Silence is Golden

It’s not my fault, you know. I think it was the music. Or maybe the motorcycle. No, it was definitely the music. They wouldn’t stop blasting that horrible stuff, even as late as nine at night! I admit, I’ve been a little tense since the lockdown started, but you’d be tense, too, if you were stuck in an apartment all day. I haven’t had a proper haircut in months, and I have to have my groceries delivered – can’t risk going to the stores, after all. The only time I leave the apartment is when a package is delivered or something. I don’t even have a dog to walk. So it’s all a little unsettling and my nerves have been on edge.

Usually I do alright, as long as it’s quiet. I can’t stand a lot of noise, and that’s from before this pandemic. That’s why I don’t have a dog – they’re so noisy when they bark! And that’s what I mean about the music those people played. It was so loud all the time that I couldn’t even hear myself think, and it was driving me crazy. See what I mean? It wasn’t my fault. If they’d only listened the first time I said something about it, the rest wouldn’t have happened.

It didn’t start off badly, actually. I went down to their apartment (it’s right below mine) when they moved in. You know, to say hello and welcome them. They seemed nice enough at first – a couple about ten years younger than I am. We got along just fine back then. They minded their business and I minded mine. Then everything changed.

The lockdown started, and my company set everyone up to work remotely. That suited me. As I said, I like it quiet, and I could do my work (I’m an accountant) from home. Little did I know! First it was the motorcycle. The man – I think his name was Kev – revved it all the time, whenever he went somewhere on it. That was about twice a week, so I tried to overlook that, but I hated every minute of it. I told the apartment community manager about it, too, but nothing was done. And it didn’t stop there. That couple would talk to each other every time they walked from their apartment to their car, and their voices would carry all the way up to my window, so I could actually hear that they were there. It was so rude of them not to even consider how loud they were being!  Sometimes they even stood on their balcony and talked! I called down to them more than once to be quiet, but they didn’t listen.

Maybe that would have been forgivable. But the music? No. Right now, we can’t leave our homes, so there’s no way to get away from the noises that come from other apartments. That’s why I left them that note, pushed under their door. It wasn’t even a threatening note – I just told them to stop playing their music. That’s not too much to ask, you know. The walls are closing in on us all right now, so we all have to be courteous, right? You’d think they’d have been polite and stopped playing their music, but no! In fact, not three days after I gave them that note, I was passing by their apartment on the way to take out some trash. I heard the noise of their stereo or whatever it was through the door. Can you believe the rudeness?

I went down to our apartment community’s main office to tell them about it. They said they’d look into it, but I didn’t like the way the manager smiled at me. It was as though she was patting me on the head – indulging me to shut me up. And I know they never talked to those people downstairs. Just a few nights later, I walked by their apartment and I heard their awful music – again! This time, I decided I’d have to take care of the problem myself, since no-one else would do anything about it.

This would take some planning. I mean, I couldn’t do anything obvious – nothing that anyone else would see or hear. Then it came to me. They were always getting packages delivered to their door. So, after a trip to the garden store for some weed killer, I baked some brownies – my specialty – and mailed it to them. Who can resist a home-baked treat, after all? I was smart, too. I paid for everything in cash and I made sure to wear my gloves when I went to the post office. I mean, who would even notice? I made sure not to put a return address on the package, either. The next day, the brownies showed up at their door. I smiled when I saw them. Those horrible people were going to get a real surprise.

That’s when everything went wrong. I didn’t plan for that porch pirate to take that package. You see what I mean? That’s why none of this is really my fault. My plan didn’t involve him at all! I didn’t even know until later that someone had stolen the package and eaten those brownies. That makes me innocent. If those people had just been quiet when I first asked them, things never would have gotten to this point. You really ought to be arresting them, not me, They’re the ones that killed that young man.

Published by Margot Kinberg

I'm a mystery novelist and professor who loves to read, write, and talk about crime fiction.

14 thoughts on “Silence is Golden

  1. Haha, excellent story! I used to have a motorbike-revving neighbour and would cheerfully have murdered him if I could have thought of a foolproof scheme to get away with it… 😉

    Like

    1. Thank you, FictionFan! Glad you enjoyed the story. And I’ll bet there wouldn’t have been a jury in the country that would have convicted you… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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