Tag Archives: neighbor

Please don’t let them purge us

Please, this just can’t be happening. Please just listen.

They took my neighbors four days ago. I don’t know how many others they took already, but they keep coming.

I’m from Furtwood, Alberta. We have at least four hundred people here, but there’s not much else around. If you look on the map, we’re just a few miles North of Pelican Lake and Northeast of the 813. But we’re being purged. I swear to God, we’re being purged. A month ago we were on Google Maps everything, but now we’re just gone. They’ve photoshopped the satellite image. Fucking hell, you can still see the beginning of the roads, but our town is just gone.

There were lights in the sky three weeks ago. Nothing really spectacular, but a lot of people here saw them. It was a formation like an arrow, at least twelve or so, but they were too far to see the shape of the individual ones. They flew by around 9pm and it was dark as hell and it’s freezing here, so there were not many people out, but they were bright and blinking, so some people saw them and told others and at least a hundred people saw them. There was even a discussion on our amateur radio channel, that it might be aliens or military and one of the guys on air said he was sure that he saw one of them going down; that one of the lights broke formation and went down.

We’re all scared. We’re so fucking scared. People don’t dare to admit anymore that they saw them, but before they came I talked to several of my neighbors and they all saw them. My sister called me from the other end of town when they were in the sky, her son had seen them. And now my sister’s family is missing too. Continue reading

The happiest man in the world

A big smile on his lips. Nice words here and there. Everybody liked the happiest man in the world. The happiest man in the world met a friend in the elevator. “All perfect?” he asked. “Sure,” said the friend. “And you?” “Oh,” said the happiest man in the world. “You know me, I’m always happy!” The happiest man in the world greeted the cashier. She laughed about his joke and he laughed back. The happiest man in the world waved to a neighbor. The happiest man in the world closed the door. The happiest man in the world opened a bottle of beer. “It’s just us again,” he said. Then he drank. Then he cried.

He Wanted My Child

Mr Beers. Three months ago I first noticed him standing at his second floor window. His silhouette was clearly visible, framed by the brightly lit room. He stood there and for a reason I didn’t know yet his presence made my toes tingle with cold.

During the day his house looked like any of the others. A white three story house with a white three foot fence and a silver mailbox. Some of the paint had peeled off. One solitary tree stood in the unkempt front yard. He lived alone. There were never visitors.

We didn’t say hello when we moved in. Thinking back I can’t remember a single time when I saw Mr Beers on the street. The only times we talked were with me on the street and him in his front yard. He always stood close to the dark brown trunk of the tree and he always held some sort of tool – a shovel, a rake and sometimes a small saw. But I never saw him use it. He always just stood there with the tool in his hand, as if for a rest. Continue reading

Solid Ground

Water can swallow you. You can fall from the sky. I can’t count the times that I left a shaky ship or airplane and finally set foot on solid ground. I always felt relaxed when I was back “home” in our element. I always thought the ground was safe.

Soil, stone and wood. Only wooden floorboards sometimes disturbed me with a creepy creak or their slight elasticity. Still the ground seemed safe. It seemed so solid.

Then the shaking started.

Molly woke us up. She was six.

“Mom! Mom! Mom!”

I pulled Molly into our bed and hugged her.

“I want mom!” Continue reading

Michael Whitehouse: Nearby

A fantastic story by Michael Whitehouse.


While it is known by some that I have a keen interest in the uncanny – seeking it out on occasion – nevertheless it proved a decidedly unsettling experience to find such a strange event taking place just a few feet from my front door.

The street that I lived on at the time was like any other, not an affluent place, nor one mired in poverty; a mix of kind, selfish, and apathetic neighbours, some taking interest in those around them, others not. It was a relatively quiet area but I had a fondness for it, as the large birch trees – which occasionally drooped over hedges and fences from both cared for and neglected lawns – reminded me of my childhood. Despite being just a few minutes from a busy motorway, only the occasional car came plodding through to disturb the peace – joined at times by sporadic domestic arguments which resonated from home to house, unhindered by the quiet – and so children played outside in the summer sun, some more pleasantly than others. I would have to describe the street from top to bottom as quite, quite, ordinary. I’m sure you can imagine then how shocked I was to find what I did surrounded by the mundane.

