All Stories, General Fiction

Cul de Sac by Matthew Roy Davey

She was the last one to move in.  Most people moved in the day the builders handed the keys over, but her house stayed empty for a couple of weeks.  She was renting which probably explains it.  We still don’t actually know who owns the place, even after everything that’s happened.

She was certainly pretty, there’s no taking that away from her, and she was polite.  But not particularly friendly.  She didn’t come around for Christmas drinks at Elaine’s or come to Brian’s when he set up the Neighbourhood Watch.  That didn’t set any bells ringing, but it did raise a few eyebrows.  I think some of the women weren’t that keen.  She was pretty and she got attention, but that wasn’t really her fault, it wasn’t something she set out to do.  In fact, when she left the house, which didn’t happen often, she was usually in joggers and a hoodie.  No make-up.

It was the cars that kept turning up that made us wonder.  Posh cars – BMWs, Audis – that sort of things, and at funny times, day and night.  They’d pull into her drive and the man would get out, it was always a man, and head straight to the front door which she’d open without him having to knock.  I was the first to notice but when I mentioned it at the next meeting a few others said they’d noticed it but hadn’t really noticed it.  After that, they did start noticing it.

Brian started doing a bit of research online and, when he found out, he called an emergency meeting in his front room.  He had his laptop open and showed us what he’d found.  Luscious Lucinda.  That was what she called herself.  You never saw her face in the pictures, just her body, nice body it was, not too skinny, wearing slinky underwear and high heels.  In one picture she was draped over the sofa, in another she was bending over the kitchen table, then in yet another she was going up the stairs.  Everywhere but the bedroom come to think of it.  It didn’t leave much to the imagination.  My Justin wondered if she’d do a discount for locals.  I could have killed him.  A couple of the men laughed but I gave them a glare and that shut them up.  Cheryl wanted to know how we knew Luscious Lucinda was her next door when we couldn’t see her face.  Gareth suggested making an appointment and went very red when no-one spoke.  Right to the tips of his ears.  No need for that, said Brian tapping the screen, look at the house, look at the décor.  He was right, we all had the same beige carpet and magnolia walls that the builders put in.   And the layout of the house was the same, only the mirror of our house, but still, it was the same as Brian’s.  She had the lace curtains pulled so you couldn’t see outside but the clincher was the front door which she was opening starkers in one picture.  It had the same stained-glass panels as every house on the cul-de-sac.

We went over straight away, not all of us – me, Brian, Justin, Elaine, and Patsy – and told her she had to pack it in, that it wasn’t on in a quiet residential street.  First she acted all innocent but when Brian told her about his research she told us where to go in no uncertain terms.  Most unladylike.

It was Elaine’s idea.  Every time we saw a car pulling up we’d go out and take pictures on our phones and then stand outside banging pots and pans.  That dampened their ardour.  Cheeky bitch even called the police on us once.  Anyway, it did the trick and she moved out after a week.

I heard she’s doing the same thing in Droitwich now.  Brian found her.  I think he’s turning into a bit of a cyber-stalker.

A load of Asian lads moved in last week.  They keep themselves to themselves and don’t make any trouble.  No strange comings and goings.  Justin says they’re Vietnamese, though God knows how he knows that.  He said they won’t have any snow on their roof come the winter, whatever that means.  It’s probably something racist.


Matthew Roy Davey

Image By Alan Murray-Rust, CC BY-SA 2.0,



5 thoughts on “Cul de Sac by Matthew Roy Davey”

  1. Hi Matthew,
    I loved this!
    It was subtle and unnerving.
    Some would argue that this story is quite safe but it isn’t.
    You got the sense of *’acceptable suburbia’ across so well.
    The opposite ideas that you can see in this type of street was the crux of the story. The reader had the idea of a well adjusted community with all the same type looking out for each other. But there are undercurrents of intolerance, being judgemental, bigotry, racism, hypocrisy and every form of snobbery.
    Brilliantly observed.
    All the very best my friend.

    * Acceptable suburbia:
    Meaning – An area inhabited by a shallow bunch of wankers whose postcode means more to them than any form of individuality or honest humanity.


  2. Ah, well you don’t want the price of the houses going down, that is just not on. Mind you, I would rather have Luscious Lucinda living next door than the lot that have moved in – sounds like a Gunga Factory run by trafficked individuals.
    I loved the subtext in this as Hugh says it all.
    I enjoyed reading this as there was so much more behind the words.


  3. People do not like being compared to nature. But as certain bugs hang with certain bugs, certain birds with certain birds and bats with the same, we tend to be that way. Moreover, we aren’t all that far removed from tribal thinking; only nowadays strangers are more likely to be attacked with subtler clubs and stones. Well presented take on the theme. Unique.


  4. Well structured tale of suburbia. Who belongs and who doesn’t? Lucinda’s main flaw that she wasn’t discreet enough. I mean, the neighbourhood was zoned residential, not commercial. Funny ending; humorous look at human nature.


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