What a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Guess what I heard about the neighbors?…

Oh dear God, why did I tell the next door neighbor that the couple across the street are serial killers?

This winter has been horrendous. We’ve shoveled back breaking amounts of snow. We’ve been confined to our homes riding out ice storms and power outages.

The fabrication is partially Your fault, all the bad weather, blessing me with an enormous imagination, time to kill, and an environmental consciousness.

I could’ve thrown the vegetable peels in the trash, but no. I trekked through the snow to dump the biodegradable refuse in the backyard compost bin.

Tish, the next door neighbor, spotted me for the first time since the last leaves fell. Experiencing cabin fever and starved for conversation, we stopped to talk over the fence.

“What’s the deal with the neighbors across the street? I haven’t seen them for months.”

Tish said.

I sort of blurted out the first thing that came to mind. “They’re serial killers.” The truth that they’re snowbirds was so boring. I figured a good story would brighten both of our short, drab days. Too bad that conscience only works for compost and not for whopper lies.

“I thought you were going to say that they were in prison, but serial killers, oh my.”

“No, the prisoner lives, or lived, in the yellow house at the end of the street.”

I kind of built the story from there.

“Oh dear God.” She said.

“Exactly, and the neighbor who lives in the brick house is a hoarder the likes of those poor souls you see on TV.” I said in a conspiratorial tone.

“Who would’ve thought?” Tish said.

No one but me, actually. Brick house neighbor has never had more than a small pile of shrub clippings in his yard, no longer visible, under the snow of course.

The hoarder scenario seemed like a good idea to keep the conversation flowing. I felt I needed to pass a few more minutes in conversation until the next snow storm rolled in. Your doing I might add.

What would happen if Tish looked in brick house neighbor’s windows? I’ll have encouraged my neighbor to become a peeping Tom and be found out as a liar. What if Tish was arrested for peeping? Who will I talk to the next time I take potato peelings to the compost heap?

The cold must have addled my brain. I guess I’ve just broken one of the big ten. Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor, or in my case, many neighbors. Honestly, I didn’t see myself as a false witness, but more as a purveyor of tall tales, killing time until spring thaw.

If I tell You I’m sorry can You get me out of this? Send inspiration fast. The serial killers are due back soon. The truth? Ha, ha, ha!

Oh dear God, the situation has become worse. Only one of the neighbors, from the house across the street, has returned from their southern getaway.

Tish might believe that the woman has hacked her partner and buried him in a sandy grave with all the other bodies. I almost forgot, I added vivid details of the supposed mass killings.

What if Tish calls the authorities? Cabin fever doesn’t sound like a good plea bargaining tool if my fib sparks a multi state manhunt for dead bodies.

I’ve been waiting for warmer weather to ditch the multiple layers of clothes for a comfy pair of shorts and tank top. I’ll prepare myself for striped pajamas or a fireproof suit.

Unless I can come up with an even better story that’ll reserve a spot in purgatory instead?

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