NEIGHBOURS – flash fiction

Cecil was delighted. First signs, the new neighbours were his sort of people: Pickford’s lorry, John Lewis delivery van, substantial furniture. The house next door had remained empty for months since those lottery winners had finally taken the hint. People like that had no place in Little Botherington. Decking, jacuzzis and frilly lace curtains. What were they thinking of?

Out of a sense of community spirit he had tried to guide them in the customs and traditions of their little Berkshire village, but it had all fallen on deaf ears. “On their heads be it,” he had muttered to himself each time he bestowed his advice, only to be greeted with blank incomprehension. Didn’t they realise how lucky they were to have him as a neighbour?

Luckily, since his retirement, he had been able to dedicate most of his waking hours to the needs of their little community. Certainly the departure of his fifth wife had briefly left him incapacitated, but Mrs Bloggs his ‘daily’ kept the place clean and his delivery of Ocado ready meals were more than adequate to meet his needs.
He took a brief moment to ponder whether these new neighbours would be interested in joining the flower show committee, Rotary club or parish council. Just lately there didn’t seem to be so many people to chew the fat with at any of the meetings. Everybody rushed off rather than linger and chat. Such a shame when his advice was so clearly needed by so many of them.

Cecil’s ears pricked up as he heard the scrunch of car wheels on gravel. His new neighbours were here at last. He’d better dash round and let them know about the parking restrictions in the village. They were bound to grateful, weren’t they?