I should correct myself here, it was not what I found, but rather what my neighbour initially discovered. His name was Bill and he had moved in to the house next door only a few months previous, nevertheless in that short time we had grown to be firm friends; neighbourhood barbecues, Friday nights at the local pub, a shared fondness for classic films – we got on well.

One Saturday night…

The Yin of Love, the Yang of Truth

They were a wonderful couple. He loved her and she loved him. They never argued.

Priya and Justin seemed like yin and yang – different to the extreme, but still one heart and one soul. There were weird quirks about them; like that they never had guests. But the strangest thing for Nadine and me was that they never fought. They lived next door to us for more than a year and my wife and we never heard any angry words or banging doors. Since they moved in Nadine and I even had arguments about whether or not we were a good couple – and Priya and Justin were our measure of a good couple; they were the ones we compared ourselves to. No fights; perfect harmony.

Priya was the talkative one; she kept Nadine bound to the fence for hours, talking without break. Nadine didn’t mind the distraction and seemed to enjoy the conversations; I avoided Priya. I liked her, she was nice and fun to spend time with, but her endless streams of words gave me headaches.

That’s why I understood Justin. I never felt like he could be blamed for locking himself in his room all day. She was a team leader in an ad agency and involved in several dance clubs; Justin, as far as we knew him, was involved nowhere. I don’t think I ever saw him have friends over or even go out.

The only thing Justin did was to sit in his tiny upstairs office. Sometimes, when the sun was at the right angle, I saw him hunched in front of his computer, likely coding on a new software project for a client he found online.

I remember the day that Priya and Justin came over with champagne and a cheese platter. Nadine and I had planned a romantic meal – instead we had a celebration and a far too long conversation about what it’s like to be a parent. Justin looked uncomfortable, as if the chairs were too hard for him; Priya sat back with grape juice in her champagne glass and laughed.

“I think Justin and I should leave you two alone,” I said. “Looks like you have a lot of X-chromosome talk to do.”

“Sure, sure.” Said Nadine.

“Oh, no.” Said Priya. “Don’t leave!”

Justin looked at his wife, then at me.

“I think –“ he started.

“Fine.” Priya said. “Let’s get going then.”

And with that they left; Priya with her platter and Justin behind her with empty hands.

On the way out Justin stopped and leaned over to me.

“Thanks.” He said.

The next weeks and months Priya was often at the fence; showing us her belly and discussing with Nadine about details that I never wanted to know about the female physique and the wonder of birth.

“I won’t eat before the birth.” Priya said to Nadine. “The doctor told me that’s a bad idea, but, you know, I don’t want to shit myself while giving birth.”

Nadine laughed, but her head didn’t move.

“Priya is a bit crazy,” Nadine said at night. “Isn’t she?”

“Definitely.” I said. “Sometimes I feel sorry for Justin.”

Nadine punched my arm.

“Hey, they love each other.”

“Sorry.” I said.

“Sometimes you’re an ass.” Nadine said.

Not another argument. I thought.

I stayed quiet.

Nadine rolled to the other side.

Priya was always there; Justin never. Once we even invited them for dinner – and only Priya came.

I saw Justin a few times – when he checked the mail, when he mowed the lawn. But mostly I saw him when the sun was just right, usually around 5pm, sitting behind the closed window in the small office.

These days he seemed to hunch more; as if some weight was on his back.

Scary to have a child. I thought. And then with her.

Once, behind the window, I saw him crying.

“Do you know how they met?” Nadine asked me.

“No.” I said.

She rolled onto my shoulder.

“Priya said they met in a bar and that Justin chatted her up.”

“He doesn’t seem like the bar type to me.” I said.

“Maybe he was different in college?” Nadine asked.

“Maybe.” I said.

The thought stuck with me.

Two days later I saw Justin getting the mail. His pale figure emerged in the doorway and I quickly went out too.

“Hey.” I said.

He flinched.

“Hey.” He said.

“You’re also getting the mail?” I asked.

“I thought I saw you getting yours earlier already?” He said.

“Oh.” I said. “Sometimes I forget that I did it already.”

