The Mean Neighbor

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I survived being eaten by a monster during our summer vacation from school. The monster lives three doors down from Grandma. I really thought I was lunch for sure! You see, it happened like this:

Dick, Maggie, and I were all out front of Grandma’s house playing stickball when I hit the home run. The only thing is, I made the ball fly high and it ended up in old man Garrett’s window. Mr.Garrett is an evil old man who lives on our block. We are always told by adults to stay away from him. He is some sort of war hero and respect but he is mean and cranky. We played rock-paper-scissors to see who would go to the house and retrieve our ball. Maggie had rock, Dick had rock, and I picked scissors. I lost and was nervous going to the house.

Mr. Garrett lives three doors down from Grandma. You would never know how my feet had lead in them as I was heading to his house. All I kept thinking about was the stories I have been told about him. Did you know he eats children? I didn’t want to find out if that was even true. I kept looking behind me hoping Dick and Maggie would come running up and say, “we will go with you” but they never did. They stood there frozen like popsicles to first base watching me drag my feet all the way to his door.

I finally got to his big, red door. Why his door is red we don’t really know? We think it is stained with the blood of his victims. I told you he eats children, right? Grandma tells me he will eat me for breakfast every time I am bad.

I found myself in his yard. I took a deep breath and decided to run around his house a bit and see if I could find the ball. I went through the gate, looked quickly to both sides of the front lawn, ran to the right side of the house, through the backyard, zigzagging around it looking, and then to the left side of the house, The ball of course, was not in the yard. Ain’t that all a hoot!

I had no choice but to look up and I saw the attic window broken. I know Grandma will want me to take responsibility and will call Dick and Maggie’s parent to help pay for it, but I have to give him the information and retrieve our ball. I walked up the three front porch steps, saw the door bell, and pushed it.

The bell rang loudly inside and I could hear Mr. Garrett coming to the door. He was screaming, “Hold on to your damn britches. I am coming.” I did tell you he was mean, cranky, and ate children, I did, right? My heart started beating wildly in my chest. I could really feel it. My heart wanted to jump out of my chest and run away from Mr. Garrett as much I did.

Mr. Garrett opened the door. He looked puzzled at first until he looked down and saw me, his next meal! I gulped. “Well what do you want?” he screamed at me.

“Our ball hit your window and we would like it back. I can give you Grandma’s number and we will pay for the window.” I said softly barely getting it out.

“What’s that?” he said. “You need to speak up. I can’t hear mumbling.” He peered at me like a hawk eyeing the mouse on the ground.

I repeated what I said. I am not sure if it came out exactly the same. I actually had to repeat it twice before he caught on. Finally he squinted his eyes at me and shoved me from the doorway. He walked down the three steps and looked up. His face got really red and he stomped up the stairs and back into his house screaming about today’s society of children and words no one should ever hear or say. He came back to the door with my ball and said, “You will get this back when your Grandma calls me to arrange payment for my window.” I blinked and said, “ok.” I turned and walked toward the gate. Once I reached the gate, I hurriedly opened it and ran. I ran like I was being chased by a giant T-Rex. I couldn’t wait to get back to Dick and Maggie.

I had to go tell Grandma. She wasn’t very happy with the three of us nor with Mr. Garrett. She called Dick’s mom and then Maggie’s. The three of them met up and went to Mr. Garrett’s home. They came back with our ball.

And that is how I survived being eaten by the monster who lived three doors down from Grandma.

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