What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Submit a next-door neighbor story—one story will be transformed into the final installment of our webcomic series, "Next-Door Neighbor":http://www.smithmag.net/nextdoorneighbor. Submissions Feed
Six-word Memoir Tshirts for Sale

Get social with SMITH


The SMITH Superfeed
All the stories submitted to the site, even ones we write

Share Your Story

Word limit: 400   Word Count: 0

You're not logged in.
Members: enter your email & password to login.
Not A Member? Fill in the fields below and we'll register you along with your submission.

Every weekday morning at 8:00 AM for the past 3 years, the neighbors' kid shrieks in the hallway as the mom leaves for work. She shushes the kid loudly until the elevator arrives. The kid just keeps screaming. Always exactly the same.

Why haven't 783 repetitions of this failed attempt to shut the kid up taught the mother to try something different? I bet they've both forgotten why …

In the 70s, my energetic, handy husband and I were living the back-to-the-land, owner-built-home life, complete with toddlers (often naked), goats (milked daily), garden (fresh-picked strawberries!), and woodstove (burning our own wood). We cut and split the wood ourselves on our 40 acres of trees and cross-country trails in the Adirondack Park in very upstate New York. The life was difficult and grueling, but strangely satisfying.

It worked partly …

France, 1984. Matt wanted to have sex on the neighbor's couch so we did. They were his landlords and he wanted to desecrate their lordship with simple fucking. So one day when the coast was clear we crept in to their apartment and positioned ourselves on the couch. I felt something like a couch myself, hosting Matt’s fantasy. It was a silk, stuffy couch, a fussy house, …

Obsessive as she is, she does not want anyone to look at her while she is in her yard or on the back porch. She has tarps draped above the fences that surround her yard so that no one can see in the yard. She has the "somebody's watching me" syndrome. She speaks to me occasionally, but sometimes she runs in her house without looking my way at all, but …

The bubble man lives next door. He is pale and skinny with a long black ponytail; the same jet-black inks his arm with spades and skulls. His porch is filled with lawn chairs, trashcans, and cardboard crates. Some of the crates have been decorated with colorful, chalked graffiti. He is a stoner with a bubble wand.

I first noticed the bubble man while I was doing my laundry. …

He was a kind creature, a little solitary like any man stranded by the waves of life on the shores of old age, yet courteous and discreet. A little curious of the outside world too, avid for movement, colours and light. He always sat in his living room, looking at life passing by in the street outside, rarely joining it but always rejoicing in its variety. A quiet next door …

Jakob was my surprise fortieth birthday gift--we were going to need a bigger house. We didn't know we were moving fifty years into the past to a county that celebrates its status as Maryland's home of the Ku Klux Klan. Appearances were deceiving.

Moving day, my husband felt the shock of a bolt of lightning when he closed the aluminum garage door. Minutes later, little Jakob …

Spending a few nights at the Vegas hotel was a brief respite from our old lunatic downstairs neighbor Rita. Constantly screaming at the ceiling for the least infraction, including walking from the living room to the kitchen in our bare feet, she and her Igor-like roommate would also rustle about on their balcony at night, slipping off to the dumpster with mysterious plastic bags we suspected contained dead squirrels. There …

Growing up in Southern California, I spent every free minute at Marcia's house. She was my next door neighbor and my closest friend. Marcia was ten, and I was nine. Her mother worked at a nearby hospital while her stepfather stayed home and painted in his studio. His paintings were either blurry landscapes or naked women.

Southern California is a desert: the river and …

When I was six, my parents and I lived next door to a beautiful woman named Genevieve. She lived alone in a one-bedroom condo with satin pillows and she babysat me once a week. Genevieve made the tastiest macaroni and cheese. Genevieve's was the only house on the block with cable TV. I loved going over to Genevieve's house more than anything. One night, I overheard my mom speculating to …

‘We were lying in bed.’
‘You should tell them that it was the first time we were lying in bed.’
‘It was the first time we were lying in bed and actually we weren’t lying in bed, we were on the futon.’
‘It was our first time on the uncomfortable futon and perhaps we were a little too loud.’
‘We were making out.’
‘ We were laughing! Don’t make it …

My one failure as a tenet of the basement is that I live under people. I guess my neighbors live above me. In fact, one of the girls who lives upstairs says, "Hey neighbor," anytime she sees me. So there is that, in the whole scheme of things, there will always be that. There will also be that one Saturday morning. The one where I woke up …

Creep, adequately named for his soiled loose maroon jogging pants and greasy slick black hair and killer back room bar stench that emanates from his core, has not been seen since December 21st 2007. His real name could be Sir Barron Von Proxy for all I know, to me, he is Creep, resident of 2F, at 74 East 4th street. He has once spoken to me, or perhaps …

Ivy covered the back wall of the house. This creeping, climbing plant, my downstairs neighbor Candida claimed, was the cause of our arguments. For the first year I lived in the ground-floor apartment, the basement remained empty. For twelve months, I stared out of my window onto the overgrown garden, weeds pushing up through patio slabs, birds resting in unpruned trees, cats stalking the birds. Then Candida and Adam arrived. …

Anne and Bill have been married for many years. She's eighty-eight and he's eighty-nine. They've raised their families and fed half the neighborhood. Maybe you've seen them dancing on Friday night at the lodge or taking part in area garage sales. None of us could keep up with them, they're blessed with great stamina.

Unfortunately, a few years ago Bill started having mild strokes. One of those times he …

In the week it took for our cable guy to come out and install services in our new home, my husband and I came up with Neighbor-vision. Being TV junkies, either watching the good ol' boob tube or having it on as background noise, we were restless not having our TV fix. On our first night, we watched through the curtains as blue and red lights flashed the presence of …

In 1986 I was living with my girlfriend on 25th Street and 2nd Avenue, Next door lived a mild mannered Black gay guy named Fred. During the week he was usually very quiet, but on Sunday mornings he would blast Al Green albums and sing loudly. He had a wonderful voice, so it wasn't much of a problem.

Of course there were week-ends when I'd be hung-over, head …

My wife and I bought a house in a quaint little neighborhood in Lancaster, PA. It was built in 1927, and the house next door sat just outside our back door, to the right, beyond a huge thorny holly bush. Most days, on their porch were random dilapidated plumbing fixtures and Big Dick; I never knew him by any other name. He had worked at a hot dog packing …
Jump to a page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... to infinity!

Have a Next-Door Neighbor Story?

As part of our new webcomic, Next-Door Neighbor, we thought it appropriate to have a little contest. Tell us your best true next-door neighbor story, and the winning tale will be matched with an artist and transformed into a webcomic and included as the final installment of Next-Door Neighbor.

About Next-Door Neighbor


No matter how close or how far, we all live next to someone, and we all have a Next-Door Neighbor story. With that in mind, editor Dean Haspiel asked some of his favorite storytellers and cartoonists to create their favorite NDN stories so we could share them with you.

The Fine Print & Contest Rules

By submitting an entry, you are granting SMITH the right to reprint or republish that entry online or in print, as well as make any necessary edits. See SMITH's terms of service for complete details.

This contest ends September 1, 2008. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and must be accepted as awarded. Winners are decided at the discretion of SMITH judges and all decisions are final. SMITH reserves the right to change the contest rules. Enter as often as you want. SMITH reserves the right to reprint or republish all entries.

 
SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.