“Okay.” He said and turned to go back inside.

“Listen,” I said. “If you want someone to talk, you know, someone that’s not your wife – you can come over anytime.”

“Thanks.” He said.

Justin took another step back towards the house.

“Just a second.” I said.

Justin stopped.

“I was just wondering,” I said.”Can I ask you a question?”

“What?” He asked.

“Nadine and I have a bet going,” I said. “How you two met.”

Justin turned towards the door.

“You know, was it in a bar or something like that?” I asked.

He pulled the door open.

“Sorry,” he said.” I’m in a hurry.”

“Was it a bar?” I asked.

He stepped inside.

“Was it?”

“Maybe.” He said.

The door shut.

I didn’t see him outside anymore since then. Priya began to collect the mail at night, when she came home.

Priya asked Nadine whether she could have the baby shower at our place.

“Our house is not that nice.” Priya said. “And I want to impress my friends.”

Nadine agreed – and I wasn’t asked.

I went upstairs when the high-pitched voices arrived in our living room. I heard the “Oh, so cute’s and Thank you, I love it’s and the It’s so big already’s and understood why Justin hadn’t come.

They named her Manpreet. We visited in the hospital with a pack of rompers and a small teddy. Priya and Nadine laughed and rubbed Manpreet’s belly. Justin pulled me aside.

“Can I have your number.” He whispered.

“I’m sure Priya has it.” I said.

“I need it.” He said.” Your mobile.”

I scribbled my mobile number on the back of a business card. Justin quickly stashed it in his pocket and walked back over to the laughing ladies.

Two days later a call woke me up at 2am.

Nadine rolled over to the other side.

“Please, I need a favor.” He said. “Come quick. And don’t tell Nadine.”

“What, where?” I asked.

“The hospital.” He said. “Please, quick.”

Nadine was asleep again, which made it easy not to tell her anything.

Twenty-five minutes later I drove onto the hospital parking lot. I wanted to drive close to the entrance and hurry to Priya’s room.

Instead a dark figure jumped in front of my car.

“Stop!” He screamed.

I stomped on the breaks.

“Are you crazy?” I asked Justin when he opened the door.

“Drive.” He said. “Please, fast!”

He held a bag in his hands and was struggling with his seatbelt. Only then I noticed the baby in his arms.

“The airport.” He said. “You have to go there fast.”

I stopped the car.

“What the hell are you doing?” I asked.

“Please, drive.” He said. “She took my credit card and I can’t pay a taxi. But my family sent me a ticket. Please, I beg you.”

I slowly let go of the clutch and the car began to roll forward.

“What the hell is happening?” I asked.

“She is crazy.” Justin said.

“And you steal the baby?”

“It’s the last chance.” He said.

“Last chance for what?”

I noticed a figure in a white dress running out of the hospital entrance.

“To get away and save Manpreet.” He said. “Please, drive. Drive!”

The figure was running towards us.

“She forced me.” He said. “She forced me to stay.”

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“At first she drugged me.” He said. “And then she locked me inside a basement for months.”

I recognized the running figure as Priya.

“Please, please drive.” Justin said. “I won’t have another chance.”

I hesitated. The car still rolled slowly.

“I just couldn’t leave anymore.” Justin said. “It was as if I wasn’t myself and Priya always made me stay inside.”

The baby in his arms moved.

Priya was screaming and still running closer.

“Please.” Justin said.

He pulled his shirt up. There were hundreds of small, black scars on the pale skin.

“She will kill Manpreet.” He said.

My foot sank on the throttle; the car gained speed just as Priya reached the window. She was screaming and her eyes were wide open. She threw her fist towards the window, but she missed; the car was past her.

We pulled out of the parking lot.

“You can’t get away.” Priya screamed behind us.

We drove silently for a few minutes; then I called Nadine to get out of the house. When I ended the call Justin was crying.

“It’s been two years,” he said. “Since she killed our first child.”

He looked at Manpreet.

“She did it to punish me for leaving the house. That’s why she made us switch states.”

“What the hell.” I said.

“After you drop me, call the police.” Justin said. “The body is lying on our couch.”


This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.