by Paul Beckman
It was 7pm and I walked to my front door to let my dog out to do her business. There was a man standing there, arms folded across his belly and taken aback. I said, ‘Yes.’
He began to tell me how he hasn’t slept the past two nights and it was my fault because my pool motor was keeping him awake. I walked from the door grabbed my mask and told him if he wants to talk to me to back off my stoop and put on a mask.
‘What? Are you the drugstore or the supermarket?’ he asked.
‘Call me on the phone and I’ll talk to you but get off my property.’
‘I’m not leaving until we resolve this issue,’ he said.
I walked into the kitchen and grabbed my meat cleaver and returned to the front door. He was now standing with one foot on the stoop and the other in my house.
‘Sandra, call 911 and tell them someone’s breaking into our house.’
‘What?’ she yelled.
‘Never mind,’ I said. I grabbed the phone, dialed 911 and reported an attempted break-in.
‘Is that the man complaining about your pool noise,’ the dispatcher asked.
‘It’s the man who entered my property and now my house uninvited and won’t leave.’
‘What about the pool noise?’ she asked.
‘He won’t wear a mask and is invading my personal space and I want the police here immediately to remove him.’
‘Well,’ she said. ‘If you turn off your faulty pool pump he’ll leave.’
‘I’m holding a weapon and I’m going to force him to leave bloody and sore if I can help it.’ I hung up and he was now standing in the house petting my dog.
I raised the cleaver and went to swing it at him as he picked up my dog and held him between us.
I chopped at his foot with the cleaver and unfortunately it was the blunt not the blade side that caused him to yell and drop my dog.
The police arrived as he hobbled around yelling about his lawyer. The police opened the gate to my yard went in and shut off my pump. I saw my neighbor climb over the stone wall into what I can only assume was his back yard,
I walked down to the pool pump and turned it back on and sure enough it was making a racket but out of principal I let it run for an hour later. A pair of police cars drove up and four cops got out all wearing masks.
‘We had a noise complaint from your neighbors,’ the Sergeant said.
‘Did you have a complaint about trespass and unlawful entry into my house and yard?’
‘Yes,’ he said, but we’re here for the noise complaint.’
‘What about my complaint?’ I asked.
‘Did you hit a man with an axe? he asked.
‘No,’ I said.
‘Well he’s in the hospital with a couple of mangled toes and reported you attacked him.’
‘It was a meat cleaver and I hit his foot with the wrong end. I tried to sever his toes.’
‘So, you admit attacking this man?’
‘No. I admit a stranger entered my house and I was protecting myself.’
‘You just can’t go around meat-cleavering people,’ the Sergeant said.
‘What about his forcing his way unmasked into my house and then into my yard. Are you going to allow that?’
Just then there was a loud clank of metal and the pool motor stopped and smoke rose from behind the bushes.
‘Call the fire department,’ the Sergeant said to one of his underlings and he wrote out a ticket and handed it to me. Without looking at it I crumpled it up and dropped it to my foyer floor.
‘You better watch yourself, Mister. Because we’ll be watching you.’ He pulled down his mask.
I slammed the door shut and my wife Sandra walked in and asked what was going on. ‘I heard voices,’ she said.
Paul Beckman’s latest flash collection Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press) was a finalist for the 2019/2020 Indie Book Awards. Some of his stories have appeared in Spelk, Connotation Press, Necessary Fiction, Litro, Pank, Playboy, WINK, Jellyfish Review, and The Lost Balloon. He had a story selected for the 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology Lineup and was short listed in the Strands International Flash Fiction Competition.