What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

The Property

I was nine, when my dad came home one night with the keys to a trailer on six acres of land. It was a good 30 minutes on out skirts of Belfair, nothing but woods and water for miles. We didn't even have electricity. The whole trailer ran on a generator in the back yard. The only thing within miles was the neighbor on the other side of the lake.

He was a tall man, I remember his hairy hands most, probably because they were eye level with me, and he always wore this fake ruby ring. I only saw him twice. My brother and I spent the summer exploring our many acres, until we found a trailer just like ours, still completely full. Everything everyone who lived there had loved, just strewn about. The roof had caved in from snow or rain, and we did not think too much of it. it became a place to explore. Then we found another one, their where five in total. The flowers bloomed out of season around the trailers, and I heard my mother say it was because of bodies buried in the earth.

Then came the leaches, our fresh water lake became horribly infested with leaches, we couldn’t even go in the water. I still have a scar on my toe from one of them. Soon people stopped coming out to see us; they would end up with flat tires, broken headlights. Then came the nights the generator would cut out, and someone would come pound on the trailer walls.

My father left for a few days and it got worse. We woke up to dead deer’s on the roof of our trailer, the dogs were poisoned. He put an empty car seat down by the lake in the middle of the night, with a tape player of a screaming baby tucked inside. The last night, the worst night, he put the dead body of a kitten under the fridge and while we searched for the meowing of an injured baby we found the body; then he threw a kitten head through the window. It was still warm. The man was a monster, but we survived. If we had stayed any longer I’m not sure we would have.

We left everything behind, when we went back to get it, half the trailer was burned to the ground.


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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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