What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Now I am there, now I am not

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 neighbour, whose silhouette I would salute every day when getting out of the house, knowing he would be there looking out of his huge window, basking in the light, noting every movement - our perfect neighbourhood watch.

Which made it even stranger when, one Saturday, we saw the police trying to break into his house. The man did not seem a likely criminal but then again, few people ever do. We stood and watched as a locksmith was summoned to open the door, the calls from the policemen having failed to raise a response from the house.
They went in. Nothing happened for a while so we went off to have a spot of lunch. They came out. With our kind neighbour, wrapped in a body bag.
The man had died in his favourite chair, looking out on to the world he loved so dearly and, for two full days, that same world had failed to register his demise.
I, for one, felt certain that I had saluted his sitting form just the day before and, lured by a sense of routine or just too busy - had not waited for his reply.

Since then, I have learned to really look after our older neighbours.


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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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