(This is a first draft, it’s not fleshed out, it’s just an idea that’s popped up in my head a few times the past week or so)
I’m starting to believe that my neighbors aren’t human. Not so much as creatures from beyond the grave, but more like…extraterrestrials. And only fascinating in a trainwreck kind of sense because they’re more like the rednecks of the universe.
When they first arrived, it was a woman and two children. The kids were small, but I’m terrible at guessing ages and the best I can guess is one was elementary school age and the other was in a diaper. There’s nothing wrong with this and that’s great that a single mom can rent a house to raise her two kids. Welcome to the neighborhood; we’re quiet, we keep to ourselves, and the bus stop is four houses down.
I noticed their recycle bins that the city gives to homeowners were taken away. Small yellow plastic boxes, barely bigger than office trash bins, for paper and plastic were filled with bags of stuff. The recycle logo in a dark purple to show off what the bins were for, and yet they stayed at the end of the driveway filled with what I assumed was not the proper materials.
The large green trash bin stayed parked in their backyard, a few steps away from the back door. It never moved from that space and yet bags and bags started to overload the thing. By the time that I noticed the pile around the bin becoming almost as tall as the bin itself, I realized that there were 5 kids in that house. The toddler seemed to have grown more than toddlers should, the other kid that I had noticed when they moved in seemed to have stayed the same size. I found this odd because the kid looked like he had been old enough to start getting growth spurts that seem to always happen during summer holidays.
The mother had changed. Not so much as a cut-and-dye job that would change her, but her shape and her features changed as well.
Maybe it was someone else? An aunt or cousin perhaps?
The kid called the first woman I saw “Mom” and the kid is still calling this other woman “Mom.” The other kids could’ve been neices and nephews, or kids that this woman was babysitting, but those other kids were calling this woman “Mom” as well.
Then the screaming started. I could hear it from the backporch as I read and enjoyed the sunsets. Strange, unintelligible screaming that sounded as though it made sense in a weird way. One person would do odd rambly screaming and someone else would reply in a different type of screaming. It was like going to a family reunion and showing up after someone handed around the drinks but right before the meltdown of who said what during your cousin’s nephew’s wedding when someone didn’t bring their own lawn chair.
A few days ago, I noticed that I hadn’t heard anything from the neighbor’s house. The pile of trash from the back door to the bin had stayed a decent foot and a half, and the pile of trash at the end of the driveway seemed to have tripled in size over night and I think I saw bits of carpeting as I drove by on my way to work. You’d think that with a pile of trash like that, we’d have a vermin problem, but I haven’t seen any mice or rats. The gopher that usually hangs out in the neighborhood hasn’t been around for days.
I wonder if they thought that vermin was a delicacy here. I’m definitely not going over there in case I’m wrong. But I haven’t seen anyone in a while and it seems kind of odd. Show up one day out of the blue, disappear a few short weeks later.
+ The lawn chair thing. You may think it’s just a Jeff Foxworthy joke, but my cousin’s…3rd (2nd or 3rd) wedding had really fancy invitations that had a bright neon orange peice of paper shoved inside that said “bring your own lawn chair for the BBQ.” I wish I was making this up.
+I am more excited to be able to justify this than I should be.
+ It is so hard writing with a 30lbs cat on my lap who refuses to budge. I love Snooch, but omg.
+ We have recycle bins here, but they’re the same size and shape as our trash bins and neon blue. They came with a pamphlet or what can and can’t be put in them, there’s a sticker on the bin that says what can and can’t be put on them, and a magnet. We have had a neighbor get their bin taken away for repeated use as a trash bin (our trash bins are a dark navy blue)
+ Again, first draft. I don’t expect to be perfect, but this has been popping up every so often over the past few days and I wanted to write down something. I’ve got a couple short stories I’m “working” on and I have no idea where I’m going. Even a faux ending like the one above is better than I have been doing.