I woke to the sound of my next door neighbours banging around. This was a regular occurrence since Mike and I had moved into the house in Brook Road. They seemed to give me a wakeup call most days – who needs an alarm, hey? We had our lovely neighbours. I really wasn’t ready to emerge from my pit of warmth yet. I pulled the duvet up around my face and pressed my nose into the soft, squidgy layer ignoring the sounds that had woken me. It was like cuddling a giant teddy bear. I loved our bed; since I had bought a duck feather duvet for us it was nice and toasty. You see, the house had open fire places in three of the rooms and when we moved in we realised they weren’t boarded up. This may have been why the noise travelled so much from next door and it probably didn’t help matters that the walls were paper thin.
We had seen a glimpse of our next door neighbours a few times. The man was extremely round, had a bald head and tattoos covering the majority of his body. The tattoos that caught my eye were the many names inked up his forearm. The woman; a small, pretty thing looked ten years his senior but must of only been in her early forties. She had short blonde hair and icy blue eyes. We had popped round before to try and introduce ourselves to the neighbours but they never answered the door. Mike had warned me to stay away and said that they were obviously a bit strange.
I dragged myself out of bed to make some breakfast – a big bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes and a glass of orange juice. I sat and watched some television for a little while but there was really loud banging coming from behind the living room wall. It sounded as though they were trying to get through the blasted thing. The bloody neighbours again. They were such a nightmare. I put my ear closer to the wall to see if I could figure out what all the noise was about. I could hear what sounded like shelves being put up. Sighing, I sat down to watch the television once again.
I settled down on the sofa for some daytime television. It’s not very often I got the house to myself. Don’t get me wrong I love Mike. It has always been Mike – cheesy but true. But we’ve worked so hard at our jobs to get the nice things and the lifestyle we have now. We’ve had to work our arses off for ten years to get this house and I often ask myself; is it all worth it? We have the house now we have dreamed of for years. But, what actually happens when you get there? It’s just sometimes it feels as though we have worked so hard for the house of our dreams that we have forgotten about each other. Another loud bang on the wall snapped me back into reality.
A growl escaped from my throat, “I can’t even get five minutes bloody peace!”
This house was driving me mad. No, these neighbours were driving me mad.
One more sound and I’m going to go round there I thought. Closing my eyes I breathed out trying to relax.
CRASH! My head jerked up as the banging started again.
CRASH! Right, I thought I’ve had enough.
I jumped up, swapped my slippers for my trainers and marched round ready for a war. Did they have no respect for anyone else living in this street? I bashed my fist on the door wincing as my knuckles caught on the rough wooden finish. The paint was peeling off – what was left of it anyway – and scratched messily into the door was ‘36’.
“No answer. Bloody typical. It’s probably because they can’t hear me over that god damn racket!”
A lady past the gate on her travels up the road and glared at me. She must have thought I was the one causing havoc – far from it. I banged on the door again with such force I thought my fist was going to go through. My knuckles split slightly and stung as the blood rose to the surface. I didn’t care; I just wanted to have a day’s peace and quiet – was that too much to ask? I was determined to speak to the neighbours; I banged again even harder than the last time.
Shockingly, to my disbelief the door opened slightly showing the woman’s face I had seen coming in and out of the house before. She didn’t look very happy to see me. The door was only slightly ajar and she looked like she was staring right through me. Before I could even speak I caught a whiff of a strange smell coming from the open door. It was a little bit like overcooked meat. It was a vile smell that burnt my nostrils as it wafted out the crack in the door. My hands moved mechanically up to my face and covered my nose that was now wrinkled up in disgust. The woman looked at me up and down slowly and stared into my eyes quizzically.
“Erm, sorry. It’s just...erm...I’m getting a little bit hacked off with the constant noise at all hours of the day and night.” I started but I couldn’t ignore that ghastly smell.
“What is that bloody smell, it’s horrible?” I couldn’t believe the words that escaped from my mouth. How embarrassing. The lady looked angry at my outburst and narrowed her eyes studying me. She shut the door behind her and stood on the porch level with me.
“I’m sorry but I don’t think that’s any of your business, do you?” She replied looking horrified at my forwardness. She didn’t have a particularly distinctive accent but I could hear she was from up north. The look she gave me made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
“Do I come round your house demanding answers and saying that your cooking smells like shit? No, I don’t so I don’t expect you to come round here giving it the big ‘I am’. Go back to your nice house and your nice boyfriend and mind your own fucking business. Do you hear me?”
