The Intrusion

Submitted into Contest #148 in response to: Write about two neighbors who cannot stand each other.... view prompt


Contemporary Drama Fiction

Randy hadn’t quite awoken, when he heard the sound of glass breaking. He blinked at the clock, it was just after seven-thirty in the morning. He slammed the pillow over his head and smothered the ill sense it was in his living room. After a late night at the law office, he’d downed a glass of a Scotch whiskey, while mind numbing on Netflix. His mouth was dry and his head was pounding. A gluey residue clamped his dry lips together.

He heard loud knocking at his door, and flinched, when he heard Molly his neighbour shouting his name, in her ex-smoker’s ratchety voice.  He kept his head under the pillow and tried to decide between remaining quiet or getting up and dealing with that interfering busybody.  

The knocking continued. Didn’t she have a life, a schedule to command her attention. No, she was a ‘writer’ and stayed home all day long and did nothing, but poke her nose into everyone else’s business. Probably coming up with a “Peyton Place” ripoff. Well, if she even slightly resembled him in one of her characters, he’d sue her ass to hell. He loved the thought of that, he could see the courtroom drama. Defamation of character, hah.

The knocking ceased, and now in peace he could cobble an attempt at starting his day. He needed to get into the office by nine for a meeting.  Damn, he could hear her voice and the manager’s calling out to him and knocking loudly. Why the bluthering hell, did she bring in the manager. It wasn’t her window that had been broken. Unlawful disturbance. His head started moving his gummy lips apart.

The door was opened with a key. Aargh.  Now he had to get rid of the intruders. “Please wait. I’m just getting up,” he called out, his own voice sounding faraway and hollow.  

Fighting gravity, he sat up and livened to inchoate ideas of law suits fomenting in his head. Feeling somewhat inspired, he stood up and pulled on his housecoat. God, he really needed a glass of water desperately, and to urinate. Well, they could wait just a little longer. He went into the ensuite bathroom, and stared at his bleary image in the mirror, his swollen nose full of burst blood vessels. He was no beauty, not at this time of day. After clearing his throat of mucous, he gargled with mouth wash, and decided to hold off shaving. He slapped his cheeks a few times to get his circulation going.

Molly was there in her housecoat, and nightmares of nightmares it was also a deep navy blue like his own, and her hair was in a turbanned crimson towel that matched her red face.  

“Randy, why didn’t you answer when I knocked. I phoned you a million times.” Her tone was one of affected concern, but he could see through it.

“Uhm, I didn’t invite you in.”

The caretaker, George, with the Mephistopelian goatee, who looked too young, hale and relaxed to be a caretaker to a bunch of fussy and fading middleagers, was grinning, obviously pleased to called in on this paltry excuse of excitement. “Mrs. Barnes was worried you’d been injured by glass.”

“I haven’t been,” Randy said, attempting to crowd them back into the hall. But Molly wasn’t budging, and she was advancing on him. He feared if he didn’t step aside, in a moment they would be jammed up together. Oh, spare the thought. He cleared his throat. “Excuse me.”

George wasn’t paying any mind to Molly, even though Randy kept trying to give him signals.  

“Er, Molly, thank you for your concern. I’ll finish up with George here,” Randy said. GO HOME.  

“Yes, thank you for reporting this. We’ll take care of it from here,” George said, smiling and taking out his cell phone. “I’m calling for the Glass Company.”

“The police. You’ve called the police haven’t you?” Molly’s face reddened even more. 

George shrugged, and looked at Randy and then back at Molly. 

She spread her hands out, like the whole issue had been thrust into her reluctant hands, when in fact he wouldn’t be surprised if she hadn’t thrown a rock or brick at his window herself. He’d overheard her referring to him in hallway conferences with thier neighbors as ‘that scumbag lawyer’.

“We could all be in danger,” she said, her voice shrill. Now everyone would be awake and come running.  

“Shush, I’m on the phone,” George said.

“I thought you’re calling the police.” She had bent over to peer into his cell phone.

George mouthed ‘no’ and clamped the phone to his ear, and gestured to Randy to call the police. Randy folded his arms. “It’s just broken glass. I’m not calling the police.” But I’m going to work on a little lawsuit just for you, my red faced neighbor. He was keeping his stance broad, determined not to let the woman get past him.

She was in his face, spittle coming out of her mouth, and he had to put up his palm to block the viscous projectiles.

“We could all be at risk here at Panwood Estates.” He was about to grab her finger that was jabbing towards his eyes. He couldn’t take any more of her, especially not wearing a twin to his housecoat. As soon as he could he’d burn his. It would be a cleansing ritual. 

“I’m sure it was just some kid,” George said, his smile remained patient on his face, trying to keep his distance. He held his phone up, “music playing…just waiting…”

“A kid at seven twenty-seven? Were you born yesterday?” Molly stared at him, as if she expected an answer.  

“Uh, no.” For the first time, George looked discomfitted. “Uhm, you look very flushed. Are you alright?” Bingo, Randy thought. Rosacea brought on by persistent social meddling. 

“Never you mind about my face. I’m reporting you to the Board.”  

Randy tried to suppress a grin. And I, as the only witness will deny, deny, deny.

George held up a hand, and spoke into the phone, as he turned to the wall and hunched away.  

Molly punched her finger in Randy’s chest. Her eyes inside her puffy red face bore into him. “I know it’s your fault. It’s that criminal thug you got off last week, what’s his name.”

Randy drew himself up and felt his chest expand. With his best courtroom glower, he said, “That was up to a jury of your peers.”

“You slanted the evidence and got the scumbag off.”

“I try many cases. I don’t know whom you’re talking about. I have clients, not ‘scumbags’

“You’re a scumbag lawyer, and now your scumbag clients are breaking our windows.”

“Just my window, at the moment. And you’re trespassing. I could sue you.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“I would.” Molly remained standing in his apartment. What would it take to get rid of her. If he was going to call the police, that’s what it would be for.  Finally he was starting to wake up.

George held up his hand again, “Ho, the glass company will be here in an hour. Will you be here?”  

“No, I’ll be at work.”

“Then I’ll take care of it,” George said. “Let’s check for other damages to your apartment.”

Randy turned around and saw. He felt his heart drop and his face drained of blood. A large jagged hole gaped in his window, and broken glass littered into his home. He grabbed for something to hold his balance, and the only thing was a person, Molly who braced him who her strong and ready hands.

“My window, it’s broken. I’ve been vandalized.”

June 03, 2022 19:39

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