Neighbors

(Part 1 from 2. Fiction.)

'What in gods name happened to you guys?'

My mom Alice gasped in horror as my four friends, Owen, Collin, Ivan, Andy, along with my little brother Conner and myself came walking towards her on our loose rock drive way. Our driveway makes a horseshoe towards our front door but breaks off toward the side of our house were our garage is at. We had just gotten back from a long, hot summer day of drinking and shooting in the good old fashioned farming town of Santa Maria.

'I donít think Iím going toÖ'

Ivan started, but was shut down by his incredibly drunk body. He fell onto our front lawn and passed out. We all started laughing as our drunken round friend flopped onto the grass mid summer day.

'I said what in gods name happened to you guys?' My mom said again.

'Ohh, just the normal Sunday afternoon, Momma D.' Owen said.

All my friends called my mom Momma D. The D is for our last name, Daniels.

'But Conner and Chippy over here decided to try and recreate Silence of the Lambs though.' Owen said laughing his ass off.

I realized he was the only one clean out of all of us, so I flicked a glob of dripping blood from my fingers and onto his grey shirt.

'Fucker! I was trying to stay clean.'

'No go Bo.' I replied.

'Chip!' This time my mom yelled at us to get our attention. 'Whose blood are you guys covered in?'

'Come with us and Iíll show you.' I had my mom follow us to my old army Higgins jeep and opened the tail gate.

'Mom. Meet, guys donít know how to shoot worth a shit.' I pointed at a 200 pound wild boar. 'And, Iím going to attack you and get shot at point blank range.' I pointed to a massive 400 pound boar with its head blasted off. 'And finally, Conner Daniels doesnít know how to gut a pig!' I point to the last 400 pound boar.

'So how did you two,' mom was pointing to me and Conner, 'Get completely covered in blood, and why does everybody else have blood splatter all over them?'

'Well thatís a good story mom. One that I will tell you right now.'

The pigís blood had yet to dry all the way and was still running down my arms and face. My white shirt was soaked along with my wranglers. I donít think going into a slaughter house you could get this bloody. I started telling my story.

'So, we shot that little pig and I went to go get it. Well dumbass ConnerÖ'

'Hey it wasnítÖ' Conner tried to argue.

'Shut up Conner!' I yelled back. 'Well Conner had my pistol when I went to get the little boar. Well when I was dragging it back to the jeep, momma pig decided to sneak up on me and attack me. So I shot it with my Chey Tac rifle from probably five feet.'

'You shot that thing,' mom pointed at the female four hundred pound pig, 'from five feet away with your new rifle?'

'Yep, and half of the result of a five hundred grain bullet traveling at thirty nine hundred feet per second is on my body right now.' I ran my hand through my hair and it came out twice as red as before. 'Well the other half of this is Connerís fault. He doesnít get that when you stab a four hundred pound boar in the jugular, blood will explode everywhere. Now thatís why Connerís covered in blood and why everybody else has blood splatter on them.'

I looked at Andy, who had joined Ivan on the grass. Andy was lying completely sprawled out staring into the sky. Yea, he drank too much too.

'So thatís why were covered from head to toe in blood right now. Because your youngest son is a fucking moron!'

'Itís not my fault Chip!'

Conner replied walking up to me and patted me on the shoulder, squeezing some of the blood from my shirt. I glared at him but neither of us could hold it in and started laughing our asses off from the whole situation. Who else would take being covered in pig blood like we did? Whose mom wouldnít care that her 18 year old and 17 year old son were drinking while shooting on a Saturday and whose friends were passed out on the front lawn? Or that blood was dripping out of my Jeep and onto the driveway.

'Well get those things gutted. The big ones weíll use and jerky and hamburger and trim out the smaller one for steaks.'

My mom told us after we both started laughing. I yelled over to Collin and Owen to help. Those two clowns were on the lawn too. Collin had taken his shirt off, like always, and was resting his head on Owenís stomach and none of them showed signs of moving.

'Whatever.'

I said, and Conner and I started unloading the three carcasses onto a large painterís tarp. We then started gutting them on our driveway and throwing any useable cuts into large buckets. My dad had taught us how to trim out pigs when we were little, and my mom added her two cents in because she was also a registered nurse and new human anatomy. And pigs are no different. Conner had parked the Jeep backwards on the side driveway so we didnít notice our mom leave.

We had just trimmed out the smaller of the boars and just when we were starting on the bigger ones, my parents walked up with an older lady in her 40ís Iíd say, with a teenage boy and girl following her. My dad, as nonchalant as he could, introduced Conner and me.

'Linda, these are our sons. Chip and Conner.'

Conner made his way towards Linda to shake her had. I made a loud sound, as if I was clearing my throat, so Conner would realize that he needed to stop because he was so bloody. Thankfully we had cleaned our faces and hair of all the blood so it didnít look like we were complete psychopaths.

