A wife and husband eat dinner together. Suddenly, they hear a scream. Their neighbor is in danger.
“You are my hero,” Mary says to her husband. “Be careful!”
Mary looks up at her husband. He is standing on a chair.
“Oh no. I can’t watch!” she says. She covers her eyes with her hands.
Her husband, Peter, is holding a tissue. “Don’t worry, dear.” He grabs the spider on the ceiling. He quickly jumps off the chair. He opens their apartment door and puts the spider into the hallway.
Mary opens her eyes. Peter comes back inside.
“OK. The spider is gone now,” says Peter with a big smile. “Let’s eat our dinner now.”
Mary hugs Peter. “You are so brave! I can’t get rid of spiders without you!”
They go back to the table and start eating dinner. “I love your corn soup, dear,” says the husband. He scoops some soup into his spoon. He brings the spoon toward his mouth.
Suddenly, they hear a scream. “AHHHHHH!”
Peter jumps in his chair. The corn soup spills from his spoon.
“What was that!?” asked Mary.
“I don’t know.” Peter grabs a tissue. He wipes the soup from his jeans.
“AHHH!” They hear another scream. It is a high pitched voice. A woman?
Peter and Mary live in an apartment building. The scream is coming from their neighbor’s apartment!
“Oh dear,” says Mary. “What’s happening? Is our neighbor in trouble?”
“Hmm…” Peter thinks. “Maybe she is watching a scary movie?”
Mary feels nervous. The scream was very loud.
They continue eating, but the screams start again.
“I can’t eat in peace. I feel so worried about the neighbor,” Mary says to Peter. “Let’s knock on the door. Ask if she is OK.”
“No, no,” says the husband. “I’m sure it’s nothing.”
Suddenly, they hear a bang. Something hit the wall hard. Another scream.
Now, Peter looks nervous, too.
“Please, Peter, be brave! Please go check on her!”
“OK,” Peter stands up. “I’ll go ask her if she needs help.”
He starts to walk toward the door.
Peter and Mary hear the woman’s screams again. And, they hear a man yelling. The man yells, “Don’t move! If you move, I will kill you!”
Peter stops. He turns and looks at Mary with wide eyes.
“Oh god,” says Mary, “something terrible is happening!”
Mary stands up, too. Mary and Peter put their ears against the wall. They listen to the neighbors.
There is a scream. The man says, “Get out! Get out or I’ll kill you!”
Mary’s heart is beating fast. She looks at her husband. He is sweating. A drop of sweat falls from his face.
“Peter, we need to call the police,” she whispers.
Peter runs to the living room. “Where is my cell phone?” He picks up the sofa cushions and searches.
“Oh god, oh god,” says Mary. She reaches into her purse and pulls out her cell phone. “Here! Use mine!” She tosses her cell phone to her husband. He calls the emergency number.
“Police!” He says into the phone. “We need the police! There is domestic violence! Come quickly! A woman is in trouble!”
Peter ends the call. He puts his arms around his wife. “Don’t worry. The police are coming.”
“I hope they come quickly.”
They hear more noises. Screams. Yells. Bangs.
“Peter! I can’t take it anymore!” says Mary. “We must do something! We must save her!”
Peter looks deeply into his wife’s eyes. She starts to cry. He nods his head. He goes to the closet and takes out a baseball bat.
“Wait here,” he says to his wife. He bravely leaves the apartment.
In the hallway, he sees his neighbor, Jerry. Jerry is walking quickly toward Peter.
“Hey Jerry!” says Peter. “What’s happening!?”
“I don’t know,” says Jerry, “but I can hear screams.” Jerry is holding a golf club.
Jerry and Peter walk to the noisy apartment. They put their ears on the door. They hear screaming.
“I called the police,” says Peter, “but they aren’t here yet.”
“I called, too,” says Jerry. “But I can’t wait anymore. Let’s kick in the door. Let’s save the woman!”
They count to 3. “One, two, THREE!” Together, they kick the door and it crashes open.
Peter and Jerry run inside. They hold up their baseball bat and golf club above their heads.
Inside the apartment, they see a man in the kitchen. He is holding a brown shoe in his hands.
“Stop!” yells Peter. He waves his bat with two hands.
“Don’t hurt the woman!” yells Jerry. He shakes his golf club.
The man looks at Jerry and Peter. He is confused. “What?”
“Where is the woman?” demands Peter.
“Woman? There is no woman. I live alone.” The man looks at them with wide eyes.
Peter lowers his bat and Jerry lowers his golf club. They look at each other. They are confused.
“I’m sorry,” says the man. “I was a little noisy.” He smiles and puts down his shoe.
“So… there is no woman?” asks Peter. “Then… Who was screaming?”
“Oh… sorry,” says the man. “It was me.”
Suddenly a police car arrives. A police officer walks into the apartment.
“What’s going on?” the police officer asks. He is wearing a blue uniform and his face is serious.
“Oh no, I’m sorry,” says the man. He puts his hands on his face. “Did you call the police because I was noisy?”
“No!” says Jerry. He waves his golf club. “We called because a woman was screaming!”
“No, no,” says the man. “I was screaming. There is no woman.”
“But…” says Peter, “We heard you say: ‘I will kill you.’”
The man blushes. “Yes, that’s true. But I wasn’t talking to a woman. I was talking to a spider.”
“What?” say the police officer, Jerry and Peter at the same time.
“Look,” the man points at the ceiling. “There is a spider. I’m trying to kill it but it’s so scary. I screamed a lot.” The man’s cheeks become red. He is really embarrassed.
Everyone looks up. There is a spider on the ceiling. It is black and has long legs.
Jerry jumps back. “A spider! Yuck!”
The police officer gasps, “Wow! It’s big! Kill it! Kill it!”
Peter walks to the kitchen counter. He takes a tissue from the box on the counter. He stands on a chair. Now Jerry and the police officer are screaming. He grabs the spider with a tissue and walks outside.
Peter comes back. “Do you have any other problems?”
“No,” say Jerry, the police officer and the man.
“Have a good day, men,” Peter says. He walks out to the hallway.
Peter goes back to his apartment.
“Is the neighbor OK?” asks Mary. She has tears in her eyes.
“Don’t worry,” says Peter. “I’m your brave husband. Of course, I saved the neighbor.”
They go back to the table and continue eating dinner.
This is an original story for level 1 readers. The writer is Judy Shinohara. A real news story inspired the idea.