Who’s There?

This is a bit rough, but here is a bit more of “Knock Knock.” I will take the rest of the month to finish this. It may be novella length possibly. 

Thanks so much reading. It means the world to me!

If you like to read the first part, here it is: Knock Knock.

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Kate rushed towards the door with her dad’s arm caught in her midsection. Her arms flailed like she was singing a hallelujah chorus, pushing, pushing, and then she surrendered to her knees.

 “Just answer it. God, he’s probably gone by now,” said Kate, hastily.

 “Who? Who’s gone?”

 “I don’t know! Whoever.” She threw open the door. Again the familiar absence like an empty seat to unpopular event. The storm, or whatever it was, had rolled by.

Disappointment set it and all three hobbled back to their seats before the large-screen TV, stilled to a couple ready to embrace or ensnare, an interpretation up for grabs. Kate’s mood hungered for an embrace, while Kyle was punching at the bit. Faye un-paused the movie to a couple embracing followed the woman delivering a fierce slap to the guy’s face.

Kate sighed.

A knock. Another knock.

“Not again.” Faye shivered.

All eyes on the door, twitching uncomfortably in their seats. Kyle grabbed a bat out of the closet before looking in the peep-hole. He opened the door to his neighbor Roy, a likeable fellow who usually minded his own business, sipping a coke.

“Hey, there,” he said, swallowing again. “Just wanted to let you know, I’m having some guys over tomorrow to do some work on a fence.”

Faye and Kate wandered to the door to get a glimpse of him and waved politely, content this was a familiar person at their doorstep, even though they rarely saw him. They resumed their TV watching positions on the couch.

“Oh, sure,” Kyle said. It was difficult to look past him without staring at his wide chest. “You haven’t been over before, have you? Uh, tonight,, I mean…earlier?”

“Me? No,” Roy shook his head. “Just got home, in fact,” he said, feeling the need to prove his innocence.

With the momentum of movie-watching suspended, Faye looked for more snacks in the kitchen, while Kate did what she had been aching to do all night, call her boyfriend.

She dialed. “Hi,” Kate said, breathlessly. Faye always knew she was talking to her boyfriend, Jake. “Jake the Rake,” Faye called him, because it annoyed the hell out of her sister.

Faye mouthed to her, “The Rake.”

Kate waved her hand away at Faye, who sat the kitchen table eating a cookie with milk, eyes milling about the room. A sudden flicker outside held her gaze steady, and there in the window in the darkness was a floating head, his eyes aglow and his mouth upturned in an ever-widening grimace.

Screaming, Faye dropped her milk, the glass crashing, splashing white liquid all over the floor.

“What happened Faye?” Kyle ducked his head in the kitchen. “What is it with the milk tonight, huh? You guys can’t keep this stuff in the glass.”

“It was a head!’ Faye paralyzed with fear, pointed out the window.

“Huh?” Kyle wandered over to the closet to return the baseball bat, intent on his next task of cleaning the kitchen floor.

“Oh, Faye. What have you done now?” Kate sauntered into the kitchen, glowing from her recent exchange with Jake. “Oh, honey,” she started mopping up the mess with a nearby dish towel.

Meanwhile Faye’s skin resembled a pasty, milky white, stuttering and pointing at the window while her sister had only Jake on the brain, replaying their conversation in her mind. She had mentioned the knocking to Jake, but they had quickly re-steered the conversation to tomorrow’s plans.

“Look, look, look,” she whispered, barely audible.

“C’mon. Let’s just watch the movie. And no more milk for you, young lady,” Kyle said. He patted her on the head.

Faye clutched her dad’s hand, spooked. She knew what she saw, and it’s not like you saw a floating head everyday. It had a mealy quality with a cut down one cheek, and it smiled at her. Removing herself from the kitchen, she temporarily erased the moment from her mind, craving solace in the blankets of the couch. It was her wild imagination at work, her dad always told her. She threw the blankets over her head.

“Pass me that pop corn will you?” Faye said, peeking from under her blanket.

“All out,” her sister teased. “Looks like you ate it all.”

They rejected the idea of getting up, and sat there, popcorn-less, and the possibility of a movie an unending task with little reward.

“It was just Roy at the door, kids,” Kyle announced, ruffling the blanket on Faye’s head. “He’s a nice guy.”

Indeed, Roy’s appearance marked an end to the door knocking. A human had appeared on the other side. The next time someone knocked, another one would take his place. Or, maybe he’d return with more information about the work over at his house. A stony silence fell upon them as if they were now depleted of energy, or maybe it was the chili settling in.

