New Neighbor

[4 Min Read]

The new neighbor seemed normal enough. White guy, middle-aged, average height and build. Like any curious, and maybe slightly nosy person, you watched him and a team of movers shuffling in heavy-looking bookshelves and boxes several weeks ago. Nothing about him stood out in particular except that you were almost certain that he lived by himself.

The mail came every morning at the same time. It was your daily ritual to pick up the mail right when it arrived, and to browse the morning paper on your porch while sipping a hot cup of morning brew.

It was soon apparent that the new neighbor had adopted a similar routine. He too, dressed in a fluffy white robe and would be ready to pick up his mail from his mailbox. The two of you would occasionally exchange a friendly smile or wave. Then about a week later, a pretty looking woman started picking up the man’s mail dressed in the same robe. Thinking he must have had a girlfriend or wife who soon moved in after him, you paid it no mind.

Until you soon saw that an elderly gentleman start to pick up the mail instead of the woman. Then a small, stout man of vaguely Asian decent picked up the mail a few times. After that, a tall, handsome, African-American man had been checking the mail in the days following. All of them dressed in the same fluffy robe the neighbor had worn his first week at the mailbox.

For weeks and months following, the cycle continued till it was rare to see the same person checking the mail twice. You never saw another moving van, nor heard a peep out of the house next door that would suggest a change in residents.

Curiosity consuming you, and against your better judgment, you decide to break into the neighbor’s house after seeing a granny had left in the car on the driveway one afternoon. You carefully scour the house, finding only the bare essentials. From the single dish soaking in cold water in the sink, a handfull of silverware scattered loosely in a drawer, and a flag of the local football team hanging as the only decoration. It became abundantly clear the small house could have only belonged to a bachelor. You couldn’t find even one family photo.

Even more confused and dumbfounded then when you began, you start to make your way out, glimpsing an open letter sat on a small table next to the front door. Its label belonged to the fancy laboratory you once heard of that sat by the University in downtown, but according to the contents of his house and the car he drove, it was obvious he didn’t make the salary of a lab employee. Carefully opening up the folded letter, you find it to be some sort of followup for a procedure asking how he was feeling and the efficacy of his ‘transformations.’

Your eyes go wide as you read a penciled in reply reading, “Successful. Ready for phase two.”

Enjoy my daily short stories? Consider checking out some of my larger projects like the 6 chapter teaser of my new book ‘The Pit!’

The Pit is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi original novel with a charter driven narrative. Follow Laura, a hot-headed vixen with a mysterious past, Liam, the natural-born leader who is deathly afraid of awkward social situations, Pete, a large intimidating man with a heart of gold, and others as they navigate old America in a supped-up RV!

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