The House Next Door
“My new neighbour seems to be asleep all day and awake all night.” Rose told Nicole.
“Maybe she’s a writer, or a sex worker.” Nicole replied.
“Sometimes I’ve noticed people visit her and they never seem to come back out again.” Rose told her.
“A sex worker then. Just because you haven’t seen any visitors leave, it doesn’t mean they don’t.” Nicole responded. “Anyway, you’re obviously spending way too much time observing her.”
“She intrigues me.” Rose admitted.
“Sounds more like an obsession to me. Be careful or you’ll end up becoming one of those nosy neighbours everyone despises.” Nicole warned her. Rose shrugged her shoulders and looked away.
After Nicole had left, Rose looked out the window at the house next door. It was an old wooden house which had white paint that was slowly peeling off. It was now early evening and she could see her neighbour close her front door and walk down the steps. She looked both ways and then walked off into the night. A few minutes later Rose left her house and went next door. She walked along the side of the house trying to peer through the windows, but the curtains prevented her from seeing into the rooms. She looked over the fence into the back garden and saw dead flowers, overgrown weeds and long grass. Clearly her new neighbour was no gardener. She tried opening the back gate but it was locked with a strong padlock. She walked back to her house feeling defeated.
A few days later Rose was walking back home. It was getting dark and she saw her neighbour standing outside as though she was waiting for someone. As she walked past her neighbour smiled at her.
“Do you live next door?” her neighbour suddenly asked. Rose stopped and looked at her. She was taller than her and had long brown hair and wore a long black coat and dark pants.
“Yes. My name is Rose.” she answered holding out her hand. The woman smiled and took her hand in hers. It felt cold to Rose.
“My name is Amber.” she replied. “Do you want to come in for a coffee?” Taken aback, Rose nodded. Now she would finally see inside her house.
“Yes that would be wonderful.” Rose replied. Amber smiled and walked up the steps. She opened the door and motioned for Rose to enter. Rose crossed the threshold and heard Amber follow behind her. Amber then closed the door behind them. It was now pitch dark and Rose couldn’t see a thing in front of her. The air smelt musty. Her heart began to beat wildly.
“Keep walking.” Amber said softly beside her.
“I can’t see a thing. Can you turn a light on please?” Rose asked beginning to panic.
“Just move forward. Put one foot in front of the other.” Amber softly whispered into Rose’s ear. Her breath felt cold. Rose could feel Amber walking silently behind her, like a jaguar that was stalking it’s prey. Rose came to end of the hallway. All she could feel was a wall in front of her.
“I can’t find the door.” Rose told her. She could feel Amber right behind her now. Her cold breath was on her neck.
“I know you’ve been watching me. Keeping an eye on my activities and snooping around my house.” Amber whispered into her ear. Rose’s heart began to beat even faster than it had been.
“I’m sorry.” Rose replied. “I was just curious about you.” Amber laughed. It was a laugh that was devoid of any joy or mirth. She felt Amber move to her right and suddenly a door opened and a blinding light streamed in.
Rose staggered through to find she was in the kitchen. Amber followed her in and closed the door behind them. She removed her coat and threw it over a chair. Rose turned to face her, but was then unexpectedly pushed to the ground. She looked up at Amber standing over her. Amber’s eyes were now black and long fangs protruded from her mouth.
“You’re going to pay for all your meddling and nosiness.” Amber said looking down on her. As terrified as Rose was, she also felt a strange twinge of desire coursing through her body, as though this is what she had wanted all along…
©️2020 Joanne Fisher