The Family Next Door

Photo by Liberty Boston

Liberty Boston

Photo by Liberty Boston

Taryn McGraw, Staff Reporter

It is said that there is no such thing as perfection, but to the Thompson family, that statement is false. 

They seem to be living the perfect life. Bill and Susan, husband and wife of 12 years, are still joined at the hip. They haven’t fought or argued about the slightest detail, trivial or not, in their entire marriage. Their two beautiful children, Molly and Isiah, are star pupils. Straight A’s, varsity sports, full-ride scholarships, ect; they are the perfect children and Bill and Susan couldn’t be prouder. 

Not only their family, but their entire neighborhood in general is filled with perfect families, always happy and excelling in whatever they do. The fathers go to work in the morning almost at the same time every day, the children go to school or play together on the weekends, and the mothers are always working at home or gossiping with their friends. 

Now, something occurred that affected the wellbeing and perfection of the neighborhood. The Thompson family’s next door neighbors moved out, and a family immediately moved in. 

The Thompsons are more than happy to welcome said new neighbor, but they are a little hesitant when they meet the family. Susan bakes a welcoming cake and her and her family walk over to the house in the evening. 

She knocks on the door, but nothing happens. Susan tries once again, only for the door to swing open to reveal a tall built man. He wears a slick proper black suit with a black button up shirt and tie underneath. 

“Who are you?” He asked with his chin held up high, almost as if he is looking down on the Thompson family. The children take a step back, but the parents stay where they are. 

“Hello there, new neighbor!” Susan said cheerfully. “We are the Thompson family and we just wanted to welcome you to our neighborhood. I hope we can all get along.”

Instead of greeting Susan with a smile like she hopes, the man gruffs and looks to the side in annoyance. Susan and Bill are taken aback in shock. The children by now are completely off the porch and are desperately trying to sneak back to the house to avoid the scary man. 

“Thank you.” The man said simply, snatching the cake out of Susan’s hands almost in a flash. “My children will like it.” 

With the last statement, the man closes the door and none of the Thompsons want to try again, so they scurry back to their house. 

Over the next few weeks, the Thompsons along with the other families in the neighborhood, slowly began to learn about their new neighbors. The man’s name is Jace Dagger and he has a wife, Ashley Dagger, and two children named Janica and Todd Dagger who look to be the same age as the Thompson children. 

The Daggers don’t leave their house very often and they especially don’t socialize with others. The only time any of the neighbors saw the Daggers leave their house was in the evening. 

Nothing about the new family makes any sense, especially when the Daggers suddenly invite the neighborhood to their house for a Halloween party and dinner. They ask that each family dress up with their costumes matching their other family members.

 On the night of the party, the Thompsons rang the doorbell to their neighbor’s house. A woman opened the door. She has a black cape and a fancy black and red dress with lacing. In her mouth were a pair of fake fangs. 

“You must be the Thompsons. We haven’t met properly, but I am Ashley, Jace’s wife. I love your matching superhero costumes!” Her voice was muffled with the teeth, but the family can still hear her. “Come in. The others are in the backyard.”

Bill and Susan smile. They are not expecting such a warm welcome. Maybe the Dagger family isn’t so bad after all. The Thompson family walk into the house as directed and open the door to the backyard. 

The backyard is absolutely wonderful, with fairy lights in the shape of pumpkins, bats, and other shapes, fake spiders in fake webs, and carved pumpkins. The other neighbors are happily chatting with each other. The Thompsons could even see the Daggers mixed in there, with Jace talking with the other dads and Janica and Todd playing around with the other children. Immediately, Molly and Isiah run over to join the group, Susan walks over to her group of friends, and Bill decides to give Jace another chance. 

Turns out, to the Thompsons’ surprise, the Daggers are a lot nicer than they had expected. Jace explains to the group why they moved – because of a job transfer – and Ashely immediately clicks with the group of gossiping wives. 

By dinner, everyone has high spirits and hungry stomachs. They all took a seat at a long set of tables put together with orange cloths on top. The Daggers all walk inside their house and each bring out the plates for each of their guests. On the plate was a piece of pork roast with carrots and green beans. Just the smell alone is making the guests’ mouths water.

Once every plate has been set down and the Daggers have taken their seats at the head of the table, everybody began digging into their food, almost like savages. There are very little conversations, but the sounds of silverware clattering with plates is enough to know that they all love the food.

But, as time goes on, the clattering of silverware slows down. Everybody is having trouble keeping themselves upright, thinking it is just a food coma kicking in. In a haze, the neighborhood watch as the Daggers stand up out of their chairs and walk over to stand behind the people at the table.

“Well, what an amazing gathering of food.” Jace says with a smile. 

“Indeed. Well, it’s time to dig in.” Ashley added.

Suddenly, the entire table watches as the Daggers hiss, revealing their elongated canines, and simultaneously lunge at the people at the table.