An Unfortunate View by Mel Fawcett

Deserted House

Abandoned

‘An Unfortunate View’ by Mel Fawcett

 
There was no way  I was going  to open the door.  Even if I hadn’t known who it was, I’d have known by the violent banging that the person on the other side was not someone with whom I wanted to come face-to-face.

I wished I hadn’t taken the day off work now. The only reason I took it off was because I needed a rest, and this was no rest, believe me.

The door was vibrating from the blows. What if he broke it down?  His fists must have been like sledgehammers to make it vibrate  like that. What am I talking about, they were like sledgehammers – I’d seen them! He was  a  builder who’d  been working downstairs for the past four weeks. I remember thinking when I first saw him that I’d never seen  such  overdeveloped  muscles. Obviously a bodybuilder, his bulging arms were nearly as big as my chest, and his own chest  had grotesquely large pecs, forever exposed as he strutted about without a shirt.  Even though I had only spoken to him once, I knew he wasn’t the sort of man  with whom you could  reason.  It must have been on the second or third day that – for conversation’s sake - I asked him how long the rubbish would be piled up in my front garden. ‘It’ll be there until I move it,’ he’d said.

And now he was banging on my door and threatening me with violence, all because I had (accidentally) seen him and Mrs. Perkins with no clothes on.

Let me explain. My bedroom window overlooks the back garden where the muscleman had been building a conservatory for Mr. and Mrs. Perkins.  I often look out of that window, either to admire the   trees in the secluded  gardens or to look at the clouds in the sky; it’s just something I like to do. And that’s what I was doing a short while ago, when I was  attracted by a movement down in the newly-built conservatory. That’s when I saw the unclothed bodybuilder in all his glory, rippling his  muscles for the benefit of Mrs. Perkins who was also in the conservatory and  also naked. She must  have thought she couldn’t be seen through the glass, or assumed I was at work – or maybe she was so carried away by the sight of the muscleman that she wasn’t thinking  at all.

I don’t know for how long I was looking – probably no more than two or three seconds - when Mrs. Perkins, presumably in a moment of sheer ecstasy,  raised her eyes towards heaven, and caught sight of  me looking down.   I ducked out of sight pretty damn quick, but, by the muffled cry of alarm, I knew I’d been seen, and by ducking out of sight I had made myself appear guilty. But even if I’d had time to think about it, I doubt I would have done anything different. Waving had hardly seemed an option.

A couple of minutes later (just about the time it takes for a muscle-bound gorilla to pull on his pants and climb a few steps)  the banging on the door started.

I had hoped that he would  tire of his door-thumping and go back downstairs, but if anything the thumping had got louder and more violent.  He seemed to be getting angrier with every blow. How long would it be before the hinges or lock succumbed to such force?  I pictured the door splintering in pieces and the Incredible Hulk striding angrily towards me.

I didn’t know what to do. I thought about calling the police, but even if they bothered to respond, would they come in time?

‘Hey, you in there, stop pretending you’re out!’ he  shouted.

Oh God, what could I do?

‘What do you want?’ I said.

‘I want you to open this bloody door!’

‘Why?’

‘Open the bloody door and you’ll find out.’

The door shuddered from another blow. For how much longer would it keep him out?

There was only one thing to do.  My hand was shaking so much I could hardly press  the buttons on the phone.

‘Hello?’

‘Mrs. Perkins, it’s me, Donald. Please help me; he’s breaking down my door.’

‘Why are you telling me?’

‘Because…because if he doesn’t stop I’m going to have to call the police.’

‘So?’

‘Well, then, Mr. Perkins is bound to hear about it, isn’t he?’

‘He will also hear about you being a Peeping Tom.’

‘No, I’m not! I just happened to be looking down when you looked up.’

She didn’t say anything.

‘Mr Perkins might want to know what I saw,’ I said nervously.

She still didn’t say anything. The banging was ever more violent.

‘But it doesn’t matter,’ I blurted out in a sudden change of tack, ‘because I didn’t see anything!’

‘You didn’t?’ she said after a moment.

‘Of course not.  How could I have seen anything when there was nothing to see?’

She kept me waiting a while longer, before saying,   ‘You’re sure you didn’t see anything?’

‘I’m sure, I’m absolutely positively sure.’

The phone went dead. A few minutes later, the banging stopped.

He must have been called back downstairs. Not that I was going to open the door to find out. Nor was I going to check to see if he was down there by looking out the back window;  I don’t think I’ll be looking out there for some time. And that’s a pity, because I did so enjoy the view.

 

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Mel Fawcett

Bio:

When not enjoying himself on motorbikes in different parts of the world, Mel Fawcett lives a secluded life in London. His stories have been published in various magazines both in print and on the internet, including Gold Dust, Gemini, Smokebox, Eclectic Flash, Skive, and of course Roadside Fiction. Mel can also be seen reading one of his stories on YouTube.

 

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