Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I used to live next door to drug dealers. I should say they used to live next door to me. To be even more precise, when they used to live, they lived next door to me.

They weren’t just dealers; they were cooking up what they were selling. Everybody knew, but nobody called the cops. There wasn’t much point, because it made life very uncomfortable if you did. They had friends in low places, clearly.

I left them alone though, until a kid died, shooting up on some of their speed. His mother was pretty upset about it, I heard. I’d had enough of living in such close proximity to that scum. It was time for retribution. It was for the kid, I suppose, and a little bit for his grieving mother, but I was sick of the smell.

Friday night I could smell that they were have a cook-up. I put on some gloves, jumped the fence and turned off their gas bottle. After a few seconds I turned it back on. I could hear the gas rushing through the valve. I smiled, and scurried home. I sat on the toilet, immobile, with earplugs in my ears and my hands over my head until the house shook with the force of the explosion. All my windows on the eastern side of the house shattered.

The police called around later asking why nobody on the street had called the police or the fire brigade. Everyone said they thought someone else would have.

This is my response to Three Word Wednesday (3WW) number CCL

This week's words:
Immobile; adjective: Not moving; motionless; incapable of moving or being moved.
Proximity; noun: Nearness in space, time, or relationship.
Retribution; noun: Punishment that is considered to be morally right and fully deserved


Laurita said...

"It was for the kid, I suppose, and a little bit for his grieving mother, but I was sick of the smell."

I really liked this line.

Bernard S. Jansen said...

Thanks Laurita. I enjoy "being" people I'm not when I write. THat sentence was a risk; I'm glad you liked it.

Sheilagh Lee said...

Great job with this story.

Bernard S. Jansen said...

Thanks Sheilagh.

oldegg said...

Yes, that was a risky line. You wrote it but it wasn't you. Being able to create believable characters that are not based on self is very important in fiction. Each one of us reading the story will consider how we would react and hopefully weigh up the consequences. Great read.

John Wiswell said...

Personally, if I'm ever immobile on the toilet, I'll take some Pepto.

I'll agree that the contested line doesn't sound like the Bernard I know, but so does the whole piece. I don't feel like you're the sort to stand a nuisance for a long period, then go violent. I certainly hope I'm right.

MaryA said...

It is interesting to pick up on two themes here, the drug dealers you want to get rid of and the neighbors that "thought someone else" had reported it. Well done.

Bernard S. Jansen said...

oldegg: Controlling my reactions to annoying neighbours is my life's work. Thanks for your comment.

Mr Wiswell: I didn't see the immobile/toilet pun. I prefer to only pun on purpose.

MaryA: Yes, the other neighbours are interesting. Won't blow up someone's house, but they won't call the fire brigade if someone else does...