Sunday, October 7, 2012

There Goes the Neighborhood (Short Story)

Back when I was a kid I lived in a neighborhood where most people kept to themselves. I didn't really know anyone there and all my friends lived on the other side of town. Not my parents, though. They were pretty close to the neighbors in the house next door. They would come over to our house all the time. They didn't have any kids for me to play with, so I was usually pretty bored.

I would sit there watching TV while my parents would talk with them. I never really paid attention to them.

Except that one night.

I noticed that they had suddenly gone quiet. So I turned to them to see what was up. They were all staring at me. I began to feel nervous and I wondered if I had done something wrong.

Suddenly their eyes started rolling around in ridiculous ways. Facing in opposite directions and not focusing on anything at all. They began to babble in complete nonsense. I didn't know what had happened to them, all I knew was I had to get out of there.

I ran across the street. There was an old guy who lived alone in the house there. I was sure he could help. I banged on his door and he answered in pajamas and a ratty robe.

“What's the matter?” he said.

“My parents and their friends. They're...” I started sobbing. “I don't know what's wrong. I think they want to kill me. I don't know. Please help.”

He got a terrified look on his face. He started breathing heavily and looking around. I was confused.

“What's wrong?” I asked.

He started sobbing too. “My victim,” he said,“I buried him,” he pointed at the ground, “Down there. He suffered.”

I didn't wait for him to explain. I ran away. I decided to run down to the house at the very end of the street. I don't know why. For some reason, I thought whoever lived there could help me. I banged on the door and a guy who looked like he was in his early twenties answered.

“What do you want?” he asked me.

I was really panicking but I managed to explain what happened with my parents, their friends and the old guy across the street.

“Shit!” the guy said. “All right, come in here.”

I went in and closed the door behind me. The guy walked over to the hallway and shouted down it. Another guy who looked about the same age came into the living room. The first guy told him what I said to him.

“Fuck!” the second guy said. “It's happening sooner than we thought it would!”

“What? What's happening?” I said.

“Never mind,” the second guy said. “Just wait here, we'll be back in just a sec.”

The two guys went down the hall. I stood there in the living room for about ten minutes, but it seemed like forever. The two guys came back wearing backpacks and one of them was carrying a briefcase.

“All right, let's get going,” the first guy said. “Open the door.”

I felt safe with these two for some reason. They were like cool big brothers. I turned around, opened the door and stepped outside. It took me a moment to process what I saw.

Everyone in the neighborhood was outside and in the street. They were all naked and having sex. Very violent sex. The first man and woman I saw, the woman had stuck her fingers in the man's eye and was rooting around in the bleeding hole. While she was doing that, the man was beating her face and smashing her head on the asphalt. Another was tearing his woman's ears off while she bit off his lips. All around them, there were huge puddles of this white fluid that looked like semen.

I just froze and gaped at the scene in front of me. Then, in the blink of an eye, everyone and the white fluid disappeared without a trace. Dumbfounded, I turned around to the two guys. Right before my eyes they turned into naked women. Before I could react, they disappeared like the others. The things they were carrying were gone too.

It was all too much. I just curled up in a ball on the ground and cried. I don't know how long I was sitting there crying when the police cars pulled up. One of cops ran up to me and asked me if I was hurt. Somehow I was able to raise my head enough to shake it.

The cops took me down to the station and asked me what happened. I ran down everything from my parents and their friends to everyone disappearing. One of the cops looked at another with a confused look on his face.

“There must be something seriously wrong with this boy,” he said.

“Hey, I don't see a reason not to believe him,” the other cop said. “We searched that whole damn street and didn't find a trace of anyone but this kid. That many people just up and disappearing? Something weird happened there.”

They never found my parents or anyone else who disappeared. I got sent to a foster home. Somehow, I managed to have a mostly normal life afterwards. However, I haven't had a single good night's sleep since.

I still wonder what the hell happened. What made my parents act like that? Where did they all go? Did something take them? Why didn't it take me too? Did it leave me behind on purpose, or was it a mistake?

And if it was, will it come back for me?

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