Pretty L-of-the-V came from here
Oh, peeps, this was so creep-ay!
When we moved into our house 11 years ago, the previous owners told us they had never seen the elderly woman two doors down but that her daughter came around every so often to bring her supplies or whatever. Cool. Our other neighbors seemed really nice, and we settled into a happy existence, never thinking about the mean old lady on the corner or her daughter. Except one time I saw the alleged daughter in her backyard, throwing an empty milk carton into the next yard. I gave her a hard look, tho I was wearing sunglasses, which might have mitigated the effect.
ANYway, it’s the present. In the entire 11 years, I’ve never seen the crazy old lady on the corner. (Yes, she went from being an elderly woman to a crazy old lady.) Not only that, her windows are papered over. Not only THAT, when I’ve skulked around the alley behind her house . . . oh, but surely you get the picture.
ANYway, it’s the present. Again. I was enjoying a cookout with my family and I happened to look over between the gap in our bushes and saw The Trash-Throwing Daughter. She looked friendly enough, and she wasn’t whipping garbage into other people’s yards, so I gave her a wave.
She responded by yelling something I couldn’t hear, so I hollered back some gibberish of my own: grass, weather, flowers, sky. She kept yelling, and it seemed that something more than gibberish was required, so I motioned that I would go around to the front of her house.
So there I was! Face to face with the daughter of the evil witch from the haunted house! She seemed harmless, but I kept my distance, for that is my way. She asked me if I wanted some lilies of the valley and I DID! I figured she had been gardening (her mother being too old and infirm and busy eating young children) and had dug up a bunch that she didn’t want.
Wrong. She handed me a trowel and motioned to her garden. Oh. I was supposed to dig them up. This was weird, to say the least. I could see my family looking anxiously through the bushes. I wanted to eat my hot dog! I didn’t want to garden with my creepy neighbor. I stalled by making small talk.
“So, how long has your mom lived here?”
“My mom doesn’t live here.”
“Do YOU live here?”
Long silence. Then finally:
“Oh! How long have you lived here?”
“A long time.”
“Well, we’ve lived here 11 years, and I’ve NEVER seen you!”
“I’ve never seen YOU!”
OK, now, that’s impossible. People see me! I’m out and about. I’m on my driveway taking pictures of the fetus, I’m scooping up dog poo, I’m walking the cats on their leashes. I am a presence in the neighborhood! You cannot say you’ve never seen me!
I looked toward her house and could have sworn I saw a curtain twitch.
I practically threw the trowel at her. “I think I hear my mom calling me!”
I ran home and buried myself under a bunch of sofa cushions. Dave was still in the yard, manning the grill, but everyone else was inside. I proceeded to tell them the story of the creepy neighbor when . . .
OHMYGOD THERE SHE IS! I scream-whispered. She was walking down our driveway! Did she have the trowel? Someone rescue Dave! He’s out there! Alone!
But Dave came in shortly thereafter. He was holding a bunch of lilies of the valley.
“Uh, your neighbor brought you these.”
My family gave me a collective side-eye and went back to enjoying the cookout.
I ate my hot dog inside.
And I threw away the lilies of the valley. Because I know if the wicked witch who lives in that scary house can shape-shift, she can sure as hell put a curse on flowers.