went to the other movie." He told the clerk. "Or call the police, whichever you choose."

We then bought our tickets and proceeded to the concession stand laughing nervously and still freaked a bit. Then, my heart dropped. The strange man had walked into the cinema. I was totally freaking out then. Alex was not happy either. For the first time in my life I was actually scared for my life. I had no idea what this guy's intentions were. The man bought a ticket to Jumper, (of course), and then walked to the door of Jumper. He just stood there, looking over at us every now and then. He would occasionally walk in and out of the door and still stand as if he was waiting for us. It was then, I was about to go in my pants. I deliberately took my time at the concession stand to procrastinate eventually the man walked up to the counter where we were standing. After we bought our snacks and the was our window of opportunity. While he would be tied up at the snack counter we would be able to get into the movie, sit, and hide in the darkness. We did just that. I wanted to hide way back in the corner but Alex said it was a crappy seat and would make it too easy for him to rape us. So, we took some seats in the balcony in the middle. Plain sight of all five of the other movie-goers. We then saw the man walk into the movie. He shut the door himself. Trying to make it darker for him to kill or rape us, I thought. He just stood there after that looking around, for us. I was still freaking out. He then noticed us among all the people and had no choice but to settle down in a seat nearby on the aisle.

Ten minutes into the movie, I looked down and noticed him stand up and leave. He then returned a minute later and looked for us more, saw us, then sat down in a different seat. (What was this freak up to?) He finally just left about halfway through the film. The only thing we knew was that was he did not care about the movie; he just wanted to get to us. We really are not sure on his intentions; but he was a FREAK. Regardless, the movie rocked. However, we did exit the cinema with extra caution and never saw him again.

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