What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Midwestern Baba Yaga

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 by staring out her screen door at the goings-on in the neighborhood, and scuttling out onto her front porch to watch the fourth of July parade. She only ever spoke to her daughter, who came to check-in on her once per week, and the man next door, who mowed her lawn. I was terribly frightened of her, as though she were Baba Yaga, but I gathered my courage, straightened my green girl scout sash, and approached her front door. I knocked twice. She came out screaming like a banshee. I finally discovered why she kept a broom next to her door on the porch. It wasn't for sweeping dust or fallen maple leaves... It was for cracking the skulls of pre-adolescent solicitors of sugary delights. Although she appeared to be incapable of so much as staggering a few feet without some sort of support, my personal Baba Yaga chased me like a hell hound across her yard, waving her broom at me as though I were a mouse in the pantry. I returned to my side of the road, and from that day forth, didn't even breathe if I was walking past her house. Years later, a family of three with a son my age moved into the other unit in the house. Baba Yaga was so put off by this, she died out of spite.


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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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