Events from the life of
John McDermen
by  Nathan Karczewski
December 5th, 2009 – Something is dreadfully wrong with my neighbor. It seems as though he may be Schizophrenic but I’m not
quite sure. When I see him outside of his house walking to work, at least that’s where I believe he’s going, he is quiet and firm, almost
like a moving statue. Yet inside his house when he is at home, I hear him screaming, a cold, dark, and hollow scream. It chills my
organs to hear it. I believe him to be alone when this happens because he’s a single man like me. Sometimes it happens for hours,
scream after scream. It’s been going on for a week now; I even hear a loud banging noise at times. It certainly frightens me, enough
that I’ve only mustered up the courage to go over there once. I made it up to his front doormat, blue and frayed it had the words
Hope and Home on it. I almost knocked, until I heard the sound of footsteps dashing through the inside of the house. I feared he was
going to run right through the door so I sprinted back to my house. He frightens me.

December 7th, 2009 – Ms. Shopan across the street called the cops today. I heard her talking to them on the patio when they arrived.
I peered through my blinds as if they were there for me. I heard her say she heard loud screaming from the house. Had she not heard
it until today? It had kept me up for hours last night. The police went to knock on the door and I intervened. I told them that he had
left for work and inquired to why they were here. Of course I knew their answer, I just didn’t want to seem odd if I mentioned I had
heard screaming for over a week and never called them myself. They left and mentioned they would be back later, I told them he got
home at six o’clock every evening. They just smiled and nodded, one of them even let out a small laugh. He came home like
clockwork later that day, but the cops never returned. He’s screaming right now                     it’s hard to think.

December 9th, 2009 – There is something that I would like to write about that is a bit more eerie that his bloodcurdling screaming. It
is a sound that seems like someone is tearing someone or thing apart. It’s hard to explain in words, but the sound feels like it is ripping
at me…it makes my guts and brains turn inside my body. Tonight it was a frequent tearing noise that seemed to echo throughout my
own house. I looked out my kitchen window, which gives me a decent vantage point of the right half of his house. There at the upper
right corner of his house I saw a light glowing outward from a window with open blinds. A silhouette quickly emerged in the window
frame and then the blinds were drawn. It felt like he knew I was watching. After the curtains covered my view of the bedroom I hear
his front door open and slam. I quickly withdrew to my dark living room and childishly hid on my couch under loads of blankets.

December 12th, 2009 –    He left for work today, and I went over there. I snuck through a loose board in my fencing that I had been
working on for the last two days well he was gone. His backyard is so well groomed and he has morning glories, sunflowers, tulips, and
lilies in full bloom all over his lawn. The beds, where they lie, are all beautiful and well taken care of. The mulch seems to have been
laid using an intricate measuring system. I decided I didn’t have time to stop and enjoy the flowers’ beauty; I made my way to his back
door. Of course it was locked. I couldn’t break in he would’ve known and seen the loose board and … I was able to open the
basement window. It was so small I couldn’t see myself fitting, but I fit through that window. I was in his basement, an average
basement with a few cracks in the foundation, some water damage to the mortar between the blocks. He had a few boxes stacked in
one corner of the basement.  Clothes was crudely mark on each of them. I wasn’t convinced they were clothes, but after some
investigation inside them I realized I was mistaken. I looked around the basement more, a washer, dryer, hamper, tools, table. I started
to realize his basement was rather well kept, better than my own. I made my way upstairs. There was a hallway at the top of them; to
the left I could see the back door and a door on the wall to the right of it. To the right I saw a break in the hallway with rooms on
both sides and the front door in the center. Right next to me on my left were more stairs that headed upward. I was about the head
into one of the two front rooms when my alarm on my watch went off. I had it set for five-thirty so I wouldn’t get caught. I guess I
didn’t realize how long it took me to get into the house, and how long I was actually in the basement. I checked to make sure I hadn’t
left any footprints and I made my way out the back door, locking it behind me. Tomorrow I won’t wait so long after he leaves and I’ll
check those rooms and the upstairs.

