Mary Lamb Enters

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Mary Lamb makes a visit to her neighbor to gossip about the new tenant in their apartment complex.

Mary Lamb.  My next door neighbor.  She is just short of being five feet tall, her hair is light brown, and it reached cautiously to her shoulders in broken strands.  Her smile was so huge you can count the unfilled cavities in her mouth.  She wore bright colors; her clothes two-sizes bigger than her frame.  Mary liked to cook…a lot.  Whatever she made left a stank' so raw you can smell it in the hall for days after.  She liked to play loud music from some undetermined genre, and dance around in clogs on the hardwood floors.She had this ability to stop by my apartment at all the wrong times.  Like now.

“Mary,” I said with a yawn,” Could you stop by tomorrow its two a.m. in the morning…”

 “You’re young right,” she cackled; shoving past me to gain entry to my apartment.  I stood for a moment before shutting the door behind me.  I took a deep breath and turned toward her.  She had made herself comfortable; kicked back in my micro-suede recliner.  Her feet bare and soles black.

“How can I help you,” I asked patiently taking a seat on the couch across from her.  I knew from experience that she had no good reason for stopping by so early.  She did this at least twice a month.

About seven months ago I became the new tenant to apartment 401 on East Street.  It was everything I could ever want in a place; great location, spacious, and affordable.  Too good to be true; I signed the two year lease agreement with satisfaction.  Two days later Mary Lamb knocked on my door in the wee hours of the morning.I let her in with a smile on my face, happy to finally be acquainted with one of the neighbors, despite the unusual hours.  Well that first mistake has cost me many sleepless nights.

“Help,” Mary exclaimed.She pulled at a piece of loose fabric from the sleeve of her bright orange sweater.  “You are the one that needs help.”

I wasn’t going to fall for it.  She wanted me to ask her why.  That was not a can of worms I was prepared to open.  Instead; I stood and headed toward the kitchen. 

“Would you like anything to drink Mary,” I called pouring myself a glass of orange juice.  I quickly swallowed half the glass and refilled the cup.

“Not unless you have white wine,” Mary said from behind me.  I jumped; I didn’t hear her come in.

“Mary, you know I don’t have liquor in my home,” I exclaimed with irritation.  I didn’t like how close she stood.  I moved back to the living area, placed my OJ on the coffee table and sat back down.  Mary followed reclaiming her seat.

“White wine is not liquor,” she protested; crossing her feet next to my cup “it’s medicinal.”

Only Mary, I thought retrieving my OJ from the table and taking a long sip.

“Anyways I have some important news about the new tenant in 603,” Mary whispered dramatically.  Mary loved to gossip about the people that lived in the building, unfortunately I was the only person she spoke to about anything. 


Surprisingly, I did want to hear about the new tenant.  Apartment 603 was where I really wanted to reside. However, Grace, the property manager in 101 advised that it was not to be for lease; ever.  I thought that was odd but shrugged it off because I was getting such a great deal, but three days ago I spotted movers carrying furniture to 603 and it made me curious.

“What about the new tenant,” I asked Mary against my better judgment.

Dragging out the suspense Mary leaned back with folded arms behind her head.

“Well...” she began slowly,” yesterday when I returned home from my midnight stroll I saw it.”

I waited.

“Who did you see,” I asked with controlled patience.  I didn’t know why I was entertaining her, but my curiosity was getting the best of me.

“Not who…it,” she insisted.  Her eyes held a faraway look while she spoke.  “A shadow with red eyes climbing down the fire escape like a monkey,” Mary whispered. 

I could feel my irritation rising.  Mary could tell a tale or two.  She truly believed in the things that would go bump in the night.  She’d expressively elaborated on many occasions about the witches, ghost and vampires that she met during her life.  Anyone who’d listen to Mary would of course assume some sort of mental instability. 

I quickly glanced at the clock and was startled to see that it was a quarter past three.  I let out a huge yawn, which wasn’t entirely fabricated and requested Mary continue her story tomorrow.  As I was about to close the door, she turned toward me with a puzzled look.

“…but I wondered what sort of creature it is,” she pondered.  I quickly said goodnight while soundlessly shutting the door.

Submitted: July 23, 2011

© Copyright 2021 Chrys. All rights reserved.

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