Now, we don’t want to alarm anyone, but we think our neighbor is missing. His car is right there, we can see it, just parked at the end of the driveway, so he clearly didn’t expect his kids to come over. He closed his curtains, like we’re all supposed to do at night, but now it’s all day long, too, and his cigarette smoke hasn’t wafted over to us in-- a few weeks? A month? We hope his cats are alright.
His rent must be due soon. His landlord is our dentist, we’ll ask when we see him. But what if-- well, when do you call the authorities? They must be busy enough as it is, what with all the raids lately.
It’s been two months now. Our dentist skipped town, apparently. With the rest of the rich folks.
Without power, most of the food in our fridge has gone bad, so we’re going to check on our neighbor tonight. We’ll have to sharpen our knives and hack through his hedges, I suppose-- without his religious trimming, they’ve grown all the way across the fence and into ours’.
Maybe they’ve been too long in the sun. It has gone a funny color lately.
But we’re not the first. The back window is shattered. We kick through, and stumble in.
And there he is. Or, part of him, at least. We can only see the one arm, under layers of bedding and carpeting and furniture. The man must have made his own personal barricade, only for it to collapse, and suffocate him. We hope it was quick. The air is so close here.
After the window broke, the animals kept arriving . His cats must be here somewhere, but they’re lost among the birds and squirrels and raccoons. One huge possum lounges near the bloody arm. He rests his paws on a big distended belly, his eyes dull with satisfaction.
The hedge didn’t dull our knives too much. We got along with our neighbor-- he wouldn’t want us to go hungry.