December 14th, 2009 …. What the hell is he doing in there?   There were scratch marks all over his bedroom in the upstairs of the
house. They looked horrifying and covered the walls, furniture, and even shredded the bed sheets. It was the only thing I saw out of
the ordinary over there but it was enough. Many of the scratch marks had red embedded in them; I think it was blood. I almost got
caught; I was so baffled by the sight that I believe I turned my alarm off as it beeped without even realizing it. I was opening his closet
door when I saw a glimpse of his alarm clock, perched on an end table. It was five-fifty one. I made my way out so quick I didn’t
even check my tracks. I stayed up all night trying to envision what I may have left as evidence of my trespassing. I think I left the
closet door open, I think my feet were dirty from walking through my garden bed and I may have left footprints or dirt behind, I
think I may have not relocked the back door. I thought of what he might do if he noticed I had been there.   I’m not going over there
today, I don’t image I’ll find anything new. At least the screaming has stopped for a while. I won’t call the cops. I don’t know why they
didn’t come back. I’m afraid he knows I’ve been in his house and he will tell them that I have.       

I’m terrified.

December 16th 09  . I talked to my mother on the phone today, she said she  misses me and is lonely. I told her about my neighbor,
except for the   part about me going into his house when he wasn’t home. She told me   to take some pills and get some rest. I don’t
understand, she used to be   more supportive; it’s been a hard, long year for both of us. I love her.

December 19th,        He walks so peaceful, so quietly, so innocently to work. Maybe he is just crazy, maybe that’s why the cops didn’t
come back, maybe they know his mental record and just didn’t say anything to me and Ms. Shopan because it’s confidential, and
maybe they even have talked to him about it, or talked to his doctor, or nurse, or family, or boss, or friends, and maybe it’s all clear to
everyone, everyone besides me and I’m just being paranoid because his screams kept me up for two plus weeks, but they’ve stopped
now and he doesn’t scream or bang or anything he just comes home and sits does god knows what in there and tears up his room
because he’s crazed and I’m just being stupid and I actually broke into his house twice and rummaged through his stuff and he never
did anything to me I should    stop.  Calm down.  Relax.  Breath.         

So tired and my mother called today and I snapped at her. I’ll get a job when I’m damn ready to. He’s home. It’s dead quiet over
there. I don’t hear a television, radio or anything on over there. The light in his bedroom is on but I don’t see him. What is he doing?
What is his problem? When will he stop messing with me?  When?


Dec twenty two      

Well I’ve officially gotten a full days worth of rest, I mean a full day-24 hours. He didn’t go to work today. I sat in my robe next to my
front window and watched for a good thirty minutes. I decided to go sit in my backyard to try and get out and enjoy the sun. That’s
when I saw it, the loose board, it was pushed away from the fence and its nails were staring right at me. I snuck over, hugging the
fence as if I was on some sort of secret mission. I crouched down and peered into his backyard through the gap in the fence. He was
tending to his garden, clipping dead branches from various plants. I noticed a footprint in his flowerbed at the entrance to the gap.
Then I noticed a footprint on my side of the gap, right where I was kneeling. I knew right away it wasn’t mine, it was too small and the
grooves didn’t match. I double-checked to make sure.

Had to be his. But I’ve been home he couldn’t have been in my house. I’ll check tomorrow    for some reason    I’m reall tired

Decembur 27 th

I fowand a scaracth mark on my bedroom closet door, he was here. How ?
only can think it must ov benn while I was a sleep.   I am still tired evr since the screamin stopped and now I sleep much. I can barly
keep eyes open n ahaven’t noticed him going to werk or not-----------
keep falling asleep The screms havea started again   they somehow seam closer. And they echo.

D 30
Today mom call, left mesage.  Wants to know wher ive been.
A litle less tired now. The scream soundd like it was comin from mi   room this morning. That sillie of course I checkded No one
there. no one cept me. Now my head hurt an I have bad painz in my side. I’ll call the doc tommorrow   may b I’m coming down wit
sometin Bing Crosby playin on the radio , I’ll call mom tommmorro to. Miss her      miss dad more.

D

I seen him in my bathroom today. Wit a blink he was gone  then I sawd him in my kitchen then gone. Iwent to the looose  board and
no more foot prints. I kep on hearin the screamin in my room then I go up there to find more scrath markz but no him. Jus me. I
talkd ta dad, he said he was always in my heart. I dont know whatdat meant but the screammy stoped for a bit afder that. The
countdown is startin soon. My bithday is tomorrow and I will be 27. I am plesed that I will not be alone four it. I will have mi father
here he lovez me although I hurt him. My neighbour here also. The partti will be great the best goin away party evr. Twenty seven and
never twenty eght …