Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: NEIGHBOR (06/01/17)
TITLE: Flowers across the Yard
By Raymond Bouchoc
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After the second incident, Trevor watched Aamoos’s house whenever he thought about it. As he left for work in the morning and returned in the evening, he scanned across his neighbor’s yard. If he took out the garbage at night, he peered through the fence. At night, he glanced out the window to look for anything suspicious.
Will Marshall stood up and approached the podium. His stomach wobbled with each step. His round face shone like a freshly washed apple. Aamoos stepped away from the podium to avoid a bump.
“Thank you, Moose, for sharing that with us. I don’t know who is responsible for these crimes, but you know that people just don’t like Muslims these days, and you can’t be surprised that these things are happening to you.”
“I told you before, Will, that I am not Muslim. I am Christian, and my name is a form of ‘Amos,’ the prophet.”
“Ok, ok.” Will waved his hands up and down in front of him, as if to calm an unruly child. “No need to get huffy. I promise you that these fine folks involved in our Neighborhood Protection Program will keep out a sharp eye for whoever is responsible.” Will tilted his head, scrunched an eye, pressed his thumb and forefinger together, pointed it towards Aamoos, and clicked his tongue.
A week passed. Trevor woke up in the night, stepped out of bed, and made his way to the window. With his eyes half shut, he pushed the drape aside, glanced out, turned towards his bed, and froze.
His eyes shot open. He turned back to the window, grabbed the drape, and yanked it open. He leaned forward, squinted, and stared hard at Aamoos’s yard. Was that a dog in his flowerbed?
He darted from the window. Passing his dresser, he stopped went back, took hold of his phone, and darted for the door. His heart raced. He bounded down the stairs two at a time. At the front door, he stopped, straightened up, and took a deep breath.
He unlocked it, cracked it open, and slid outside. Crouching down, He turned on the phone’s video. Bent over, he tip-toed across the lawn, his phone held out in front of him. A 3-foot fence and a hedge blocked his sight.
Just as he got to the fence, someone stood up not 10 feet from him. Trevor raised his hands to protect his face. His eyes and mouth opened wide, and he fell back and landed on his bottom. It was a miracle he didn’t cry out.
The man fled without seeing him. Trevor sat on the ground, gulping air.
Though his heart thumped in his chest, he rose and peered around the hedge. He could see the man walk down the street. Aamoos’s flowers lay strewn across the yard. Trevor followed.
He watched the man enter a house one block over. Trevor stood motionless, staring for several minutes. Then, he turned and walked home.
At the next neighborhood watch meeting, Will Marshall stood up. “Halloo. Welcome everyone. Let me start off …”
Trevor interrupted. “Will, with all due respect, I ask that you to step down as moderator of this group.”
“Now, now, Trevor. What is the meaning of this harsh tone of …”
“Last night I spotted someone in Aamoos’s yard and followed him home. I followed him to your house.”
“Well, humph. That’s preposterous! I would never …”
“I saw you open the door and let the person in.”
Will pointed at Trevor and shouted, “You have a lot of …”
“It’s all recorded on my phone. You opened the door for your son. I would be glad to show the group, if you’d like.”
Will stood shaking, with his fists held tight like he wanted to hit something with them. He looked from person to person. The he turned and stormed from the room.
The room burst into conversation. Aamoos went over to Trevor, and hugged his neck, “That was amazing! Thank you so much! Wow, that’s great. Thank you, and may the Lord bless you!”
With a huge smile, Trevor held Aamoos’s arms, and said, “It was the least I could do.”
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