Knock, knock, knock

#horror #fiction #shortstory

Knock knock knock

 

“Who’s there?” he said. His heart leapt in his chest.

 

Knock knock knock

 

He needed to answer the door before the sound woke his wife, who was sleeping upstairs. It was well past three in the morning. Nobody should be knocking at the –

 

Knock knock knock

 

back door. People never went to the back door. There was no sidewalk, just yard. Not visible from the road. He was scared, but this wasn’t something that he could ignore. He had all the lights on inside the house, there was no fooling the visitor into thinking that nobody was home. He guessed that was why his mysterious visitor was so –

 

Knock knock knock

 

persistent.

He considered going to get his gun, but he was nervous, fearing he might shoot someone. He have never held a gun while his adrenaline was pumping, and he didn’t want to be a trigger happy lunatic. He decided for safety’s sake to grab the 12 gauge, rack it, and lean it against the wall behind the door so that when it opened, the visitor wouldn’t see it. If he needed it, he could pick it up quickly. The more actions he could place between –

 

Knock knock knock

 

a decision to kill, and actually killing someone, the better. He snuck upstairs to get the gun and his thoughts focused on the knocking. It was so consistent. It didn’t sound –

 

Knock knock knock

 

frustrated or impatient. It had almost a mechanical rhythm to it. It was the exactly the kind of knock one expected to hear from a family member or close friend right before they walked into your house. He loaded on shell into the empty gun, and placed several rounds in his pocket. Back downstairs –

 

Knock knock knock

 

he leaned the shotgun according to plan, then quietly slipped out the front door, and peeked around the side of his house. There was no one at the back door. He walked up to the door, checked the lock to make sure it was still secure. He walked all the way around his house, all the while checking out his yard and the surrounding woods, searching for the visitor. <em>He must have gone, </em>he thought to himself as he walked back inside, feeling the warmth of the kitchen, and safety in the glow of the lights.

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Knock knock knock

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He thought about ignoring it and wondered how much of that impulse was fear. The irritation welling up is what finally gave him the nerve and strength to yank the door open.

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Knock knock —

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“What —“ he began to say, but realized that things weren’t quite right. His eyes showed him a hooded figure, but that is not what was standing there in totality. His mind superimposed the hooded image with an all-encompassing vision. He saw his own evil, negativity, irritability, everything that he was, everything that he had done that was not good. He saw himself yelling at his wife for saying something harmless that he had twisted in order be offended. He saw his sister dead at the bottom of the stairs that he threw her down when they were kids. When it happened, she got up and told their mother, but in this vision she didn’t get up. He saw himself taking a twenty out of the drawer at the donut shop he worked when he was a kid, stealing it to buy cigarettes. He didn’t see these things inside his head; he saw them in this figure at his back door.

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The visions locked him in. He saw himself driving the borrowed family car around his high school parking lot, the needle approaching 80mph, he saw a young boy stepping out in front of him, killing the boy. <em>That never happened</em>, he thought, <em>I drove the car fast, but I hit a street sign, not a person. I’ve never killed anyone. </em>Breaking into a house with his friends, stealing 8mm reels of pornography, hoping that his father’s old projector still worked. Putting a brick on the railroad tracks with his friend. He remembered the huge sound it made and how much it had scared them, but in this vision the train derailed, killing everyone on board, and his friend laying dead next to him with a piece of bleeding brick embedded where his nose and left eye should have been. Killing a baby rabbit in the backyard with his slingshot, feeling horrible as he watched the creature in the throes of death and not having the balls to finish it off. Just watching.

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“I’m not that bad, not evil, not all of that really happened,” he shouted at the figure. <em>I’m a good person</em>, he tied to convince himself as he quietly closed the door.

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Knock knock knock

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“What do you want,” he said as he opened the door again. “Who are you? This is my house. Go away.”

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He shut the door.

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Knock knock knock

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Praying that he wasn’t going insane, praying that this wasn’t some trick of the mind, he picked up the shotgun. He opened the door and fired the gun, directly at the head of this creature, from less than one foot away. Its head disappeared in the blast, and the rest faded away. He waited for his wife to wake up and ask what was going on. He watched the figure disappear, and closed the door.<em> I suppose I could tell here that there was a bear. That’s it. I’ll tell her that there was a bear or something from the woods and it was getting too close to the house and I had to fire the gun to scare it off. </em>He prepared his story, but she didn’t –

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Knock knock knock.

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wake up.

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He checked his shotgun. There was a shell in it already. He traced his steps.<em> Went upstairs, checked on my wife and put a couple more shells in my pocket. Back at the door, and at my gun, I pulled out a shell to load it.</em> There was already a fresh round in the shotgun. <em>Huh. I must have put two in,</em> he thought.

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He opened the door, and the figure was back. Visions. Smoking in the woods at thirteen years old, kicking his mother when he was five. Stealing books from the library. Destroying a bike he found outside his high school. He pulled the trigger. Watched the head explode, closed the door.

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Knock knock knock

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He opened the door grabbed the gun, meaning to put a shell in, and saw that there was already one in the chamber again. <em>I know I didn’t put three shells in this, </em>he thought<em>. Odd. </em>Pulled the trigger. This time he didn’t close the door, he just waited. He stood there with the door open for probably an hour, maybe an hour and a half. He looked at his watch. 3:23. <em>That can’t be right either. Shit. </em>

<em> </em>

With the door still open, he continued to stare at the watch. It stayed at 3:23 a.m. It didn’t change. He inspected his gun. There was still a round in the chamber.

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He closed the door.

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Knock knock knock

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He walked upstairs and checked on his sleeping wife, kissing her forehead. Back downstairs, he sat down on his couch, considering. There had to be a way out of this situation. <em>Maybe in the morning, I could….there’s not going to be a morning, he realized. Should I keep killing this thing? Will it accomplish anything?</em> In stories, this is where people will kill themselves, but he knew he wasn’t

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Knock knock knock

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that type of guy. Not yet. He opened the door, and shot the thing again, center mass this time instead of the head. Like it would do something.

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Knock knock knock

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He went upstairs to bed and lay down next to his wife. She put her arms around him and snuggled up to in her sleep.

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Knock knock knock

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He looked at the clock. 3:24. He looked at his watch. 3:23. <em>Damn.</em>

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Knock knock knock.

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He slept for a long time and awoke refreshed, but also awoke to darkness. 3:23 a.m. He went back downstairs.

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Knock knock knock.

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He shot the thing a few more times, just for the hell of it. He wan’t wasting ammo, it was the same shell.

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Knock knock knock

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Knock knock knock