They had moved in only a month ago, when the house right across the street from him when up for sale. Mr. Levine remembered looking out his dusty window (which, no matter how hard he tried, never seemed to quite get clean anymore) and seeing the moving truck pull in the house’s driveway, the family following in a mini-van. Mr. Kaufman was a small, stout man with a comb-over and a tendency to act like a dad off of a sitcom. Levine could hear him all the time booming from outside of the Kaufman house into it, yelling for his wife that her muffins were burning or for his young son to clean up his toys. Mrs. Kaufman was always cheerful, but she would always look at Levine’s house in disgust, as if it were an eyesore, but Levine always kept his house modern and his yard clean. What was there to be disgusted with?
The son was a constant source of anger for Levine. Levine would constantly catch the son kicking up the grass by the curb in front of Levine’s house or peeking through the windows. Mr. Levine had tried to yell at him, but he would just look scared and run off. When Levine would go to the Kaufman house, banging on their door, nobody would ever answer, like he wasn’t even there! The entire family annoyed him to no end, and tonight (two days before Christmas), Levine had seen Mrs. Kaufman putting up his old Christmas decorations, stolen right out of his basement! His! As if he wasn’t even there, sitting in his armchair, living and breathing.
He tried calling the police, but his damn phone didn’t work. Nothing in his house was working anymore. He would try again in the morning, he was old and tired. Levine tucked himself into bed, and slowly his thoughts about Christmas drifted into a wonderful dreamland.
Mrs. Kaufman looked out of her upstairs window at the old Levine place. The place gave her the creeps. It had been abandoned, ever since Levine died in his sleep a while before they came to the neighborhood. Her husband had even bought some of his old Christmas decorations from a yard sale Levine’s kids had held.
“What are you looking at, dear?” her husband said from the bed.
“I thought I saw someone moving around in the Levine house, Gary.”
“What did I tell you? Nobody lives in that house ever since old man Levine died. Now stop trying to spook me, you’ll spook Junior if you’re not careful. Come back to bed, it’s not Halloween, it’s Christmas. Try and get in the Christmas spirit.”