I am excited to share one of my favorite stories I’ve written, “The Man Next Door”.
This series of blog posts will include episodes from my story “The Man Next Door” coming out 2022 in my collection The Dark Harvest. Each month, my blog post will reveal the story in a sequential manner. I’ll provide some background describing what inspired me to write the story and parts of my personal background that surface in the narrative.
In this first blog post, the story takes place in my childhood home in College Park Woods. Street names and other references have been changed, but locals could recognize some of the landmarks.
As an adult, I understand that many common factors (separation, the passing of a loved one, a pursuit of a private lifestyle, etc.) can result in someone living alone, but my childhood mind was not so forgiving. “The Man Next Door” was inspired by an old man living next door to our house. Because he lived alone, my childhood imagination ran wild and attributed supernatural aspects to this otherwise normal human being. The large hedge featured in the story was present during my youth and contributed much to my childhood imagination which inspired the events that unfold in this story.
You now have some insight into what inspired “The Man Next Door” which I hope provides a focal point for my idea that evolved into this story.
Please enjoy Episode 1!
The Man Next Door
The bright yellow Ryder truck threaded its way through the quiet suburban streets of Sun Terrace. It was an early Sunday morning in late August and most of the members of the quiet community still slept. Somewhere a lawn mower droned its way through the morning, causing some of the residents who wished to forget about the chores of the approaching day roll over and pull their covers close.
The Ryder truck pulled into the drive at 9202 Thacker Way. The occupants of the truck, a couple and a young boy, bounded out of the high seats. They were thankful that the long ride was over and spent a moment stretching their limbs and warming in the sun. The woman went up the walk to the front door of the house while the little boy and the man went to the back of the truck to roll up the truck’s heavy back door and unfurl the built-in loading ramp. The man winced at the loud sound the ramp made as it slid out on its rollers and looked around at the neighboring houses with embarrassment. The unloading was hard work, especially for the little boy, but their moods were light despite the strain on their bodies and the sweat that was called forth by the humid morning.
They were oblivious to the gnarled old man who watched them from a second-story window, and his deep-set eyes which pulsed green with a vegetable brilliancy.