Andrew Glass was a quiet man. He had a couple of friends, but they all lived blocks away, and his best friend lived on the other side of town. His neighbors though, didn’t like him at all.
Andy lived in a house that used to belong to his great grandparents, but the Basher family had been staying there for a long time before he moved back into it. Now the Bashers were angry. They hadn’t wanted to leave the house, and in the end, Andy had to call the police and force them out.
Because of the animosity, Andy had all kinds of arguments with the Bashers. The Bashers, who owned the houses on either side of Andy’s, would stand in their yards yelling, “We want our house back,” as they threw rocks at him over the fence.
“It’s not your house,” Andy would say to them, ducking to avoid the rocks, “It’s mine. You were just staying here while my family was gone.”
Andy often had to sleep under his bed because of the constant barrage of rocks that broke the windows in his house, and clattered to the floor all over his room. One time, the Bashers got so violent that the police even kicked them out of their houses next door, and some of Andy’s family members moved into them to keep the Bashers from moving back.
This angered the Bashers even more, and the constant barrage of rocks got worse. Every day, members of Andy’s family got hit by the rocks. Whenever Andy went to work, or shopping, or to the park, he had to be very careful because the Bashers would hide around corners and behind cars, just waiting to jump out and attack him.
Andy wasn’t an easy target though. Even though he was quiet by nature, he was very strong. In a face to face fight with any of the Bashers, Andy would probably win. The Bashers knew it, so they usually attacked from afar, hurling their rocks, and running away. Sometimes Andy would call the town council and report them, but nothing ever happened. The attacks kept coming, one after the other.
The Bashers also called the town council, but they told them that Andy was a bully. They accused him of being the one that attacked them, and accused him of stealing their house, and the houses next door, even though Andy’s family had owned their home for generations, and his family members were only staying in the houses next door so they could protect themselves from the constant attacks. The town council felt sorry for now homeless Bashers, and talked Andy into letting the Bashers move back into one of the next door houses. Andy cautiously agreed, hoping that by giving them back the house, his family would get a little peace.
The peace didn’t last for long though, and soon the Bashers started using the house next door to launch their attacks anew. Andy called the town council and said, “I told you that I shouldn’t have given them the house back, now they’re throwing rocks at us from right next door again.”
Some members of the town council, who were also friends with the Bashers, were less than supportive. “Maybe you should give them the other house back,” one of them suggested. “If you do, I promise they will quit throwing rocks at you.”
“Fine,” Andy said. “I’ll give them back the other house, but if they keep throwing rocks at me, I’m going to get angry.” He gave the other house back to the Bashers, hoping that the town council was right and that the Bashers would be happy enough to leave him alone, but, once again, the Bashers wanted more. Soon, the rocks were flying. Again.
“We want our house back,” they screamed at Andy from next door. “We won’t rest until every last Glass has been run out of town!”
One of the town councilors advised, “You know, they lived in your house for a long time. If you gave them the West wing of the house, I promise that they would be so happy that they would never want to fight with you again.”
“I don’t think so,” Andy replied. “They will just bring a whole bunch of rocks into the house and throw them at me.”
“Oh, just give it a shot,” cooed the councilors, “what could it hurt?”
“Fine,” Andy said once again. “They can have the West wing of the house, but they better stop throwing rocks.”
Soon, the Bashers had moved into the West wing of the house and for a while, they were quiet. Then a few of them started yelling at Andy down the hall, “Get out of our house Andy. We live here!” Not long after, the rocks started flying again. A few of the Bashers even snuck into Andy’s part of the house and threw rocks at his kids.
Andy barricaded the hallway that lead to the West wing, and then called a the town council and asked, “What should I do now? I gave them back the house next door, and it wasn’t enough. I gave them back the other house, and it wasn’t enough. Now I’ve given them a whole wing of my house and they are throwing rocks at me again. What should I do?”
“Just be patient, Andy,” said the councilors. “They aren’t very good at throwing rocks anyway. Just ignore them and they’ll quit throwing rocks…eventually. We promise.”
“Alright,” Andy answered, “but I can’t put up with this for long.”
For days, rocks flew over the barricade from the West wing, and clattered through the house. For days Andy and his family ignored them. One time a rock that had been thrown by a Basher man fell short of the barricade and hit a Basher child. “Damn you, Andy! That was your fault,” the Basher man yelled. “You’ll pay for that!” Even more rocks followed, and Andy feared the worst.
Then, late one night, it happened. One of the rocks that was thrown over the barricade hit Andy’s dad in the head and knocked him out. It pushed Andy over the edge. “Enough,” he yelled! He gathered up all the rocks he could find, tore through the barricade and started throwing them at every armed Basher he could find. He went room to room, and every time he found armed Bashers, he pelted them with rocks, beaning each one in the head and laying them flat.
Andy yelled for his family to join him as he marched through the West wing of the house, bashing one Basher after another with rocks, and chasing them out into the yard. “No more,” he yelled! “If you want to throw rocks at me, fine! I’ll throw them back!”
“Wait! Wait!” The town councilors, who had rushed over to Andy’s house, were frantic. “You can’t do that! You can’t go into their part of the house! You can’t throw rocks at the Bashers! They didn’t mean anyone any harm! You’re being a bully! You’re trespassing! We demand that you stop this right now!”
Andy paused for a moment, considering. “You know,” Andy said, “you told me to give them back one house, and I did. You told me to give them back the other house and I did. You told me to give them part of my house, and I did. I’ve done everything you’ve asked trying to appease them. Despite all of your promises, the Bashers never stopped throwing rocks. If you want the Bashers to live in your house, you’re welcome to them, but I’ve had enough. One of us is leaving the neighborhood tonight, and I don’t think it’s going to be me.”
Andy turned his back on the town council, picked up some more rocks, and marched out into the yard, scattering Bashers as he went. If the town council wasn’t going to help him, he was damn sure going to help himself.