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
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The man across the street, a sour old redneck who hits his dog and yells at his kids (I swear - EVERY fight this family has is always on their lawn), didn't like the Obama/Biden sticker on my car leading up to the election. He made it clear to me with super-subtle comments about Obama's race - "Whatchu votin' for a guy like THAT for?" - every time he saw …
Heartbreak, agitate, isolate, meditate, chocolate, rejuvenate.
Gold chain, fast car, bad music.

When I was little, Mrs. Carson lived next door. We shared the stoop. I pretended she was my grandmother, because mine were dead and I really wanted one. I often went over to visit, and we talked and talked. She thought everything I said was clever and cute and repeated it all to my mom, who always agreed. I worshiped her and called her 'grand-mom' …
I am certain that my next-door neighbors, a quiet but observant gay couple, think I belong a mental institution.

They're always outside tending their garden or refilling their bird feeder at the worst moments, like when I'm kicking my front door because it won't unlock, or when I'm muttering to myself about my car. I look over my shoulder, and there's one of them--or both--gazing warily …

In my 20's my best friend, Dana and I lived above an Irish bar in Chicago. We always kept our front door locked because a few of the old Irish men tended to wander up to our place by the afternoon. One Saturday morning our neighbor Joe called to say he was gonna stop by so I ran downstairs to unlock the door for him. Dana and I, still in …

My next door neighbor is very interesting. First of all, I can see right into their 'dining room' (?) from my kitchen and they have this really weird animal thing... It is FREAKY. It is big and black and they really like to hold it and it's not a rabbit, guniea pig, or rodent of any kind. So every night when I do the dishes (we have no dishwasher) I …

5 years ago when our new neighbor moved in, the yard was a wonderland of floral beauty in every array and manicured with profound care. Driver by's would take pictures of the exuberant bursts. 3 years ago, she professed studying horticulter, rented a mini bulldozer, recreating a curb (un)appeal eyesore of horror.

No fence, backyard tanning, no clothes! It was a beautiful Summer day, I don't blame her for wanting to relax in the sun. However, down-playing modesty had never crossed her mind. She was a voyeur, and in-turn loved when people noticed her. I assumed she had opted for no curtains in her home for one reason: loved the sunlight! I had not paid much attention to her at first, until …

You know how every relative has one story about you that they tell over and over again? Well, my grandpa's was about how I adopted him into our family.

When I was four, my maternal grandmother-the only grandparent I had ever met-died. As a very serious child, I was heartbroken. When we returned from the funeral, my next door neighbors came over, an older couple named Linda and Wayne …

My mother was insane. I say this not in the way an ex-husband calls his ex-wife insane. My mother was literally insane. I was a child and it was all I knew. As long as she was not coming after me with a belt or a fly swatter her actions were normal. Looking back I can see just how insane she was.
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In my hometown of Coatesville Pennsylvania there is a long standing tradition of outdoor recreation. Hunting usually brings the community together, but not always. My property borders a county park and the woods behind my house are extensive. Every year we climb into the tress and hope to get lucky with a passing whitetail deer. We hunt ethically and legally. This includes respecting harvest limits as well …

On the corner, in a mannered but 1950's vintage suburban neighborhood stood the "House of Horrors". Okay, so it wasn't actually a haunted house, it just looked like one.

It once was a two-story farmhouse, but now resembled nothing more than a prop on a slasher movie set. The front and back porches sagged, falling under the weight of the sparse slate roof. The …

One evening we had a sudden windstorm and at first we thought the only thing that had happened was that the cable had gone out. But when we looked outside for the cable truck we saw that the shaky Bradford pear tree next door fell across our driveway. We knocked on our neighbor's door, to no avail. Nothing to do but call a tree removal service, so we did. …

I live in a small, wealthy neighborhood in the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland in a town called Bel Air. My neighborhood backs up to the town’s private country club, which is home to a green and lush eighteen-hole golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools and clubhouses. The houses in my neighborhood are old and original, for the most part. This is because around fifty years ago, my neighborhood was one …

I live in a small, wealthy neighborhood in the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland in a town called Bel Air. My neighborhood backs up to the town’s private country club, which is home to a green and lush eighteen-hole golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools and clubhouses. The houses in my neighborhood are old and original, for the most part. This is because around fifty years ago, my neighborhood was one …

I moved into my home in late 2005. Unlike more traditional moves, this home had been that of my high school best friend, where he had grown up. Many memories had been made before it became my own. Few physical things changed in the first few years I occupied my new home. Three seasons of the year in upstate New York found me enjoying the …

Although we shared a common fence and adjoining backyards, we didn't notice her at all when we first bought the house. I never heard her or sensed that she was on the other side, behind that tall, wooden divide. In my preoccupation with the list of "honey-do's" waiting for me every weekend, it never occurred to me that an eccentric person with an exaggerated sense of property rights might dwell …

The first time my mother saw Gerry sunning herself, in a two-piece bathing suit, on her back porch of the row house next door, she labeled her as cheap, but still, neighbors are neighbors. Everyone always talked over the back fences, and daily conversations about Dark Shadows, the TV show that came on right after I came home from school, quickly established a connection between Gerry and I. …

When I was a little girl, I was a girl scout. Even though we were told not to sell cookies door-to-door, my hometown was so small that nobody was a stranger. After a day of walking around town knocking on doors with little success, I decided to attempt approaching the house directly across the street from my house. This was a gnarly old woman who only showed herself …
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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.

 
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