a short story for the weekend.
Brown stucco buildings with passable windows are stacked four on each side in between the stop signs. People stay inside in these parts. No hopscotch. No watering the plants. Not even a porch-sitting smoker. Maybe theres a closeted pole smoker, but no one smokes cigarettes. Maybe theres a band practicing in a basement somewhere and someone plays their grandfather's bass and someone has a drum set and one kid has a Stratocaster but after an hour they all stop to have orange slices. Down the street another child practices soccer or maybe its lacrosse. It may even be Satanism, but its hard to tell from this angle. At least six homes have their television sets on. It would be nice to say that at one house, in the attic, a girl paints expressionistic paintings of what she hopes her dreams mean but that would be asking too much of this town. The dogs of the neighborhood are ignored, and respond by shitting all over the sidewalk. No one lives dangerously or honestly, and tonight there will be a congregation in the street to promote safety. And while all the Mormons and Christians and that one secret Atheist couple gather in the terrace. The night bandits move from back door to sliding glass door all the way down the street. Ransacking rec rooms and tracking in dirt. This isn't like taking a cooling pie off of a windowsill. This is more like raiding a liquor cabinet or having your way with a young girl. You could say that there these nights bandits are like vikings in training. They only take what they need, but they need everything in order to maintain their overhead. People notice immediately when a lawn gnome goes missing, but if their daughter vanishes it takes at least a few days to figure it out. And even then if that were to happen, no one acts stunned surprised or shocked. Its more like, "Well, she was always an independent sprite," and "This is just her way of finding herself." And theres always that one house on the street where the inhabitants are new to the area. And they don't come outside for Neighborhood Watch night, but rather they stay in and all have dinner at the same time. And they laugh at jokes and express concern when they hear about a problem. And while they do this, all the perverts drunks and other miscreants wonder whats wrong with that one family.