Kathleen Hope

Dominated Next Door

Samantha’s morning started out all wrong. Oversleeping meant she had to spring out of the bed and frantically put herself together in order to get to the TV Station on time for work. “Why didn’t you wake me up?” she yelled to her husband as he dragged himself to the bathroom.

He shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry, you looked so peaceful.”

On top of everything else, strange-sounding loud music leaked into their bedroom. She scrambled around, searing for a source. “Where is that from” she asked him.

“Sounds like tribal rhythms – maybe from Polynesia or something.”

“Thank you very much, Mister professor of anthropology. That wasn’t what I meant. I meant where is that sound coming from?”

Slipping into his suit, he shrugged. “Might be that new guy that moved in a few days ago.”

“Honey, can you go over there and talk to him about it. He needs to understand that this is a nice, quiet neighborhood, and we don’t do that kind of thing here.”

“Let’s not rock the boat, Sam.”

“Phil, I know it’s awkward to have a talk with your new neighbors about –“

But before she could finish, he was halfway out the door. “Sorry, got to get to work. Bye-bye.”

After an exasperated sigh, Samantha pulled herself together and walked to her next-door neighbor’s home.

The house looked like every other house in the suburban neighborhood – tastefully decorated, but not too flamboyant. She rang the doorbell and waited.

But the wait lasted a while. Nobody answered the door despite the noises continuing inside. Soon the noises not only went on, they intensified. She heard loud laughter, glasses clanging together, even the cracking of a whip.

Samantha’s first impulse was to simply step away from the doorway and leave the conversation for another day. But it was times likes these where her TV reporter’s instinct took over.

A bunch of questions echoed through her head. Who are these people? Why are they making all these noises so early in the morning? Why are they not answering their doorbell?

There was no way she could ignore things now and head to work like nothing had happened. After a cautious glance around, she stepped to the side of the house. The music grew louder, suggesting she’d come closer to the source.

A curtain narrowly opened, and Samantha spotted an…
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