What's Your Next-Door Neighbor Story?

Circus peanuts bounce!

When I was little, Mrs. Carson lived next door. We shared the stoop. I pretended she was my grandmother, because mine were dead and I really wanted one. I often went over to visit, and we talked and talked. She thought everything I said was clever and cute and repeated it all to my mom, who always agreed. I worshiped her and called her 'grand-mom' under my breath. I would do anything for her, but all she usually asked me to do, as soon as I got home from school, was to go and buy her Daily News at the candy store on the corner. The Daily News didn't deliver, and it came out in the afternoon. When I returned, I had a choice of pennies from the penny jar, or circus peanuts from the candy jar. I always chose circus peanuts. And Mrs. Carson never ran out. almost never. One day, I returned from the errand, to find only pennies waiting for me, no circus peanuts. I had to go all the way back to the candy store with my pennies to get my treat. As I left, I said mean things about her under my breath. That night, after I was in bed but still awake, an ambulance came and took Mrs. Carson away. I watched from the window. Mom said she was really sick. I prayed and prayed for her to get better. I promised never to say bad things about anyone ever again, if only she would get better. I promised I would always be a really good girl, if only she would get better. When I came home from school the next day, Mom was sitting at the dining room table, and I stood in the doorway. Mom said she had died in the night. And I peed all over the floor. Later, and forevermore, I would pretend that my last words to her were, "I love you so much, Grand-mom," instead of what they really were.


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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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