Living next to death...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by brad.c, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. brad.c macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    Labour day weekend. We come home from camping, to find out the angry old lady from next door has died. Or was discovered dead. We don't quite know when she died, but it was likely a couple of hot weeks before. Her house has been shut since then, but at least the air has cooled.

    She didn't have any family, or friends that I know. She yelled at us, and the neighbours on the other side, if we strayed from our property onto hers. Efforts to bridge the divide; extend an olive branch--mowing her front lawn, shoveling her path in the winter; all would either provoke a bitter invective, or stony glaze and a cold shoulder. She wasn't exactly the type of old lady that you hear about--she didn't yell at the kids in the street (although all the local children were afraid of her). She didn't have a cat, or keep a bird feeder. She kept very much to herself, by her own choice, and left only occasional clues to her existence. For all intents and purposes, she was a good neighbour.

    Our basement leaks in the spring, on her side of our house. To have it repaired means we need to dig up along the property line. I've put it off for years, since I could never dig up the courage to face her. If she would never ask of us, how could I ask of her? It seems the day I've waited for has finally come. I don't know how to feel about this.

    Men have come to clean out the death house today. They've thrown open the door and windows, and are scrubbing away the demons. I can hear them talking through the baby monitor that sits in the window upstairs. At first I could only smell the cleansers and bleach, but now my nose is burning with another odour I can't describe. Acrid. The men have left an hour or so ago, so I'm not sure why it smells now.

    I've shut the windows, and am trying to concentrate on my work, but I hear a dripping noise coming from the monitor. I don't know what it is, but I'm going to check.
  2. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    She's not dead, she's haunting you. It'll never stop, either.

  3. .Andy macrumors 68030


    Jul 18, 2004
    The Mergui Archipelago
    Well written :)! I really hope this is the first installment of a creative fiction thread. I eagerly await news of the horrors of the dripping noise. Don't go alone!
  4. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Nice story, but seriously it can be pretty unpleasant, I've heard stories like this. It'll all go away soon dude, don't worry...
  5. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    A similar thing happened in my town.

    There was this crazy old recluse that lived in a pretty close knit neighborhood. No one ever talked to her because she was mean and rude and lazy. She never kept up the outside of her house.

    She died and no one discovered her body for months. Lets just say that they couldn't do an autopsy because "there was nothing to autospy". The only way they found out she was dead was the post office wondered why she never got her mail.

    None of the neighbors noticed and I guess the power company didn't care she didn't pay her bills.

    Too bad about the stench though.
  6. MK2007 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2007
    Keep watching the reflections in your new glossy iMac. The old woman will show up there before you know it.
  7. MarkCollette macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    That's because the glossy finish is made from the same stuff as the Veil in the Department of Mysteries.
  8. brad.c thread starter macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    Sorry, I can't find the source of the dripping sound. I go into the baby room, where the monitor sits by the window, and all sounds seem muffled. Even the street seems quieter than usual. It's stopped for now, I think. The dripping.

    There's a narrow passage between our houses, that she used as her main means of entry. The last I remember her, she was pulling out her yard clippings for the compost truck, up the alley from her back garden. She would slowly drag that bin in the early morning, when I would be up with the baby. She would stoop over her rake, and look at people sideways. Sometimes when I sit with my MBP on the front porch, I would look up to see her inches away on the other side of the railing. I'm not out there now, but neither is she.

    That's the alley where the water leaks into our basement. I looked for an obvious place for rain runoff to collect and seep through the flagstones, but it look watertight to me. It's unsettling to look at our house from her alley, perhaps because its a vantage point I've never had. I cleaned up the garbage that some raccoons knocked over in the backyard, and brought the bin around front. Eerie to handle the garbage of the dead.

    I'll leave it to the estate agents to arrange for the back garden to be cleared out. She's been to unwell to keep up with the plantings this year, so it has run wild all year. Stray cats breed in the overgrowth. It looks like a jungle over the low part of the fence, and i don't let my kids close to it.

    Sorry for the long narrative. It's left me with an undertone of guilt to be more involved with her death than her life. Worse for her other neighbours, as they were the ones who discovered the body.

Share This Page