Alan MacDaniels hated someone. He didn't know who they were or what they looked like, but he despised them for one simple reason. Every night, they'd come to his home and knock over his trash cans. Something so simple, so mundane, yet its consistency infuriated him. It'd been going on for weeks now, always costing him precious moments in his morning routine. The same two cans, every day of every week. He hated this nameless villain with a fiery rage.
Finally, after simply allowing this disturbance to continue for long enough, Alan finally chose to end it. He contacted a home security service. After a few days, two men arrived at his home and began setting the cameras up throughout the house. A camera outside, a camera in the living room, a camera in his bedroom, and all of it is uploaded directly into his laptop.
He allowed the cameras to run for several days, eager to capture his interloper on camera. His excitement was palpable on the third day when he finally checked his laptop. Excitement turned to frustration as he looked over the various files. They were discombobulated, hours of footage mismatched. The timeline of events was nearly impossible to determine. Alan mashed the keyboard in frustration.
He sighed and went to work. If nothing else, at least he could figure out who was tormenting him. He opened the first file. Little occurred until the early morning, when a shadowy figure stepped out of the brush and rummaged through the cans. Alan, frustrated that he couldn't get a better look, changed to the next file. The same routine, the same figure, the same two cans. The final file, he hoped, would reveal the interloper's identity. He clicked on it and hoped for the best.
Once more, the figure stepped out of the brush to the cans, but something was different this time. He didn't approach the cans. He simply stopped and looked at the camera. A chill shuddered through Alan as the man's gaze seemed to meet his. The man looked around, seeming to observe the area before stepping out of the frame. Alan checked through all of the camera feeds, desperately trying to find the intruder.
Moments felt like hours as Alan scoured the footage, trying to find the strange man. He searched relentlessly, but the man did not appear again. Alan sighed and shut the computer down, slipping into his pajamas. He lay in bed and tried to sleep, but the image of the figure was still fresh in his mind. A clattering outside drew his attention.
Alan jumped from his bed and ran outside, a gun in hand. He was finally going to catch that bastard. The cans were knocked over as he expected, tracks leading off into the brush. In the dead of night, he could do little to find the interloper. Alan sighed in defeat and headed back inside. A thought popped into his mind. The cameras were still rolling, he might have another chance.
He nearly threw the laptop open and clicked on the file, excitement in his heart. He might actually catch that bastard. He watched the video and his heart stopped. Just as he expected, he stepped outside and looked for the figure, but something was different. The figure was there, right where he would have seen it. It walked right past him on the video, right where he would have seen him, and opened the front door. Alan's jaw dropped in horror as he watched the figure continue inside, stepping in between the lights, giving glimpses of its horrid form. It was not a man. It walked into his room and stood in the corner. Alan watched, blood is cold, as he stepped inside and sat down at the computer. The figure didn't move, didn't even acknowledge his presence.
It merely watched him, entirely still. Alan tore his gaze from the computer, looking around the room. He found nothing. His gaze returned to the computer. The feed was live now, and the figure was no longer in the corner. The figure stood directly behind him. As his eyes met the screen, Alan shrieked in terror and fell out of the chair. Even still, nothing was there. Nothing but cold, still air. Sweating profusely, Alan rose once more and looked at the screen. The figure was standing next to him, staring directly at him. Alan looked back, yet still only dead air and silence remained.
Curious now, Alan reached his hand into the void. As would be expected, his fingers grasped nothing. He drew a sigh of relief and looked back to the screen. The figure still stood, watching him. Alan sat back down and rewound the footage, watching himself grasp at the figure. It simply didn't respond to his groping, only staring at him closely. Alan shrugged and sat back down, unsure of what to think, when he felt something. Something moved behind him. Alan froze. The shifting continued, until a light breath swept across the back of his neck. Then, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Alan wanted to scream, but he could only manage a low whimper as the hand's grip tightened.