'Itís nice to meet you Maíam. Iím Chip. Iím very sorry that were so dirty right now.'

'O no, no. Itís no problem.' Linda responded. Thankfully she didnít see the half ton of dead carcasses lying in the bed of the Jeep.

'These are my kids. Jeff and Amy.' Linda stepped aside so that they were forced to acknowledge us.

I quickly took a mental picture of both of them. Amy had smooth brown hair and a well tanned body. You could tell she was some sort of an athlete just by here stance when she stood. She was very good looking with nice brown eyes and lushes red lips. Of course like any other guy, I took a glimpse at her breasts as well. They looked good too. Iíve never been a boobís kind of guy. I focus more on somebodyís face more then anything. Yea she was an athlete of some sort.

I could tell she had a sports bra on that showed under her spaghetti strap shirt. She raised her arm to give us a nice wave and thatís when I noticed she had some pretty muscular arms as well. She seemed like she was pretty level headed as well. I would definitely screw her I thought to myself. Then my eyes drifted to Jeff. Jeff was wearing a black Polo Ralph Lauren shirt and camo cargo shorts.

He had short dark brown hair that was gelled up into a typical style. He was always looking around at stuff though, with his hazel eyes. I watched his eyes for a while and they never stopped moving. That was until he locked onto Conner. I looked over at Conner through the corner of my eye and could tell he was staring into Jeffís eyes. Conner was an eyes type of guy. Then I stared back at Jeff and his eyes were locked onto Connerís.

'Itís nice to meet you Amy.' I gave her a nod. 'You too Jeff.'

Jeff shook his head ever so little and looked at me. I smiled at him as I knew he was analyzing me as well. By the clothing Jeff had on, I knew he was at least an average body build but I couldnít tell anything else more then that. He was well tanned, just like his sister. I noticed Conner had yet to say anything and he continued to look Jeff up and down.

'Conner, donít be rude.' I said.

'Um, nice to meet you.' Conner barely got out. He didnít even close his mouth and was still staring at Jeff. I shook my head and rolled my eyes already knowing what Conner was thinking.

'These are our new neighborís guys. They moved into the Adamís house.' My dad Paul said.

'Ah, ok.' I said.


'Let me apologize for my boys. They were raised by their father and were born in a barn.' My mom joked, and pointed at an old barn in the distance.

'Yea, well you gave birth to us though.' I quickly replied.

'And I didnít raise them, because if I did, I would have taught them to gut animals in the field and not on our driveway.'

'We didnít have any good knives, minus just our pocket knives. We tried using those but it didnít work for the big ones.' Conner said.

'You canít gut a pig with your pocket knife?' My dad snapped back. 'Whose son are you? I taught you how to kill a pig with your pocket knife, not to mention gut one.'

'Well you traumatized us for that dad.' Conner replied. 'Why do you think were completely covered from head to toe in blood!'

'Will you two stop?! We have guests,' my mom finally ended with.

'Whoís here?!' Owen yelled from on our back lawn.

'Ahh fucker! You canít yell when Iím using your fat ass stomach as a pillow, bitch!' Collin yelled back.

'Oh those are my drunken friends passed out on the grass. Theyíre always here. If they give you problems just shoot them or tell them to shut up.' I told Linda and her two kids. 'Chippy, whoís here?' Collin yelled.

'Collin, shut up!' I yelled back.

'Donít be mad! I still love you baby!' Collin replied. I started shaking my head, my parents did the same.

'Sorry.' I said.

'There really a good group of guys. Sometime they make some trouble. But theyíre all good kids.' My dad said.

My parents walked inside with the Smith family and were soon joined by Mr. Smith. Conner and I continued dressing out the remaining carcasses with our four friends still passed out.

'So you gonna pounce on Mr. Smith little bro?' I said just as I threw one of the last pieces of meat into the bucket.

Conner just gave me one of his raised eyebrow look that were both famous for, the one that means, 'If you werenít my brother, Iíd kill you, but since you are my brother Iím going to torture you.'

'What?' I said in humorous disbelief, 'I saw you looking Jeff up and down for a while, did you even know who Amy is?'

'Amy, um the girl that your retarded ass is gonna go gunning for now? The one that most likely is a lesbo softball player and can most likely kick your ass if you went for her pants?' Conner said while leaning up against the tailgate of the jeep, pouting and fluttering his eyes staring deeply at me mocking me. He always knew I was a sucker for tom boy type girls, and I would generally just throw myself at them without knowing what I would hit.

'So are you guys gonna get a group discount at the church for the double weddings my little Daniels babies?' Collin blurted out as he came up and wrapped his arms around Conner pushing him forward. Needless to say Collin was still pretty drunk because he ran into Conner so fast he nearly pushed him into the jeep and right onto the carcasses.

