Our Neighbors the Bells

Our neighbors the Bells are watching. Our neighbors sit in lawn chairs on the sidewalk, three in a row, under the shade of a large tree that hides their house from the street. The Bells are empty-handed and straight-legged. We never see them eat or drink. From April through October they sit outside for hours, coming and going discreetly. In the winter they disappear.

All three of them are frightening for shameful reasons: the father because he’s ancient, because he’s yelled at us. The grown-up son because he has tattoos of unknowable words and symbols and tattoos of embarrassing ladies. The grown-up daughter because she has scrambled hair and missing teeth and smiles for no reason.

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