Halloween Special: Hello, Neighbor
Halloween is right around the corner, which means a spooky chill is in the air! Get in the Halloween spirit for the next two weeks at BABG. On October 20 and October 27, MJ is bringing you some scary stories.
When Holden Ravine came home from happy hour at Blue Martini, it was past midnight. His house was hot and dark. The fan was rattling and buzzing as it fought to withstand the heat. The apartment felt empty since Whiskey, his yorkie, had gone missing. Holden flicked on the lights and turned on the TV to watch reruns of Dexter. He was in the middle of the crocodile episode when a bright light hit his eyes and he heard the buzzing roar of a chainsaw in the night air. He hurried toward the window.
A spotlight was hanging from a tree outside the apartment building. The buzzing noise was indeed a chainsaw. Holden’s neighbor, Billy Ray, was feverishly cutting down a tree, wearing a flannel shirt. Holden walked out the back door. Billy Ray stopped his work and waved. He was ever the enthusiastic waver. “Hello, Ravine,” Billy Ray said. “What on earth are you doing?” Holden asked. Billy Ray was a Vietnam veteran who smoked marijuana behind the pine trees in his yard. He usually spent his days on the porch, wearing oversized pajamas, aiming his binoculars at Holden’s backyard. Billy Ray’s son, Bob Danny, came out with a camping chair, wearing a pair of ladies’ thigh-high patent leather stilettos, a filthy Akubra and vinyl raincoat. Holden was surprised to see Bob Danny; usually, the boy just watched him through a window, turning off the lights and moving the curtain aside. Billy Ray asked, “What does it look like I’m doing?” Holden was about to give him a piece of his mind when he noticed that Bob Danny was smiling. The boy took something out from the pocket of his raincoat. Holden recognized it right away: the green dog collar etched with the name Whiskey. It was now smeared with blood. Billy Ray laughed. “That’s my boy!”
First published in Daily Flash 2011: 365 Days of Flash Fiction