The people who live in the house behind me are cannibals. No, I have no proof, but I’m always right about these things, so you’ll just have to trust me.
I’m not even the one who first noticed it. The day we moved in, one of my son’s friends made a reference to “the cannibal house” out back. Standing outside or looking down from my upstairs-office window, there’s just enough of their yard and house to creep me out.
Of course, there’s more to it than a creepy yard. It’s the sounds that come out of there.
I was sitting on my back patio one day, enjoying the sun, when I heard a shrieking scream coming from the other side of the fence. I’m pretty sure it was a cat. But I’ve never in my life of cat ownership heard that sound, not even when my husband accidentally ran over a cat’s tail with his wheelchair. It was a terrifying, heart-stopping sound, so full of pain and anger. It was punctuated by a man’s voice yelling “goddammit!”
And then the sound stopped as suddenly as it began.
It was quiet for a minute. Even the birds had gone silent. And then there was banging and cursing and more banging. The cat didn’t make another sound. I went inside. I was terrified I’d be next.
Most days there’s the sound of some sort of power tool screeching away. Sometimes a small gas engine putters to life. Is he mowing? I don’t think so. I see no signs that the grass is anything shorter than prairie height.
I’m thinking wood chipper.
Last week I was up in my office with the window open. It was quiet. Too quiet. Out of the silence, loud enough that he could have been standing under my window (a thought I don’t even want to consider, since that would put him next to my bedroom window and inches from my bed), I heard “son of a fucking bitch!”
Seriously, Mr. Pottymouth Cannibal needs snappier material.
Quiet for a few minutes, then “dammit!”
He went a good 20 minutes before shouting “sonofabitch!” again. Then another half hour. It made it difficult to concentrate on writing, waiting to see if he’d resolved his problem or would continue practicing for the Tourette Syndrome National Playoffs.
This weekend he had company. I heard more than one voice. And he was playing music on a tinny radio. Banjo music. And old, mournful cowboy songs. So creepy.
I took a picture so I could share my view with you. He probably saw me. If this blog goes silent again, you’ll know what happened. I hope he serves me with broccoli. I like broccoli.