Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tomorrow's Post--Today

(A little note first: Personal Demons is now available in ebook format from Fictionwise! And it's on sale this week.)

Because I'm still a little freaked out, and wanted to blog about it, but didn't want to wait until tomorrow.

So the hubs was upstairs putting the girls to bed, and I was standing down here in the living room grumbling because our buddy three doors down decided to mow his lawn at 8:30 at night again. (BTW, if you haven't already seen my post at the League blog, go check it out. It's about neighbors from hell, with particular emphasis on noise, with extra particular emphasis on my neighbors and their new karaoke machine and their excrable musical tastes.)

So I'm grumbling, and I hear someone screaming outside on the street in front of the house. And I'm thinking, WTF is it now, because we always have people screaming on our street, or singing drunkenly, or gossiping outside our window, or whatevs.

But the screaming doesn't stop. So I head for the window and look out, and there's two big guys, carrying a kid across the street (away from my house) by the arms and legs. And a very tough-looking woman standing there yelling, holding a bat.

They dump the kid in the grass. He is seriously freaking out, screaming for help. And I think, okay, should I call the cops? Because it sounds like the woman is calling him by name, but at the same time the kid clearly says "Help" at least once.

He tried to get up and run. The two guys grabbed him. The hubs came downstairs and I told him what was going on.

The kid got up and started running. The men chased him down. One of them threw the kid over his shoulder.

Hubs is dialing the police. The man and boy disappear behind the community center across the street.

Okay, the cops did come very quickly. But not fast enough; the kid and men were gone by the time they arrived. They drove around, they looked behind the center, but saw nothing.

Now, I'm hoping my initial impression--that the kid knew the adults--was right. And honestly I'm pretty sure it was. It's pretty frigging ballsy to kidnap a screaming child on a busy street in the daylight with lots of people around. And really, while the kid ran away, he didn't run into the community center, where there were people who could have help him, or back across the street toward our house (which is where they dragged him from, not like my house is the obvious bastion of safety to any strange child), or to the restaurant and convenience store right next to the center. And he did seem old enough to be able to think of going those places, if he was really trying to escape and not just stir up shit with his parents.

But I still wish I'd called the cops sooner. Next time I won't hesitate. Next time I'll grab my cellphone and take some pictures too. Because until a few days have passed without me hearing about a boy going missing, I won't be sure. And that's terrifying.

Sorry it's a bit of a downer. I'm just still a little freaked. But there's fun to be had at the League blog, so come on by!


laughingwolf said...

holy crap, that's freaky... hope the kid is found quickly, and is well :(

as for noisy neighbors, the loud 'music' kind, i always say it's their way of proving to the rest of the neighborhood their poor taste....

Anonymous said...

Ooo, even if the kid wasn't being abducted that sounds rough! Is there an system like Amber Alerts where you live?

kirsten saell said...

I had neighbors from hell for a while--my husband had to go over once at 7 a.m. to pound on their door and ask if they were ever going to shut the party down, since we still hadn't slept and the cops had already been by four times. The asshole's response? "Oh, are we bothering you?" They actually played paintball once at one o'clock in the fucking morning in their backyard, shooting at a friend from the balcony and screaming obscenities. I asked them to take it inside. The response? "Oh, are we bothering you?"

How many fucking times do the police have to come by for them to know, yeah, you're bothering people???

There are noise bylaws in our town, but until these neighbors of ours started making problems 5+ nights a week, there was no mechanism for enforcing them. But me calling the cops sometimes five times a night as often as 7 nights a week for eight months actually made the RCMP and the town council change the system. Yay! How bad is it, when it's your fucking asshole party animal neighbors who induce a whole town to change the law?

As for that kid, yeah, I'd be freaked, too. Absolutely. I hope the cops manage to figure out what it was all about, and have the consideration to let you know so you can stop worrying.

pacatrue said...

I've been going through that sort of stuff a lot lately as well. Some man was screaming at his girlfriend in her car that he was going to kill her and I had to call 911 for the first time in my life, but while I was on the phone she drove off. Another time I remember watching a screaming couple out of the window waiting to see if it would become violent or not. Makes me want to move back out in the middle of nowhere again for a little peace. But once you break the calling 911 barrier, it seems to get easier. I think I'll be quicker to the draw in the future.

