Wednesday, August 8, 2012
FLASH FICTION FRIDAY, CYCLE 91: NOSY, NOSY, NOSY...
I hosted this week's F3 and my prompt concerned that person we have all run into at one time or another: The nosy neighbor. Our stories should tell the tale of one of the neighborhood's nosiest, along with the outcome of one of his/her spying sessions. Also, the stories should include the following words: Cellar, bottle, blinds, suitcase, and freezer. The word count would be 1,500 and the genre could be whatever the prompt suggested to the writer.
So, let's have some fun with these camera-wielding, binocular wearing, peephole peekers. Please enjoy my take on it.
TWO DAYS IN THE LIFE…
Today is Monday, September 1st, and an eventful week this is certainly going to be. When I got up this morning, I did another check of the house directly across the street, and lo and behold, there was a moving van in the driveway. Through the laundry room blinds, I was able to determine that the moving company was one of those outrageously expensive ones, so I was really anxious to see what kind of family had purchased the house.
As you know, dear keeper of all my secrets, that house used to belong to the Kensons. They were terrible people who did terrible things, as I often have detailed here. The mother, already full of bourbon by 8am, stumbling out to retrieve the morning paper. The father, a salesman selling who knows what, spending hours and hours inside the homes of the younger women in the neighborhood while their husbands were at work. The teenage boy, playing his guitar at full blast in the garage at all hours with his supposed band, who were nothing more than thugs in training. And last, but not least, the little girl, rail thin, always in the yard, never dressed for the weather, and as overall filthy as the day is long.
These were horrid people, Diary, and I was so relieved when they left. Apparently, they had been renting the place and the owner evicted them for nonpayment. When he arrived to take a look at the place, the whole neighborhood could hear him hollering about all the damage they had done to the inside. He had repairmen come and fix it all up, and he let us all know that he would never rent it out again. It was sell it outright time since people just couldn’t be trusted. I could have told him that.
All I’ve seen so far is the movers going back and forth, and one man who seems to be their supervisor.
I hope the owners arrive soon. It’s almost time for my shows to come on and I can’t miss them.
* * *
Journal Date 09/01:
All went smoothly with the move. The sale of the house in Freemont will be finalized tomorrow at noon. The new owners were quite pleased with the way I put cement flooring in the basement and they were really delighted with the well in the back yard. Nothing will ever surface--I made sure of that. I was as careful there as I have been at all the other homes I’ve owned, and I will be just as careful here. This home is quite spacious and will more than accommodate my needs. The master bedroom for me, and two others that can be utilized as get-acquainted chambers, once the walls are sound-proofed, padlocks are installed on the doors and the windows are barred and sealed. The wine cellar could be useful too since removal of some of the shelves would make room for two people, at a minimum.
The city is accessible, but there is still an adequate distance from my home. Lots of transients, runaways, prostitutes--individuals that won’t be missed; individuals that I can spend as much time with as I choose. I feel I shall be very happy here.
If there is one snag though, I believe it will be my across the street neighbor. I have already done my research, and of all the residents in this subdivision, she will be the most difficult to contend with. Her name is Mrs. Margaret Ann Hawley, and she has been a widow for the past eleven years. Her husband’s life insurance paid off the house, so in all likelihood, she will remain there for the duration of her life. She has no friends that can be found, no telephone service, and has her groceries delivered once per week. She ventures out to retrieve her mail, and it is during that activity that she shows her true colors.
She wears binoculars around her neck as if they were a sacred religious symbol. She makes no secret about standing at the end of her driveway, scanning everyone’s yards, zooming in whenever she discovers anyone coming or going, so as to be able to identify the vehicles’ occupants. I was told that, at times, she takes a stroll through the neighborhood, stopping to chat with whoever happens to be unlucky enough to be outdoors, seeking information, inquiring as to their personal business, and family affairs. She has no sense of tact or respect for the privacy of others, and this I cannot, and will not, tolerate. I’ll just have to keep a close watch on that one.
* * *
Today is Tuesday, September 2nd, and I have big news for you! I thought I had missed the arrival of the owners yesterday, but it turns out that the man I thought was the supervisor of the moving men was actually the new owner. The best news is that he has no family. It is just him. He’s maybe in his mid- to late 30’s, very handsome and single. Don’t misunderstand, Dearest, I have no designs on this young man, and he certainly would have none on me either since I’m old enough to be his grandmother. But, I spoke briefly with him this morning when I went out to get yesterday’s mail and he to get his morning paper.
He sold his house in Freemont to move here because he wanted to be farther away from the city. He likes to live in an area that’s calm and quiet, where nobody bothers you. I told him, then this will be the perfect spot for you. It’s always quiet here--well, now that the Kensons have left anyway. I told him I would be happy to care for his houseplants and pets, if he had any, if he ever had to go out of town. He could feel safe leaving the key to his house with me because I was the most trustworthy person in the whole subdivision. He said he didn’t travel much, but he would bear that in mind. I had only offered because he had a suitcase in the backseat of his car that I noticed when I walked over there. Maybe he was just planning to return it to a friend.
While we were out there chatting, the delivery truck came and brought his new freezer. He said he plans to keep that in the garage. I’d never seen a model that big, but he said he frequently stores large quantities of meat and needed the extra large capacity. I’ll have to keep an eye out to see who delivers his meat. I told him he should stay away from Simpson’s Market because their meat wasn’t always fresh. He said he wouldn’t be dealing with any local firms. He had his own source, and the meat was always fresh.
He went out briefly this afternoon and I went around back and took a peek into his kitchen window. I saw a couple of microwaves, a double oven, and an elaborate cutlery set on the countertop. He had a huge table in the middle of the kitchen, but only one chair. Single men can be so odd with the way they furnish a home. I need for him to invite me in so I can check everything out and help him decorate. He’ll be so glad he did.
* * *
Journal Date 09/02:
I reviewed the cameras when I returned this afternoon, and that woman had been looking in my kitchen windows. She came over a little while ago and offered to bring dinner over for the both of us. I know she wants to come into the house so she can look in all the rooms, and I’m certain she’ll go through the medicine cabinets in both my bathrooms as well. She’s that type. She’s also the type no one will miss. At least for awhile…
I’m going to pay her a visit and take her up on her offer of dinner. I’ll provide a bottle of my special wine, and make sure she has an evening she will never forget…
* * *
Same day, Dear. That nice young man across the street just came by and said it would be wonderful if I joined him for dinner. I’m going to make my meatloaf, and add a couple of Mr. Hawley’s sleeping tablets to it. He’ll have a nice relaxing after-dinner nap and that will give me a chance to see how he’s doing with furnishing the rest of his house. I’ll check out his medicine cabinets too, just in case he had some condition that would necessitate me checking up on him from time to time. When he wakes up, I’ll have a list ready of the items he’ll need to buy to turn his house into a home. I’ll make sure he has an evening he will never forget…