The neighbor to whose house Robert was running was named Rebbecca Smith. It should be mentioned that Robert had a particular fondness for Miss Smith. In point of fact, he found her delightful. Ever since meeting her when he had moved in two years ago, he had harbored a desire to get to know her well and, later, to become physically intimate with her. Unfortunately, Robert, though friendly, was not particularly sociable, and so Rebbecca had remained someone Robert waved to rather than conversed with.
Robert reached the front door of Rebbecca Smith’s house in record time and pounded frantically upon it. After what seemed like an eternity but was only a few seconds, a furious Rebbecca threw open the door. “What the hell do you want?” she bawled.
Ignoring her question, Robert shouldered his way into the house at a run, turned a tight circle around the bewildered Rebbecca, and slammed the door shut. “My refrigerator is after me!” he gasped.
Rebbecca stared at Robert in total bemusement. “What?” she said.
“My refrigerator is after me. It came to life and now it’s trying to kill me. I need to use your phone.”
“No time to explain. Where’s the phone?” Robert cried frantically. Through the small windows in the door, he could see the refrigerator emerging from his house and coming out onto the porch. It turned its ponderous bulk this way and that as though searching. Robert knew it was looking for him.
“Did you say your refrigerator was after you?” demanded Rebbecca.
“See for yourself,” Robert said, and pointed to the refrigerator that was now making its way carefully down the steps of Robert’s porch.
Rebbecca saw the refrigerator and blinked. “Well, I’ll be goddamned,” she murmured. She stared open-mouthed.
“Rebbecca,” Robert barked. She started and turned to him. “I need to use your phone to call the police–”
But at that moment, Robert was interrupted by a beer can that smashed through one of the windows in the door and clipped his nose. Apparently the refrigerator, which had now made the street, was a crack shot. Tiny shards of glass imbedded themselves in Robert’s face as his nose gushed blood. Robert went to his hands and knees and howled, clutching his broken nose. Rebbecca screamed and knelt beside him.
“Holy shit, are you okay?” she cried.
“We have to get out of here,” moaned Robert. He staggered to his feet, keeping one hand on his nose and pulling Rebbecca up with the other.
“I’m inclined to agree with you,” said Rebbecca. “Back door?”
“Yeah, where is it?”
They jogged quickly through the house to the kitchen. Robert half-expected Rebbecca’s refrigerator to have come to life, but it hadn’t. On his way past the sink, he grabbed a rag to put over his nose. Then they were outside.
“Where now?” said Robert.
“Your place?” Rebbecca suggested.
Robert shook his head. “I don’t want to chance it,” he said. “What if the dishwasher’s come to life?”
“Portman’s at home, I think,” said Rebbecca. “We can cut behind your house and use his phone.”
“Wait,” said Robert. “There’s no reason for you to be involved with this. I’m the one it wants.”
“I’m the one with a trashed front door,” said Rebbecca. “And besides, you need someone to get your back. Now come on.”
“No time to argue! Come on!” She started off towards Robert’s house at a jog. Shrugging, Robert followed.
Rebbecca reached the corner of her house and stopped to peer around it. “All clear,” she said to Robert who had come to a halt behind her. “You go, I’ll follow.”
“I still think you shouldn’t–” but Robert cut himself off at an angry glance from Rebbecca. He ran across the gap between his and Rebbecca’s houses, turned, and waited for Rebbecca to do the same. They stole through Robert’s back yard and into the Portmans’. Climbing the patio stairs, they knocked on the sliding glass door.
They were greeted by a very angry Mr. Portman. He slammed the door open and shouted at Robert, “What the hell is your problem, throwing beer at my house?”