Tag Archives: neighbor

1971. Oh sugar!

Pamela was a sound sleeper. She lived alone. She locked the house thoroughly each night before she went to bed. The neighbours were a bit strange – especially the wife. She was a bit of a recluse. Pamela had met her just the once. Word had it that she had been in and out of psychiatric care centres throughout her life.

It may have been because of this that Pamela was nervously suspicious. She had suspected for quite some time that strange things happened in the night. She was always meticulous about things, and sometimes she noticed that some household items had been moved ever so slightly, or even that she ran out of tea bags faster than she should. In fact she counted the tea bags. She used two tea bags a day. The seventy-eight tea bags in the box should last for thirty-nine days. She marked the date on her wall calendar.

Ashley, the neighbour, was a bit strange, but not as strange as his wife. He would come over once a week to Pamela’s for a cup of coffee. Pamela had never warmed to him. But a neighbour is a neighbour and it was after all only about thirty minutes in her week that his visits lasted. His wife never came with him.

Now the doctor had told Pamela to go easy on the sugar, so she filled the sugar bowl (in case visitors came and took sugar) and put the sugar bowl high in the cupboard. That was the last time she used it. It was a lot easier to give up sugar than she had expected.

When Ashley came over next she filled the conversation with the usual small talk. She had given up sugar. Did he still want sugar in his coffee? Perhaps he would prefer a cup of tea?

“Oh,” said Ashley, “I think you’re out of tea bags.”

1965. Just down the corridor

(This is the fourth of seven days of Science Faction).

Bevan lived in a single bedroom apartment block. It’s not the living arrangement he would have preferred, but it would do for the time being. He was saving to buy a proper home, with a small garden and lawn, and proper neighbours over the fence – not neighbours who could be described as “a couple of doors down the corridor”.

It wasn’t long before he noticed Magdalene. Her apartment was on the same floor. She was always very pleasant when they passed. In fact, she was straight-out lovely. They seemed to be roughly the same age. Her clothes and makeup were always done to perfection. Her personality was bubbly. Her speech was music. In fact, Bevan used to keep his door slightly ajar so he wouldn’t miss her when she came home. He didn’t want to not accidentally have the pleasure of bumping into her.

There was only one thing for it: he would have to ask her out on a date. It should be nothing too formal like a meal at a fancy restaurant. Maybe a movie followed by a coffee in a café. Twice he walked passed her door but was too afraid to knock.

“Blow it!” he thought one late Sunday afternoon. “It’s now or never.” He strode along the corridor before he had time to chicken out. He knocked. The door opened.

Oh my God! Great Scot! It was disgusting! She had forgotten to put on her artificial face. Her head was a squirming ball of worms and maggots. This intergalactic alien wasn’t one person; she was a thousand.

“Hold it! I’ll just put on my face.” She disappeared for no more than thirty seconds. When she reappeared it was the lovely Magdalene once again. “Just don’t tell anyone,” she said.

And that is how Bevan was silenced into owning his own home with a small garden and lawn, and proper neighbours over the fence. His delightful spouse wears her artificial face all the time these days.

Except when she takes a shower.

1098. Neighbourhood watch

My neighbour works as a prostitute. Well, that’s a bit harsh; she’s a “call girl”. She must be all of thirty if you want to know, and she drives quite an expensive motor vehicle. So she must be doing quite well.

In between times, and goodness knows she seems to sleep in quite late, she sells marijuana to all the people who constantly visit. I can see them out my window. They’re all eager for the weed. They knock on her door with four taps, with a brief pause after the third. From my window I see things handed over, and then they’re back in their cars and off like a shot.

I know it is marijuana because she grows it just over the fence on her property at the bottom of the garden. I see it when I mow my lawn. I have no idea where she dries the stuff. Maybe in her garage or in her roof somewhere.

So both these activities keep her pretty busy, and no doubt rich: entertaining guests and selling dope. I know it keeps her busy because every time I’ve knocked four taps on her door she’s been too busy to see me.