'Ow' Conner scream out as his body was pinned between a metal tailgate and a 175 pound block of muscle. Conner stood at the jeep for a few seconds. I thought he was actually hurt or something but that was not it, obviously. 'CollinÖ I feel something that shouldnít be on my jeansÖ It should be inside of them or inside my mouth.' Collin spun Conner around and drunkenly wobbled back and forth while gingerly staring into my little brothers eyes just inches away from each other.

'Maybe later little bro, you lost your chance before. Not happening until your bother doesnít live in the same hemisphere as me.' Collin said while letting Conner go and gripping onto my shoulder.

All I could do was just take in a deep breath of air to cool down and shake my head of the thought of my best friend Collin actually hooking up with my little brother. Now, I know this would never in the entire world. Yes Collin is a huge flirt when it comes to everyone, guy or girl, gay or straight. But after it all heís a romantic straight boy where it counts.

Collin knows it just getís under my skin when he flirts with Conner, especially when itís sexual. Conner on the other hand, would jump on Collin in a heart beat, though he would never openly admit it though. Conner still to this day has not actually said he was gay, just that he wasnít against it. Which everyone knows that means he just doesnít want to say it. I still to this day donít now why Collin started one day out of the blue to be much more 'physical' in is flirting with him. I kind of just brush it off all the time, thinking not too much of it.

'Okay, serious talk, who are the new future Daniels?' Collin asked while he pulled us both under his arms walking us toward our house to see the Smith family talking to my parents inside.

'The Smith family, Linda, donít know the dads name, Jeff and Amy, who looks like the younger sister.' Conner responded while steering Collin and I back towards our passed out friends who were now slowly rolling around. I knew Conner was in a hurry to figure out who, where, everything about Jeff. So we got everyone up and dropped them off at their respected house, raced home showered and changed so we could meet our new neighbors.

'Conner, donít be an idiot okay!' I ordered as I slapped him on the head as good measure just to make sure he was listening, I knew he wasnít drunk anymore but I also new he was still a little bit intoxicated. He just rolled his eyes at me, knowing I was being all motherly to him like I always am. Not saying my parents didnít raise us up good, just he and I were partners in crime in everything we did ever since we could crawl. I know most brothers usually hate each other, we were the exact opposite, we were best friends, and we knew pretty much anything and everything about each other. Mostly because we were there for it together. I guess that was one of the advantages of having a brother only a year younger than me in age and grade.

'Well finally you guys look like civilized human beings now, 'Our mother said while we were walking into the kitchen where the Smith family and my parents were. 'We were just talking to Jeff and Amy, and how they are attending St. Joes with you guys. Jeff is a senior with you Chip,' I glanced over and Conner was already starting to glow with excitement, 'and Amy is a junior with you Conner.' Now I was getting excited thinking I would have no problem getting with Amy since she was a year younger than me.

'Well thatís awesome, itís a really good school, and itís perfect too, we can all drive together now.' Conner said in his sucking up voice. Jeff just raised his eyebrows thinking of the idea. Not in a good way though. In a way that people give a look to people of a lower class. I guess thatís a fair assumption though, figuring his first impression of us. Just then we heard a semi truck pull up and the Smith family started to get up. 'Thatíd be our stuff I guess.' Linda gestured to her kids and the proceeded to walk towards the door.

'And boys, I said that you two and some of the guys could help them move their stuff tomorrow, since I know you arenít doing anything productive for another week.' Our mom said. I hated helping people move stuff, but I guess what better way to get to know thy neighbor then to rummage through all their stuff. We said our goodbyes and Jeff didnít seem the least bit enthused about playing the meet and greet game. He just seemed like one of those overly moody kinds of guys. I think Conner had picked up on that as well because he also didnít seem too enthused about helping the Smith family out tomorrow.

The next morning Conner, Owen, Andy and I showed up at the Smiths house to help them start unpacking. We knocked on the door and Jeff answered the door in a pair of loose fitting running shorts and nothing else. Iím pretty sure he didnít even have any underwear on either. I do have to say, that Ralph Lauran shirt did not do him good graces yesterday. Jeff had a good six pack, large shoulders and biceps, some pretty muscular calves. Before we could do another once over of his body he put on an overly large sleeveless shirt which still didnít hide anything.

'Hey guys, were all in the kitchen right now eating if you want anything, we just got a bunch of McDonalds stuff.' Jeff said in a much more enthusiastic voice. Maybe he was just tired yesterday I thought. We did our standard thing, small talk about the Adamís family that lived in the house previously, who the neighbors were, the usual. We then got to our task of helping the Smithís move everything into the house.

