8 in The Landlord

  • March 23, 2022, 2:38 a.m.
  • |
  • Public

With Amanda and Patrick’s suspicions of their landlord mounting, they decided to grab a few cameras at their local electronics store and hide them and their vents. They were mostly curious to see if the landlord was entering their apartment when no one was home, what he did, and how often. They were very disturbed over the fact that he never called or left a note about entering the time Amanda had hid in the cabinet.

Amanda was telling her parents about the situation when they were visiting them the other day and how uncomfortable she was living there. Uncomfortable enough that they were considering trying to find a way out of their lease.

“There’s plenty of room for you guys to stay in the basement if need be,” her mother said, reminding them that they had a fully finished basement. It had been one of the reasons her parents bought the house when she was little. At the time, her maternal grandmother had been living with them until she passed of a stroke.

“It’s great to know that’s an option for us but first, we want to find out if that was just an isolated incident or not. Yes, the guy creeps me out, but if nothing more is going to happen, we may as well stay until our lease is up. We’re not ready to get our own place anyway.”

“You ready?” Patrick asked Amanda as they prepared to install the cameras.

Amanda nodded.

Patrick set the small ladder he borrowed from his father in position and climbed up to the bedroom vent.

Amanda was ready to take the vent from him once he got it unscrewed and then hand him the camera that would go in that vent.

“Oh my God!” Patrick said.

The alarm in his voice struck a nerve in Amanda because Patrick was ordinarily a very calm and easygoing guy. She’d never heard him sound so alarmed before since she’d known him.

“What is it?” she asked.

“Fucking bastard,” he muttered.

“What is it!” Amanda asked with more urgency in her voice.

“There’s already a camera here.”

“What!”

Patrick turned to her and nodded dubiously. “Either the people before us had the same idea we have or this bastard is spying on us.”

“Holy shit. How do we find out which one it is?”

“We don’t. We just get the fuck out of here.”

At that point, Amanda was in total agreement and not about to argue. She was a hundred percent ready to get out of there. If the previous tenants were the ones to set cameras in the vents, then they too had been suspicious of the landlord. If it was the landlord that placed them there; that was worse.

“Let’s check the other vents to see if there are any more cameras,” Patrick said.

They quickly checked the living room but didn’t find anything. But they did find cameras in the kitchen and bathroom.

“What do we do now?” Amanda asked worriedly.

“We call the landlord first thing in the morning and tell him what we found and why we’re leaving.”

“Can’t we just leave? It might be better that way. If he doesn’t know what’s coming, it might make things easier for us.”

“No. I want to see what he has to say. Besides, he comes and goes a lot and may see us moving things out. Furthermore, if these are his cameras, he already knows we’re on to him,” Patrick warned.

Chills ran down Amanda’s spine at the thought of it and also of what else the creepy bastard might have seen and heard. “Let’s be careful when we talk. We don’t know how many other cameras may be in here or listening devices that we don’t know about. I don’t want the guy knowing where we’re going once we decide on a place.”

Patrick took his girlfriend in his arms and they held each other tight. Amanda began to sob as her head rested upon his shoulder.

“Hey, hey now. It’s going to be okay.”

“I knew there was something wrong with the guy,” said Amanda

“I know you did, and I wish to hell I had listened to you.”

“This isn’t your fault.”

They pulled apart a moment or two later and Patrick went to gather the cameras.

“No! Don’t touch them anymore unless you wear gloves or something to handle them.” Whispering, she continued on with, “Let’s take them to the police and see if they can find any fingerprints. I don’t see much dust on these things. My guess is they haven’t been in the vents for long. The question is who should we go to first? Mr. Creepy or the police?”

“Well, it’s getting kind of late and since I’m here with you, let’s just try to get some sleep and we’ll see what the landlord has to say in the morning. Then we’ll take what we learn along with the cameras to the police.”

Amanda lied in bed for hours that night wondering what other devices may be lurking about that they were unaware of, and if any of them could see in the dark. Her heart rate sped up every time she heard a sound. Every vehicle she heard pass by on the street made her nervous and she tried not to picture horrific images of an ax-wielding crazed landlord bursting into their apartment ready to kill.

Come on, she silently scolded herself. He’s weird but he’s not crazy, right? He may not even be a peeping Tom. Those cameras may not have been placed by him.

She had never cared for big cities, but it was the first time she wished they were in one because the odds of running into the landlord somewhere in their small city once they moved was fairly high. She remembered the time she spotted him at the grocery store and realized they had probably run into each other several times but never took notice of each other.

Amanda was exhausted the next morning when it came time to call the landlord because she’d only slept a few hours. Still, they made the call and both of them were surprised by his reaction.


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