Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Neighbor

by Dawn Allison

Emma Cannon was a stout woman with thick arms and a stern face, one of those sorts who like things best when they are precisely just so. She was dusting the windowsill when a rustling in the magnolia tree out front caught her eye. Damn squirrel probably into the birdfeeder again.

“Henry, get your twenty-two.”

Henry glanced over his shoulder from his seat on the sofa. “What for?”

“Squirrel. Quick about it, now. Don’t want him getting away.” She scowled him into motion and while he was fetching the gun, she leaned on the sill, squinting out the window to find the vulgar little beast hiding behind the waxy leaves.

“Where?” Henry said, gun slung over his shoulder.


Henry waited. Generally, he was good at doing what he was told. That was why Emma loved him.

“Shit, Henry, I think you might need a bigger gun.”


“Ain’t no coon up there, no sir.”

“Well, what the hell, Emma, just spit it out already.”

She shot an irritated glance over her shoulder, then turned her glare to the window. “It’s that Jim Garby again, and damned if he ain’t been pawing through our trash. Look at him, wearing that tablecloth I threw out three days ago.”

Henry sighed. “I’ll get the deer rifle,” he said.

Henry was good at doing what he was told. That was why Emma loved him.


Dawn Allison lives in the backwaters of North Carolina where her closest neighbors are two abandoned pig farms that creak in the night. You can check out her work in Necrotic Tissue, Burst literary e-zine, Bards and Sages Quarterly, and others. The complete list is here:

1 comment:

Barry Napier said...

Very odd little story. Just what I needed for a Monday lunchbreak!