Mrs Hughes, an aristocratic lady, was on her way home from a friend’s one afternoon but sensed that she was being followed. She felt too embarrassed to stop and turn around as she did not want to draw attention to passers-by on the street. As she turned into her street, away from the hustle-bustle of the main road, she could not resist and suddenly froze in her tracks and pretended as if she was searching for something in her handbag. The idea was to enable whoever was behind her, to overtake her. For a split second she heard footsteps which shuffled and stopped as well. Mrs Hughes counted mentally to ten and then decided to carry on. She soon arrived at her house and as she fumbled in her handbag to get the keys, they dropped in haste onto the ground. As she was about to bend down and pick them, a mittened hand grabbed them and she looked up. A scruffy looking man stood before her and there was a stink coming from his breath as he spoke.
“I believe these are yours ma’am.” He said, clearing his throat. The expression on Mrs Hughes face was of contempt. She pulled out a handkerchief from her pocket and snatched them with it, avoiding direct contact with her skin.
“How dare you follow me all the way to my home. Leave me at once or else I’m calling the police.”
The man scratched his hair and shrugged.
“Now, I’m not sure you wanna do that ma’am.” Mrs Hughes held her breath as he spoke.
“Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!” She opened the door and entered and closed the door just before the scruffy man could come in.
“Phew! Now I can breath at least!” Mrs Hughes decided not to ring the police as long as her pursuer did not cause any trouble. She was hoping he would just go away and decided to make herself a cup of tea. She put the t.v on to hear the latest news.
“A scruffy man in his fifties has just escaped from prison. The public are warned to stay vigilant and not to approach him. He may be armed and dangerous.” Mrs Hughes switched off the t.v abruptly and could hear her heart beating faster. Sweat trickled down her forehead. Suddenly the phone rang and Mrs Hughes reached for it.
“H..hello, who is it?”
“Look, Ma’am, I’ve just got a few coins left. Will you just open the door and let me in, please?”
“Go away!! Leave me alone. I..I’m warning you for the last time or else…I’ll call the police.”
“Ma’am, there’s no need for that. Just open the door will you?”
Mrs Hughes screamed, “Aaahhhh!”, and then she slammed the phone down. It began to ring again and so she decided to put the receiver away from the phone so it wasn’t resting on it. She felt like a prisoner in her own home and quickly chained the main door and checked if all the windows and doors were shut. After this, she went up to her bedroom and decided to have a hot shower. Once she was out, Mrs Hughes felt alot more relaxed and decided to make a cup of tea and then retire to bed. It was now 8.35 p.m. and she decided to have a rest, but the moment she pulled the bedsheets aside, she got a real shock.
“Aaahh!!!” There under the bedsheet was a chimpanzee with her personal belongings. It stared back at her and poked out its tongue then jumped up and down her bed making loud noises.
“Oh my God! How did that beast get into my bed!” ”Just look at the mess you made!” Suddenly, the bell rang again and again. It was so irritating that Mrs Hughes had no choice but to go downstairs and answer it. She could see the reflection of the scruffy man. He knelt down and opened the letter box slot.
“Mrs Hughes, I really think we need to sit down and talk about this.”
“That’s it! You’ve had your last warning. I’m going to…aaaahhh!” It was the chimpanzee. He jumped straight onto Mrs Hughes back and began to play with her hair.
“Aaahhh! Aaaahhh!” Screamed Mrs Hughes and began running around her house. The chimpanzee was clearly enjoying the situation. Just then, Mrs Hughes fainted.
A few hours later, Mrs Hughes found herself lying tucked up in her bed and a young man stood before her. He looked familiar and he held a bottle of tablets in his hand, rattling them at her.
“Don’t tell me, it was that scruffy man and the chimpanzee again, mother. How many times have I told you not to miss your tablets.” He took two tablets out and ushered his mother to open her mouth and popped in the two tablets and handed her the glass from which she took a sip.
“Mother, I know you haven’t swallowed.” Mrs Hughes took a gulp and held her son’s hands.
“Thank you Jack for looking after me, but I saw what I saw. There really was a scruffy man and he’s dangerous. It was on the news; but I don’t know where that chimpanzee came from.”
Jack nodded. “Mother, I beseech you. Please believe me; there was no scruffy man nor chimpanzee. It’s all in your mind.” Mrs Hughes stared at him and then released her hands and sunk back into her bed, closing her eyes.
Once she was asleep, Jack got up and left the room.
“Thank you Dr. Goff, and thank you too Peter for coming all the way to deliver the medicines yesterday. I’ve put her to sleep but I’m afraid she’s always going to see you as a scruffy old man and Peter as a chimpanzee. I know you only came over to deliver the goods; but that’s just the way it is.”
And with those words, the doctor and his assistant Peter shook hands with Jack and left. All in all, it had been a traumatic experience for Jack and his mother and he made sure that she never missed another dose again.