Winner! The Writer's Cramp 8/29/21
We could have had that house. It was cheap at the time Ellen moved on. $4,000 for a big house and the land. It would’ve assured us peace and quiet for all time.
But no! I don’t want the hassle, he said. I don’t want to tear it down, he said. We don’t have the time, he said. All lies, I now think.
So we now have to listen to some weird noises coming from those two next door. A pair moved in a week ago. I went to say hello as soon as I saw the strange car.
“Hi there! I’m Monica. I live next door. Welcome to the neighborhood,” I said with a smile.
“Okay, well. See you.” The man turned his back on me, entered the house, slammed the door.
‘Well, fine, hello to you too,’ I mumbled, then stomped back home.
“George, he’s one rude SOB.”
“So what. I didn’t know we were out to make those folk bosom buddies.”
George and I sat in our living room, just a few feet from the other yard. I could see all the comings and goings. I could hear anything louder than a whisper if the windows were open.
“I just wanted to be neighborly.”
“Maybe they aren’t the friendly type. Not everyone is.” George left the room, ready to stop the discussion.
I followed him to the kitchen. “But don’t you think there’s something wrong with him being so rude?”
“Not at all, Julie. Leave it alone. Ignore them.”
“How can I? They live ten feet from me.” I started throwing food into pans to start lunch.
The neighbors were forgotten the rest of the week.
At midnight one night I heard a screech, like a scream. I nudged George.
“Psst, George. Did you hear that?”
“Hmm. Umm. What?”
“A noise! A scream or something. From next door. Listen…”
Again, the screech, scream or whatever it was came through our open window, pushed in by the wind.
I rushed to the window, the wind blew the curtains about. The wind blew in the screeching scream. The lights next door were off. I couldn’t see anything.
“I’m going outside. Check things out.” My slippers were under the bed, so I poked around to find them.
“For pity’s sake. Are you insane? Get back to bed. Now you’ve woken me up.” George flopped around, put his head under a pillow. “Just don’t turn any lights on.”
So I wandered in the dark to check out the strange noise. It definitely came from the house next door. I could hear it as I got closer to the fence, but it was so dark I couldn’t see a thing. Darn.
The next day I marched over to the house next door. I wanted to ask what that noise was. No one came to the door. I knocked a few more times but finally gave up.
“No one answered the door, George. What if we hear that again tonight?”
“Then we shut the window. Don’t make a big deal of this. Relax,” he said.
We went through the day, without that noise. But it started again around midnight. The wind blew it in the window again. I woke to the screeching screaming again.
“Arrrghh. Annoying!” I jumped out of bed, shut the window with a thud. Then tried to go back to sleep.
Finally I slept until the sun woke us at 6 AM. I heard the screaming again.
“Unreal. It’s now during the day, George. I don’t care how early it is. I’m going to complain,” I tried not to yell as I left the bedroom.
I marched over to that house with those people. But as I got to the other yard, I heard a noise. It was up around the second floor. When I looked up, I could see a piece of metal roofing flapping in the wind. It screeched and scratched as it flapped up and down on the roof. This was the source of the noise.
“Ha! What in the world! Ha, ha, ha…” My laughing woke up the people in the house. They came to the front porch, eyes blinking.
“What the heck are you doing?” The lady asked.
“Get out of our yard!” The man yelled.
“Ha! Hello to you, too!” I danced back home.
“Mystery solved. You’ll never guess, George .”