What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

What Goes On Over There?

Our neighbors don't say 'hi' to us or anyone. He runs. She works. They have a daughter who is special, Kayla. Are they sad, afraid, embarassed, or just above us? Maybe they judge us; hearing us yell, fight, and fuck. I never hear a sound from them. Sometimes the lights are on at 6:00 am. Sometimes the lawnmower runs early in the morning. Sometimes they ride a tandem bike together, Kayla and her dad.

My beautiful girl sings and plays and laughs, but I never hear a sound from Kayla. Sometimes I feel guilty when my frustations boil over. How can I possibly lose patience with my girl when theirs is so silent?

So, I peek through the fence every once and a while to see. Over grown weeds, broken swing set, grass a bit long. In the spring, a magnolia tree drops petals into my yard. The only acknowledgement I've ever recieved. Over the years, the cracks in the fence have grown wider, but my curiousity has waned.

One day the wind blew and the fence fell down. Chaos and our black lab spilled into their quiet haven, but no one said a word. We tied up the dog and fixed the fence a few days later, but still no one said a word.

One day, their sprinklers went on and didn't go off. Our side yard and their side yard flooded. We knocked. No one answered. We went in their back-yard and shut off the water. They were out of town. Or were they. No one said a word.

They are the silent neighbors with their quiet girl and quite life. We are the noisy ones, crashing through life, stopping for no one. Who's to say what goes on over there? We listen, we really do, but no one says a word.


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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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