Neighbours | Flash Fiction

Brick wall illustration - "Neighbours" flash fiction

Bang, bang, fucking bang, every single day since they moved in.

It’s not always loud. I mean, sometimes it is; sometimes it’s so loud it makes me jump out of my skin. But a lot of the time, it’s a dull thud, thud, thud, or a swift rat-a-tat-tat. It’s almost like somebody’s knocking on the wall that divides our properties, trying to get my attention. But that’s probably my mind playing tricks on me.

And then there’s the screaming which happens every now and again. It could be kids yelling, of course. I’ve seen kids going in and out now and again. I suppose it’s probably just toddler tantrums.

But sometimes it’s like wailing. Soft, gentle wailing, so faint I wonder if I’m imagining it. Could just as easily be the sound of an electric drill, of course. If all that banging is home renovations, it makes sense that they might be drilling, too. Or maybe they just watch a lot of horror films with the volume turned right up. Some people have strange habits like that.

But I can’t help but wonder.

I’ve been tempted to go around there a couple of times to check everything is okay, but what would I say? “‘Scuse me, can I just pop into your house to check you aren’t slowly torturing somebody to death?” They’d think I was mental.

I suppose I could just try and get a look in through the front door to see if there are tools lying about. Or I could casually ask them if they’re doing any decorating, maybe offer to lend a hand. But I don’t want to come across as that nosy, pestering neighbour, do I?

It’ll just be DIY and the like, won’t it? Course it will. What would the chances be of it being something more sinister, anyway? I mean, it’s highly unlikely that there could be more than one serial killer on a single street, never mind two living next door to each other.

Yes. It’s all in my head. I’m almost guaranteed to be the only one.

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