“Now, you hang on a minute lady. I have worked bloody hard for my nice house and my nice boyfriend. Do you have any idea what it’s like to work for a living?”
“You don’t know anything about me...” She started.
“No, I don’t and do you know what I don’t want to know anything about you. I’d hoped that me and my nice boyfriend could have become friends with you and your husband but every time I’ve tried knocking on the door you haven’t answered. Right, I’ve tried asking nicely, all I’m asking is that you keep the fucking noise down!”
“Point taken.” She shouted slamming the door in my face.
A couple of days passed and we didn’t hear a sound from next door. I had told Mike what had happened and he had said that I was silly for going round there and provoking the situation. He had insisted that the next time we had a problem with the noise we simply rang the police. I must admit I agreed with him – for once – as when I went round to confront the lady she did scare the shit out of me. There was just something about that horrible smell and the way she had looked at me that made me feel really uneasy, almost nauseas but I couldn’t pinpoint what.
Mike and I had planned a romantic evening in; we had the candles, steak and wine. Mike cooked and as always – it was perfect. It wasn’t very often that we took time out of our busy schedules to spend time and appreciate each other. We raised our glasses to the house. I felt the warmth of his feet covering mine under the table. The red wine felt as though it was running through my veins warming my whole body. The heat rushed to my cheeks. I snuggled up to Mike stroking his neck, my head fuzzy from the wine.
“Love you.” I smiled.
“Love you too babe.”
After relaxing for a little while on the sofa we cleared the table. I was standing in the kitchen pouring my fourth glass of red wine when I felt strong arms slip around my waist. I missed a breath as Mike’s warm hands moved underneath my jumper eager to get to my breasts. As he circled my nipple with his thumb I moved my hand down behind me to his now – very erect – penis and began to massage him on top of his jeans. The warmth of his heavy breathing brushed past my ear and made me feel giddy. Fuelled with red wine I groaned wanting more.
CRASH! You have got to be kidding me. Maybe if I ignore it it will go away.
CRASH! The noise was getting louder.
Mike pushed up hard against me. I felt his penis sticking into the small of my back tempting me further. He started to nibble on my ear which made me weak at the knees. I placed my hands on the worktop and leaned forwards provocatively pushing my bum back onto him.
I tried to ignore it but the noises were so loud I bet the whole street could hear it.
It sounded as if someone had just been thrown against our kitchen wall. My blood seemed to freeze for a second as I realised that the next sound I heard was indeed screaming. Loud, angry screaming.
“Did you hear that sweetie?”
“I’m not really listening to be honest.” Mike replied cheekily pushing against me and kissing my neck eagerly.
“Did you not hear that screaming?”
“Babe, honestly. I thought we were onto something here!” He points at his penis which is starting to become soft with every word.
That’s when we heard it again, an ear shattering scream coming from next door. It sounded like a child’s scream. Mike looked at me, his eyes wide with horror. Dropping his hands by his side he fished in his pocket for his mobile phone. I was still breathing heavily from our antics. I stood, frozen with fear watching what happened next, just like a film.
“Yeh, hello. Bath Police Station, please. It’s an emergency.”
Pausing for a minute he kissed me on the cheek but he looked just as worried as I was.
“Hello. There’s been a disturbance at number 36 Brook Road. We just heard screaming, it sounded like...a child.”
“No, we don’t know their names, but I must admit their always making a lot of racket. Bit weird if you ask me.”
Mike listened to the officer on the other end of the phone agreeing and nodding his head.
“Right, ok. Thank you very much. Please, hurry.”
He put his mobile phone back in his pocket and put his arms around me. I felt warm and safe.
“They’ll be straight round. They sounded just as worried as we are. They seemed very surprised to know that anyone was living in number 36. They’ve apparently gone round for noise complaints before and the same thing has happened to them as it does to us, they never answer the door. They assumed that the house had been taken over by squatters.”
We watched out the window waiting for the police to arrive so we could finally catch a glimpse of what was going on next door. As they arrived we were shocked to see they had their blue lights on and in total about eight police cars had come to check it out. We were now able to uncover the shocking truth as we watched the couple being led out of the house in handcuffs. What we learnt from the police about our next door neighbours made our skin crawl. They said that if we hadn’t of complained they may never have found what they did...the noisy next door neighbours were in fact running a slaughter house for children right under our noses.