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Unmade bed

Sorry I’m late. The police were round at my apartment this morning. There was a murder upstairs. I didn’t know anything about it till I heard the sirens, but my wife said there’d been screaming during the night, and that she’d woken me up more than once to tell me she could hear something.

Apparently, the first time I just grunted and turned over. Then, when it happened again, she shook me awake and told me to listen. According to her, I did as I was told, though I don’t remember any of this, and when there was another scream, I said I didn’t hear anything, you must be imagining it, go back to sleep, come on, I’ve got an early flight in the morning, though I find it hard imagining I would say something like that.

My wife said she didn’t know whether I was deliberately ignoring what was going on just because I had to get up early, or whether I was actually right, and she was imagining it. In any case, she hated me for making her doubt what she was sure she’d heard, so she stayed awake until the screaming came back, louder this time, and she kicked me, got out of bed and turned the light on.

She told me she said, we have to do something, can’t you hear it now? But that all I said in response was: what, what are you talking about?

She said, the screaming. Listen to that women. He’s beating her to death.

I said, beating who? I can’t hear a thing. And if I could what would I do? Go upstairs? I’d probably get hurt too. Do you want that? It’s probably just a domestic anyway. Or a movie. It’s none of our business. It’ll all calm down soon enough.

My wife said I sounded like I was trying to convince her nothing was happening, even though I knew something was, and knew she knew I knew. I told her she might be right, but that I couldn’t remember anything of what had happened.

Now I think about it, though, maybe I could. I was just trying to convince myself I couldn’t.  

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24 thoughts on “Bad Neighbours

  1. Gee whizz. I think I heard that myself a few years back in a motel next to mine… Great posting thanks.

  2. I think you capture the apathetic tone of the narrator perfectly, the one who’s going to stay out of it because it doesn’t have anything to do with him. it kind of reminds me of the movie Rear Window in a way….spooky! Thanks for sharing this.

  3. A compelling narrative. Perhaps it would be more effective if the police hadn’t come by, the narrator to wonder if he’d been imagining things. Or if it was just a loud video game. Or … we are into Hitchcockian territory here. Anyway, I enjoyed it.

  4. This is scary and intense. I can´t imagine something like that would happen to me. I don´t know what I would do. What can people in the situations like this do. I can only think of calling police.

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