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Drunk Neighbor Rick

It was early, I was grumpy, and there was my loud, usually drunk neighbor. This morning he looked like Hangover Man, the arch nemesis of Party Dude. Usually I do everything I can to avoid him, but today I had to ask him about the water, just to make sure my apartment wasn’t an isolated incident.

“Hey Rick – you have hot water this morning?”

Rick shrugged at me as he ambled to his dirty pickup. “Didn’t check. I shower at night.”

Oh yeah. How could I forget? I should know, because the pipes squeal and keep me awake. And usually he’s hammered, and can’t hold onto shampoo bottles. They fall from his soapy hands to the tub floor with hollow thuds at odd intervals. Or at least, I’m guessing what the noise is as I lie in bed below his apartment. I’ve never been in the shower with Rick. I shudder to think about it.

Rick threw a garbage bag into the back of his truck and nodded in my direction. “You should call the landlord if your hot water’s out.”

Thank you, Rick. I would never have figured that out on my own. “Yeah, if it’s not fixed by the time I get home from work, I will.” I opened my car door and retrieved my coffee from the roof where I’d set it. At least it was a gorgeous spring day. I could eat my lunch outside, with a book, and no one would bother me except bugs. And it might even be too early for bugs.

Rick opened his truck door and it creaked with a metallic groan. Some rust fell off of the hinges and clinked onto the pavement. “Wellp, have a good day there, Chad.” He hopped in and turned the motor over, and the door slammed with the falling of more rust.

My name isn’t Chad. It’d Brad. Stupid moron.

His truck backed out of the parking spot and nearly hit my Honda. I thought about yelling at him to watch it but he threw the car into drive just in time and pulled away, peeling out of the parking lot like he was at the start of a drag race. The garbage bag rolled out of the open truck bed and fell to the ground in a cloud of muffler smoke, and a female arm dangled from the opening.

I puked. And then I called the cops. And then I called work to tell them I’d be late.

The cops stayed at our building until it was dark and sent out an APB on Rick’s truck. They think when he got to wherever he was going to dump her he realized the bag was gone, and he skipped town. They didn’t think he’d come back – more likely set up in another town and start over there. They’d have to wait until he started leaving another trail – apparently they’d been looking for a serial killer who had been dumping women’s bodies in garbage bags all around the city.

That night I curled up in my bed and couldn’t sleep. The fear that Rick would return and come after me for blowing him in was too much. One undercover guy, on lookout, was supposedly parked out front of our building. It didn’t reassure me. But somehow I managed to drift off to sleep, weary from the shock and fear of the day.

I awoke, hours later, to squealing pipes and intermittent hollow thumps from the apartment above me.


Marcy Mahoney writes the spooky and the fantastical and sometimes the hilarious.  She lives in Los Angeles, CA.  Follow her on Twitter at @PlaytymAtHazmat.


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