Writing Prompts Week #47– November 19th, 2020

This week’s prompt:

A fight, an onion, a phone call

A fight, an onion, a phone call

“Not again,” Deb covered her head with a pillow but the shouts and crashes from next door were barely muffled. She looked at her clock, 5:30 am. Why were they always arguing at such an absurd hour? She called the landlord, she called the police, had even called her pastor in the two months since she moved in.
It was ridiculous. She should have known there was a reason this place was so cheap. This wasn’t New York, but apartments usually went for more than $750 a month. She was so proud of herself for finding such an amazing deal. Two-bed rooms, large windows, quiet neighbors. It was almost too good to be true.
And it was. The first time it happened she thought it was her neighbors, though the quiet couple did not seem the type to scream at each other about onions in their food at the ass crack of dawn three out of four days of the week. She let it go. Maybe there was something going on in their lives. She liked to think she was compassionate and reasonable. But then it happened again and kept happening.
It was like a recording. It started with a bang against the wall that divided her apartment from the next. She had decided it was a cast-iron skillet, most likely. The shouting started soon after, and dishes breaking, then the shrieking and finally the chilling silence.
The second time, Deb went and knocked on the door. No one answered. She tried again the next time and this time necked so loudly a woman down the hall opened her door, frowning and shaking her curler covered head at Deb.
The next call was to the police. The silence felt ominous. It followed the same script that time, but after the last shriek there was a gurgling sound and then a woman weeping and praying. Perhaps she had killed that ass. Though why she kept putting onions in his food every morning, Deb could not figure. The police came, they knocked and got no answer either, and the noise had stopped. They asked her what she knew about the people living there, but she had to admit she had only seen them a couple times. She mostly just heard them. One officer seemed very uncomfortable, and she just thanked them and shut her door.
It was the call to the landlord that fit the final pieces together for her. No one lived in the apartment next to her. They could not rent it out since the murder. Early one morning the husband and wife that lived there got into a violent argument. She stabbed him and he bled out there on the kitchen floor, surrounded by shattered plates and spilled food.
Deb was angry at not being told, but the rental agent pointed out that they only had to disclose murders or deaths that happened in the rental unit, not those that happened merely in the same building. So now she had to live with screaming ghosts, waking her up before dawn nearly every day until her lease ended. She promised herself she would research the next property before she signed a lease.

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