Linda and Amy started sorting through the boxes that Andy and Owen brought in, and Conner, Jeff, Jeffís dad Charles, and I started bringing in the furniture. All the while Conner kept trying to team up with Jeff on everything. I donít know what that little shit was trying to do, and I didnít really care. We got everything moved in by mid afternoon and were thanked and just left. It was mildly odd that nothing really was said between anyone almost the entire day. The Smiths seems like a very private group of people. I just kept thinking that they were just focused on the task at hand.

We didnít see much of them until the next week right before school started. Jeff came running over and asked if he and Amy could follow us to school because they had to register both their cars once they got there. Just then Conner drove up on the side of our house in his new Tahoe my parents had bought him for his last birthday. Jeff just squinted at him. 'I thought you guys shared that old jeep?' Jeff asked in surprise.

'No, no, thatís just our whatever car to go cruising around in.' I replied and left to go get my own Tahoe that I got last year as well. When I pulled up I saw Jeff was waiting in what looked like a brand new Audi, but his sister just had an older Honda Civic. Again I didnít think much of it. That day at lunch we all decided to invite Jeff and Amy to sit with us for lunch.

The outdoor tables are separated into groups of lower classman to upper classmen. Now that we were seniors, we were closest to the cafeteria. This time Jeff was full of energy and seemed like he fit right in with our group of friends. Amy as well. Cracking jokes, explaining how they moved up here because their mom was transferred.

Conner and I were definitely relieved that we didnít bring a couple of duds with us to sit with us at lunch. Mainly because if they were, weíd had felt bad telling them they couldnít sit with us anymore. The ways of high school I guess. Youíre liked or your not. At the end of the day Conner, Owen, Andy, Collin, Ivan and I were all making our way towards the locker room to get ready for offseason practice. We all had our own sports that we did. Conner was in baseball with Andy, Ivan played football, Collin was a swimmer, Owen and I played tennis.

I think thatís why we were the somewhat self proclaimed badasses of the school; we all were in sports, but in a wide range of sports. We got into the locker room and Jeff was already in their getting his locker assignment from Coach Hartman, the P.E. coach that was in charge of the locker room. As it turns out Jeff was a track guy. We never had a track guy in our group. We all started getting changed when out of nowhere we hear someone yelling, 'What the fuck are you looking at faggot?'

The five of us looked around before I even knew what was going on, Conner comes flying into me out of no where, and then Collin is running full speed passed me and shoves someone right into a locker, denting it even. While Iím trying to catch my balance Conner pushes himself off me and I fall and heís running off towards Collin. By the time Iíve come to my feet, Andy, Owen, and Ivan are all holding Conner and Collin back from nearly passed out body on the floor. I guess itís a good thing all of this happened so fast, and that the music was blaring like it always was, so no one else even knew what had happened except a few of our other buddies that were just standing their watching.

'Get them the fuck out of here!' I yelled at the guys who were holding Conner and Collin, which were now three guys to one of them. Out of no where Collin turns his attention towards me and tackles me to the ground.

'Donít do anything Chip! Heís already down!' Collin yells in my face while holding my arms over my head. He was blood red with a mixture of rage and fear. The rage was directed at whatever in the hell was going on, and the fear was most likely directed towards me finding out what he was afraid of. I am by no means a violent person at all, but everyone knows that if I get pissed off or angry that the world needs to get out of my way.

'Collin get the FUCK off me!' I yelled while lying on the ground. At this point Conner finally pulls Collin off of me and they both stormed out of the locker room with Ivan and Owen close behind. I got up and started walking to the person who is now sitting up with his head on his knees grasping his head.

'Chip, donít do anything stupid.' Andy interjects as he places himself between me and whoever is on the ground.

'Andy, get out of my way, I donít even know what the hell is going on. All of a sudden Conner comes flying at me, you guys go after him, then when I get up I see you holding Conner and Collin, then Collin comes and tackles me. I have no idea what is even going on here.' I ended while raising my voice, now in annoyance. Andy moved away and I knelt down to see who was huddled on the ground, now crying. I could see blood dripping down his shirtless abdomen, as well as a cut on his leg that he probably got hitting the lower locker.

'Hey buddy you okay? Theyíre gone now, your okay.' I said while patting him on the head. Mainly I was trying to see if his head was bleeding at all, it wasnít. Finally I knelt down right in front of him and he raised his head. My first thoughts even before realizing who it was, was how innocent this person looked. Almost like a stray puppy that was neglected and beat, for no reason what so ever in the world.

A face of pure defeat and sorrow. All I wanted to do was take him into my arms and hold him and comfort him. That is when I realized who it was. In that moment, all I wanted to do was beat my little brother and Collin into pulp for ever touching this guy. Before I could attempt to get up however, his hand grabbed my own and started sobbing, 'Chip Iím sorry, Iím so sorry. Please donít hurt me, it was a stupid fucking mistake, Iím sorry.' He leaned forward and started crying into my shoulder.

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