The following post is my first attempt at fiction. Ok, it’s my first attempt at fiction here on Sluiter Nation.  Everything is completely fictional.  That means not true. Any resemblance to real people, places, and/or events is completely coincidental.  Or not.  Whatever.

The prompt is to write from the perspective of someone who annoys you.


There was already a chill in the air.  Winter would be here soon and he had to get busy.

The boys wanted to come help and he wasn’t about to turn away free labor even if they would do more to annoy  than assist him.

He lumbered out to the backyard with the oldest running ahead with a baseball bat.

“Come on, Nathan!”

The middle one was trying to drag something out of the garage, but came running out to his dad at the sound of his name.

The little one was already sitting in the sandbox.

“Matthew, get off the wood pile.”  The oldest was already bouncing off any surface he came into contact with.  He needed to redirect this energy.

“Take the bat and go in the shed.  Start banging out those dents.”

rat tat tat tat tat tat tat

He scratched his head as the neighbor rounded the side of his house with a spreader.

That guy?  Was ALWAYS working on his lawn.

“Hey,” he offered.

“How’s it going?”

“Just doing some winterizing,” he said as he nodded toward his shed where the oldest had abandoned the baseball bat and was now throwing sand on his youngest brother.

The snobby neighbor seemed confused.  “Yeah, me too,” he said tapping his spreader filled with fancy shmancy winter fertilizer.

He gave the neighbor the obligatory dude nod and turned to his shed.

What did he care about the yard?  That guy spent way too much time on grass.  Although he mowed every week like clockwork which was a good reminder that after it got dark, it was time for him to fire up his trusty Craftsman POS.  The baby always fell asleep best that way–riding on the mower with him.

Anyway.  Back to the shed.  He had to get it winter ready.

Since all three boys were now out front jumping on the car, he was going to have to do this himself.

He grabbed the baseball bat out of the sandbox, and went into the structure.

He began banging at the roof…attempting to pound out what had collapsed yet again before the snow began to fly.

Maybe he should have followed the directions when assembling it.

Maybe those extra parts went to the roof.

like I said, totally fiction. ahem.


About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Loved this!! Great job!! 🙂 Such a fun read!

  2. My neighbor prefers the 6:30 am circular saw because by 7:00 am, it’s time for some speedboat bangin’ on. We’ve learned to sleep through it.

  3. Oh man— sounds like you have some classy neighbors! My only concrit would be that it got a little confusing in the conversation between the two neighbors. I had to read it carefully to figure out who was doing the talking. Otherwise, funny “fictional” stuff!

  4. Funny….but not. I think anyone who’s ever had neighbors can relate to this. My downstairs neighbors seem to live opposite-the-clock from me. I swear they play basketball down there at 3 am. Forget about ever achieving that REM stage of sleep!

  5. Hey, Fiction Pants!

    I agree with Ilana, it’s a little difficult to follow the dialong/inner monologue because you have to anonymous “he” speakers. Perhaps switching one of them to first person, so there’s an “I” and a “he?”

    But I love the sprinkling naughty boy antics, and the sense of suburban man competition–which they all deny, and they are ALL kidding themselves.

    Keep the pants on, Katie. They look pretty good 😉

  6. Very funny!

    We don’t have lawns in my community, but we do have gardeners that like to trim the trees every single week. Thankfully, no sheds.

  7. I love that your “fiction” had a picture. lol

    I really liked the neighbor’s POV. I did get a bit confused during the dialogue – wasn’t sure who was talking – and had to read it a couple times to figure out who was saying what.

    Totally cracked up over the “extra parts” bit too. My husband always – ALWAYS – has extra parts. He shrugs and tosses them in the tool box. And I wait for catastrophe.

  8. You went there! Nice. You are brave, and funny, and talented.

  9. Are you our neighbors? My husband is that annoying lawn care dude.
    Of course I wouldn’t have my veggie garden without him.

    That may be why I didn’t have trouble with the man dialog.
    I could hear him.

    • ha ha! my husband is the annoying lawn dude! he LOVES our lawn. Our neighbor? He is…um…handman-challenged. To say the least.

  10. Haha! This is funny. Neighbor problems are some of the worst…and nothing beats annoying/messy/rude neighbors! Ugh.

  11. This was funny!! Great job…and I agree, was a little confused with the dialogue, but after reading it through again it felt like Tim the Tool Man Taylor and Wilson!! 🙂

  12. It looks like you took the pic from an upstairs window. Can we assume your husband is the lawn-obsessed guy?

  13. That’s too funny. I have a neighbor that mows like twice a week. Their lawn is always pristine. Our lawn, well, our lawn looks like the kids help. Cuz’ they do!

  14. I loved this: obligatory dude nod

    And the ending was fantastic! I love when fiction makes me laugh. The not-truth can be funny too — but everyone seems to forget that!

  15. I liked your “fiction.” I think everyone else covered any suggestion I would have. But mostly, I enjoyed the man-ness of this. That was right on.

  16. Wow…even the picture is so life like…like this story could be true…but it’s tottally not 😉

    • i know, right? I totally made this up! I have NO idea what it’s like to have neighbors like this guy and his shed. NO. IDEA.

  17. Funny. Very funny. I did get confused with the dialogue. At first I thought your husband was the annoying person (I wasn’t going to comment so that I couldn’t be named a co-conspirator in any divorse proceedings). Then I figured it out and laughed out loud. Woke up the baby. Under the she who wakes him takes him rule, you’ve got about an 18 hour drive ahead of you. Don’t worry, I’ll keep him up.

  18. Oh Katie, you’re too funny! What a mental picture I had…..and then, the actual picture. Classic!

    And you think you don’t have a fiction hat…..ha!

  19. “obligatory dude nod”–Love.

    The explanation for why he fires up the tools after dark…we call that Redneck logic ’round these parts. And yes, my neighbors do this. Often.

    Also loved the escalation of the “helpful boys” as they threw sand, jumped on the car, etc. Again, I believe you have been to my neighborhood.

    A little taste of the good life in the burbs, yes?