What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Only Witches. . .

"Only witches have that many cats."

Following the voice, I glanced at the yard next door. A wrinkled crone was scowling in my direction. I smiled. Alarmed, she bustled back to her house.

When I caught her trying to poison my cats that afternoon, I took the tainted chicken away and made a sign in the air at her. She shrieked, backing away and crossing herself.

"Oh, please," I said softly. She yelped.

"You should be ashamed of yourself," I scolded. She babbled at me in Spanish.

“If you have something to say, go get a translator – a priest, perhaps?” As she stood, staring at me, eyes bulging, I tilted my head back and laughed the most evil cackle I could manage. She shrieked again and ran into her house.

“My grandmother asks that you not make evil signs at her.” A boy of about ten stood at the edge of their yard, not venturing into mine.

“Tell your grandmother that if she tries to hurt or poison my cats again, I’ll curse her dead.” I looked up and smiled at the stricken child. “I mean it. If she does anything to hurt them, or gets anyone else to, I’ll curse her. She'll be dead before dark. Got it?” He nodded gravely and trudged back to deliver the news.

Several weeks later, the grandmother gathered enough courage to try again. I watched from my daughter’s bedroom as the old woman crept out and laid out even more poisoned chicken! My cats were sniffing it and looking at it, but they wouldn't eat it. I slipped out the side door and surprised her.

“Trying to poison my cats AGAIN?” I hissed. She whirled around and looked like she was about to melt on the spot.

I spit in my hand to make the curse, and slammed my fist onto my open palm. Bits of spittle flew across and landed on the woman’s face and hair. The woman looked as if I’d slapped her.

I leaned forward to whisper, “I warned you. Leave us alone.”

I thought my performance would keep her away from my cats. But when she died three days later, nobody was more surprised than me!


Yes, this is indeed a true story of my adventures of the next door neighbor's grandmother from Mexico. From the moment she arrived, she was intent on killing my cats and ticking me off. Our interaction was much longer than the 400 words in my story, but the ending was the same - she died.
So I guess she was right about some things - I guess only witches do have this many cats.


No comments yet, why not leave one of your own?

Leave a Comment or Share Your Story

Please Sign In. Only community members can comment.

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.