The Inconsiderate Neighbor

This is my submission for the week two assignment of my Coursera creative writing course. This story is dedicated to my downstairs neighbor, who is always slamming his goddamn front door. Why can’t you close your door like a human?

Bubba grabbed a cold can of Mountain Dew from the fridge and bolted out the front door; he was running late as usual. He slammed his front door shut with every ounce of strength he had, causing the apartment walls to shake and an upstairs neighbor’s dog to bark. Being raised in a violent, angry home, slamming doors was the only thing Bubba understood.

Having been in an incredible hurry, and feeling the stress of pressing time, he slammed the door harder than he ever had before. In fact, he slammed it so hard that the ceiling light above his head, having been jostled from the many times he’d slammed his front door before, fell from the ceiling and on top of his large, square-shaped head.

The light itself wasn’t very heavy, but as luck would have it, a nest of hornets had made its home in there, and now their home had been destroyed. They descended on Bubba in an angry, stinging frenzy, as Bubba cried out in agony. He dropped his soda can, which exploded the sweet fizzy nectar all over his body, causing so many additional stings and attacks, he passed out.

When Bubba awoke, he could barely make out the nurse tending to him through one eye; his other eye was swollen shut. “Wha’ happen?” he asked, barely able to speak. Apparently he’d been stung in the mouth, too.

“That’s him,” he heard a voice say. He turned his head and saw one of his neighbors pointing at him accusingly. Next to him stood a police officer, who looked rather annoyed. “That’s my neighbor, who’s always slamming his front door like a jackass.”

“Sir?” The officer said, stepping forward and looking visibly irritated at having to make a hospital trip for this petty neighbor’s squabble. “Your neighbor here has filed a noise complaint and is claiming you damaged his personal property with your violent door-slamming.” He scribbled something on a piece of paper and placed it on a nearby table. “You’ll get a notice in the mail in a few days,” he said as he turned to leave.

The neighbor glared at Bubba, arms crossed. “Your door slam knocked my mother’s urn from the fireplace!” he shouted. “Her remains are irreplaceable! Inconsiderate jerk!” he was shaking as he stormed off. A moment later he popped his head back in the doorway. “I’ll see you in court!”

The nurse looked apologetically at him as she finished up applying salve to his stings. “I’ll be back to check on you later. Would you like me to close the door?” Bubba nodded, and she smiled at him as she left, slamming the door hard behind her.

His whole body shook and his heart skipped a beat, jarred from the unexpectedly loud noise. “Oh yeah,” he considered aloud. “I guess that really is annoying.”