Except for Faye, shaking under her blanket. When once again, they heard a sharp at the door, Faye belted out a sudden scream.

“Faye, no. It’s okay,” Kyle came to her side, and held her. “We’re not even going to answer that. We’re watching a movie, and don’t want to be bothered,” he said to Faye, following by a quick once over of his surroundings. “I have my eye on you,” he said now to the walls. This did nothing to restore Faye’s confidence. Kyle told her to breathe, and breathe again. Faye nodded at him, and forced a smile.

Then like a soft rumbling of horses galloping closer and closer, an incessant pounding ensued.

“We’re not answering it, girls.” Silence. “Do you hear me?” Kyle focused on the door. “We don’t want you here.”

In response, a clicking sound on the other side of the door.

Click, click. Fingernails on glass.

A shuffling of a deck of cards. A bridge of fluttering wings.

Randomizing. Merging. Finalizing.

Rolling over, and a thinning slice, slice, slice.

Rolling, slicing.

Rolling, slicing.

Cut. Cut. With a knife.

Again, each time louder and heavier. Cycle, repeat.

Faster, rolling and slicing, tumbling on top of each other, until it is one massive distorted wall of sound trampling upon the door.

“Make it stop,” Faye said. “Answer it. Open the door.” She covered her ears with hand, and belted a piercing scream.

“No. Ignore it,” Kyle said.

Kate called her boyfriend, but lost her signal. She pounded the phone against her palm and then threw it at the floor.

“A lot of good that’s going to do,” Kyle said, his frustration showing through. But then the knocking stopped. They all looked at each other, and froze, afraid to make the slightest sound lest it start the whole cycle again.

“Maybe it wants us to pound back. Maybe that’s what it wanted,” Kate offered, and as ridiculous as it seemed, no one dared dispute it.

“Shh,” Kyle laid his chest on the floor and looked under the door for shadows.

“What are you doing, daddy?” Faye spoke up, and latched on to Kate’s hand.

“Nothing there.”

“Right. Really? C’mon, dad. How can you say that?” Kate said under breathe, close to blowing her stack. “We all heard it.”

The longer they stood in front of the door, the closer they huddled together, shuffling into a circle.

“Why don’t we just leave the house,” Kate said. “We could call the cops and just, just, we could go. They could bring guns.”

“And shoot at what?” Kyle paused. “And tell them what? An invisible psycho is knocking on our door?” As soon as he said it, he wanted to take it back. He had to be tough for his girls, but what he didn’t tell them was that his body temperature rose the closer he got to the door; startled by droplets of sweat falling to the floor, not knowing what they were at first. So far, his girls had shown no sign of the onslaught of heat. Faye even shivered as if she were cold.

“I want to get the hell out of here, dad,” Kate said. “Get your keys, and let’s go.”

“The floating head,” Faye screamed. “I’m not going.”

“There is no floating head, Faye,” Kate said calmly. “Your mind is playing tricks on you. That’s all.” She pulled Faye into her belly and held her there.

Faye pulled away. “I’m not going out there.”

With all the confusion, no one mentioned that the knocking has ceased. Kyle’s head felt like it was on fire, smoldering with each passing minute of silence. In the kitchen, he searched for his keys, raking the counter clear with his arm. No keys, no wallet. No keys in the living room. He paced madly to the back of the house, tossing clothes and papers in searching, but not really looking at anything. His brain on fire, his mind adrift.

Kate turned off the TV and tried her phone once more, and nothing. “Dammit.”

Her father’s shrieking could be heard from the back of the house, and then it sounded like he must have turned on the shower. Fear gripped her insides, gnawing at her to flee, try the door. Go ahead, try it. Turn the knob, and everything will be fine. It was the ultimate test. If she could open the door with no interference of any kind, then the force had left them. If she heard one more knock it might send her over the edge. She hesitated before reaching out, and reaching again. She had to know.

She clutched the knob, and turned it, and got nothing. She turned it again, and tugged at the door. She slapped the door with her palms until they burned and she fell at the base of the door, tears streaming down her face.

“It’s a dead end.”

 

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25 thoughts on “Who’s There?

  1. It’s disturbing. I like the way we see something wrong through the youngest, then it’s reinforced by the older ones.
    I’d love to see this after you work out the roughness you see.

    Like

    1. Thanks, Guapo. The fact that you think it’s disturbing means I’m doing something right. 🙂 I say rough because I don’t know which direction I’m heading. I have a couple ideas. I don’t think I’ll know what feels right until I write it. I will keep you posted! Thanks for reading.

      Like

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