Bernita said...

It's always a judgment call.
Sometimes things happen so fast one doesn't have time to think it through.

December/Stacia said...

Yeah, me too Laughingwolf...I really hope it was just a domestic thing. The hubs and the cops walked across the street to the community center, and the guy there seemed to think they were just playing and that they'd all been playing cricket together beforehand. But he didn't hear the kid screaming either. :-(

They don't even have air conditioning here, Michele, :-) so no, I don't think so, sadly. But I also imagine by now that if a kid matching the description we gave had been reported missing, someone would have come by to get a more complete discription, since we gave our name and address.

See, kis, that's the kind of thing that infuriates me. They have noise ordinances but they're basically unenforceable. You can be arrested on the street for disorderly conduct, but you can't be arrested at home for making enough noise to wake the dead nd keeping your neighbors up all night.
Now I'm a personal freedom kind of a girl. I think what I do in my own home should be nobody else's business--as long as I'm not disturbing other people. But when somebody is blatantly, purposefully ignoring the rights of others, they should be fucking busted for it. Fined heavily at the very least.

It does get easier, doesn't it Paca? I think that's why it always amazes me on tv or in movies where shit's happening and nobody ever thinks to just call the cops.
The first time--actually, I believe it's still the only time--I ever called 911 was right after the hubs and I (dating at the time) got mugged right outside my apt. building. I was so freaked out, and I'm telling the woman what happened and hearing those little beeps in the background indicating the conversation was being recorded. It was unreal. And I hung up the phone, my hand still shaking, and my roommate--who'd managed to sleep through the whole thing--looks at me and says, "They were speaking some language, it sounded like Aaaaasian."
And hubs and I lost it. It was awesome. (It's a Cable Guy reference, if you didn't catch it.)

But yeah, I'm much more willing to call the cops now if something is happening.

And, you're awesome for making those calls or thinking of it to begin with. Remember Kitty Genovese?

Yeah, Bernita, it was...but I still wish I'd called sooner. I just wasn't sure what was going on, and thought if it's just some people playing, or yelling at their kid, I don't want to get in trouble with the police for wasting their time or something. Thanks though. :-)

BernardL said...

Very disturbing. It is nearly impossible to decipher the truth in such situations without risking life and limb. There are drawbacks to living in today’s so-called civilization.

Robyn said...

That's a very tough call. Working in retail, I'm more used to having to call the police for abandoned kids- it's happened three times. Trying to comfort a three-year old who's just been dumped is not easy.

We live in a college town. There are hundreds of 20-year-old guys who think it's their God-given right to drink and yell, "WHOOOAAAA!" at 1am.

Charles Gramlich said...

That's definitely freak out material. I would have probably gone running outside but it's probably better to air on the side of being safe than sorry and call the police. I'm sure it was probably not as sinister as it looks, but I can understand your concern.

Seeley deBorn said...

Woah. Creepy.

I had noisy thumpy upstairs neighbours in a condo once. I slipped a note under their door (cause they were never home when I was) and the guy (bouncer at a bar who liked to "workout" at 3 in the morning) came down and told my husband to deal with the noise and stop banging on the ceiling or he'd come down and deal with him! My husband told the guy if he knoced on the door at 3 in the morning he'd have a shotgun in his hand when he answered.

Silence from then on.

I never had the neighbours complain to me, but out of spite we blasted Slayer from our deck for a few weeks. We had 5 acre parcels and the jerks took out all but 9 trees between our houses and aimed their living room window at our deck.

Anonymous said...

Once while staying in a motel in Mississippi I went out to the car to get something and I heard a girl screaming. I turned to see a girl (14?) beating on the glass and screaming help -then, an arm grabbed her from behind the drapes and jerked her out of view.

I immediately called the cops and don't know what happened after that. I asked the night clerk and he said the cops knocked on the door and nobody answered. Duh!

To this day I wonder if I should have thrown something through that glass and helped that girl myself.

I said all that to say you're not alone, December. Hopefully it all works out o.k. -V95