Turn It Down
by Faye Sizemore
forum: Turn It Down
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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Turn It Down


           The noise was really beginning to annoy Stevie.It seemed the new neighbors partied almost every night .They would turn the lights down low and cars would begin to arrive, parking the driveway full, and even sometimes on the lawn, close to the well groomed flower beds bordering Stevie`s lawn..

           Then the music would begin..foreign sounding flute music and other unfamiliar instruments.Droning on and on until early morning .Just before dawn the cars would start leaving.By that time Stevie`s entire night`s rest had been blown to smithereens.

           He didn`t like the idea of being one who complained to or called the police on his neighbors but he didn`t know how many more nights of this he could take.

           The first night Stevie thought it must be a house warming .Well,so be it.He had done the same thing when he had first moved in.Three of his buddies and their wives had drank and talked into the wee hours.A much smaller gathering than the neighbors had thrown..and it had been a weekend evening.This was Wednesday and for the third night the music was playing again and there were at least two dozen cars parked out front and on every side.He couldn`t see that he would ever get a few winks with this going on all night.

           Stevie decided he would at first trot on over there and politely ask them to turn down their music and cut out the parties during the week as all in the neighborhood were working people and needed their rest.If that got no results Stevie would have no recourse but to make a complaint to the Police Department.

           Stevie carefully made his way across the patio and to the side door where he could see a dim light and hear the strange music pouring out.As he made ready to knock on the door, the light went out and the music abrouptly stopped.Leaning closer and peering in, Stevie could not believe what he saw...

           The room was empty, totally empty, save for some abandoned cardboard cartons in the far corner.The polished hardwood floors were bare of carpet and no drapes adorned the windows.In fact ,Stevie could see from the front porch door straight through to the back windows of the house and out into the back yard by the glow of the security lights on poles above the house.

           How was this possible?He turned and looked at the array of cars parked around.Where was everyone? They certainly were not inside and what had happened to the music?Strange but at least it was quiet now .Maybe he could get some sleep.

           Heading home,he felt strangly lightheaded and woozy.He almost sat down on his steps to catch some rest but he knew he would feel better once he was safe inside his own door where he could ponder the missing noisey neighbors and their rowdy company.

           Reaching his door he felt a rush of release as he turned the knob.The scratching of a spent record on the turn table greeted his ears.What the heck?Looking around his messy living room he reconized several of his friends in various poses on the floor,chairs and sofa ,all looking to be sound asleep.

           Curled in the corner was his friend Stan, asleep with a flute in his hand with a large round tall basket next to him.On the sofa with his eyes firmly closed was Paul,with Eddie curled up, contently, beside him.

           Hearing Stevie`s suddenly sharpe intake of breath and cry of exclaimation,Paul awoke and looked around .'Good grief',he said,'I`ll be late to work .Gotta run,Stevie.'He and Eddie headed towards the door.

           Stan stumbled up clutching his flute in one hand with his arm encircling the basket.

           'Me,too,Stevie,I need to go home and feed my snake.Thanks for inviting me.It`s been a helluva housewarming.Who knew it would last for days?'

           Fully awake now,Stevie became aware of an insistant knocking at the door.

           Opening the door he found the complex manager standing there with a vexed look upon his face.

           'Young man ,I have several complaints from your neighbors about your excessive company and the loud music coming for your house for the last three days and I see you have a dog and a snake in here.Your lease says no pets.You realize I shall have to evict you.This behavior is not accetable'

           'But ..But..' Stevie thought, 'this is not possible.. or is it...?'

           'Sir,The party for my housewarming was only one night and these animals do not live here',Steve pleaded,'see,they are leaving with their owners right now.They just passed you.'

           The manager smiled and said, with a grimace,'This is Wednesday.Your party started on a Saturday .The requests to turn it down were all directed to this address.!Your neighbors heard the flute music almost constantly and also sounds of someone frolicking with a dog.I suggest you get sober and get this mess cleaned up and then perhaps we will talk.Right now I have nothing further to say .Good Day,Stevie',and with that he left Stevie standing with a blank look on his face and his jaw ajar.

           Turning to survey the unsightly living room Stevie saw such a disarray of drink containers and partly eaten food containers that he was taken aback in shock.Where had it all come from? He was well aware that this was Wednesday and he was at a loss to explain all this.

           Stevie dialed Stan`s number and a sleepy Stan answered.'Oh,it`s you,Stevie,why did you have to wake me up?I was having the greatest dream.When I went to collage I left mt snake,Slither, at home .I loved that fella.While I was away, he became lost, and was never found .I was dreaming of him and playing my flute and having a good old time.I was even dreaming that Paul`s Eddie was there too.Remember,Paul was so sad when he died.Can I call you back later,buddy?', and without waiting for an answer, Stan hung up ,leaving Stevie in shock once again.

           Stevie picked up the drink and food containers and put them in the trash can, all the while going over Stan`s words in his mind.It had to be just a coincidence.

           He dragged out his ,sometimes runs,vacuum cleaner and proceeded to clean up the rug.He vacuumed the corner where his friend had been sleeping with the snake and where the indent from the snake basket still looked fresh.All the while he was shaking his head in disbelief.

           As he continued cleaning he convinced himself that all was well and he had just gotten drunk and stayed that way for three days.

           When Stevie got to the furniture he was doing a great job until he discovered the sofa was covered in dog hair...


copyright 2005 Faye Sizemore.

Faye Sizemore:

I am an imaginative grandmother, loose with pen in hand ,who just loves a mystery from the unknown.