Note: WHO IS KNOCKING AT THE DOOR is a suspense thriller short story. The short story is purely fictional and if it matches someone else content it is a coincidence. All rights are reserved to dribblingthoughts.com and Naz Khaliq. You can share your thoughts in the comment section.
Who Is Knocking At The Door ?
“Doors are cracking, trees leaves are rustling, darkness has prevailed and the wind is blowing” he reads and then shrieks loudly.
“What are you trying to do Arnold?” says Peter by giving him shocking expressions.
“Oh, it is in every horror story,” Arnold says defensively.
“Arnold, they make it up to attract the audience. Old houses’ doors always give this cracking sound when there is the wind blows outside and trees’ leaves rustle due to this. Those who live in these old houses are used to it. There is nothing to be dramatic or afraid of. It’s all the mind game Arnold”. Peter in his usual serious tone tries to perform his duties, as Arnold is his younger brother.
“No, but I am thinking, what if there are ghosts out there as they are shown in movies. What if this house is also haunted although I never witnessed anything I am just saying”. Arnold seems excited and looks around the house by trying to open his eyes wider. He continues, “Ghosts are also a very cruel creature, they are always on a mission to take revenge from humans.” Arnold seems to be so interested in this ghostly topic and it is clear that he is not ready to leave the conversation any soon.
“Oh, Arnold you always make me afraid and anxious about those things that do not exist. These are some creatures that can be only found in movies and these are just fictional stories nothing else”. Peter speaks in an irritated tone.
“Peter, you know the exorcism also look very horrifying. Have you ever seen someone’s exorcism? I am sure only strong-hearted people can look at that terrifying process” Arnold further explains it and is persistent on his beliefs.
Peter: “No, I have not. Because there are no ghosts out there and there is nothing like an exorcism”.
Arnold in his amusing voice: “You know what Peter, there is nothing new in ghost stories neither in movies nor in books. Firstly, everything starts with darkness and includes abandoned houses in some deserted place. Secondly, a family who is unable to find a house in the whole world and come to this deserted place. Thirdly, there is a series of horrible and frightening incidents in the whole movie or drama. In the end, only a few humans survive. However, ghosts are still there. They do not die.”
“Why people die and ghosts are always there, alive and ready to ruin someone else’s life? This is not fair Peter.”
Peter: “Maybe because they are already dead and non-existent. Moreover, if they do not show the cruelty and the horror of ghosts no one is interested in their stories. The audience loves to watch horror if there is blood, pain, punishments, depressing situations and death. Let it go, man, you should stop thinking about these things and sleep. The more you talk about these non-existing creatures, the more you will think that everything around you is related to a ghost.”
Arnold moves towards his room by thinking about the ghost stories. He looks around his house but shrugs his shoulders and tries to concentrate on other things. “Perhaps the ghost ideas are messing up my brain, and Peter is right everything is looking ghostly” he smiles and closes his eyes. The next morning on the breakfast table, Arnold is looking around his house. Peter notices and asks him, “What are you looking Arnold, there is nothing new in our house”.
Arnold in deep thoughts asks him, “When we will renovate our house, this seems so old and it gives me negative vibes”.
“We will, when after vacations I will go to work and earn something,” Peter nods in affirmation. “The walls have turned black, now we will paint it into something colourful, Arnold enthusiastically remarks and start thinking about the colour scheme.
Peter and Arnold both are living in this house for quite a long time. They preferred to live in this house even after their parents’ death. Firstly, this house is the memory of their parents and secondly, they do not have any other options as Peter has a low income and Arnold is still studying. Arnold is a person who thinks about everything around him and then asks many questions about it and this sometimes irritates Peter.
Arnold: “I am thinking that we are together for many years. You are always with me and never go anywhere”.
Peter: “But this is the good thing right that we are always together”.
Arnold: “Yes, but we never left the house because of bad weather and it’s been a while”. We even do not have any visitors after our parents’ death. We have no friends that can visit us. All my school friends have also stopped to visit.”
Peter: “No one can come because of the bad weather. Communication sources are also disconnected. Do not worry about these things. We are both stuck in this house for many weeks. There is nothing odd in it, many years ago when you were a child, the same thing happened. The weather was the same as it is now”.
Arnold: “Sometimes I think we should leave this house and settle somewhere else where the weather would be better. Here, it feels like we get up every day and have nothing to do. There is no activity here”.
Peter: “you are talking, as you were very active before this weather. You were always a lazy ass”. Peter laughs. “We are brothers Arnold, we should be together and we are together”. Peter laugh turns into his usual seriousness.
Arnold: “It is alright unless you are a ghost, Peter. What if, you would be a ghost, living here in this haunted house?”
Peter: “What is this non-sense Arnold”!
Arnold starts laughing by holding his stomach and says this is just a joke, you idiot. Peter gives him a serious look and asks Arnold to go to his room and study.
After Arnold departure, Peter hears the doorbell. Someone is on the door how it is possible, Peter thinks and get worried. No one could come to meet them due to this bad weather for a long time. Even people did not come to console him after his parent’s tragic death.
Peter opens the door. The visitor is standing there and looking here and there. He seems to be in a hurry. However, when the door opens, he quickly turns his back and goes away. Arnold is standing on the stairs and asking Peter who is it.
Peter: “I do not know, some stranger was here but he was in a hurry so he quickly departed. Maybe he was here to ask about someone’s address but he did not say anything”.
Arnold: “you should welcome him in, we never got any visitors”.
Peter: “It’s ok Arnold, he was in a hurry. Better luck next time”, he shrugs his shoulders.
The stranger name is Harry who lost his way due to fog at night. He just visited Arnold and Peter house and is now running on the road. It seems someone is after him, he is sweating instead of cold weather and his heart seems to be beating out of his warm clothes. On the cold, barren way, finally, he meets a man. Harry explains something to him and the man raises his eyebrows.
The person, who Harry meets on the road, asks him “What are you trying to say, man, I guess you should go to your home and take a rest. This is not your fault, this cold weather is making everyone insane”.
“But I am telling you, sir, when I knocked at the door, the door opened but there was no one.” The man says to him that perhaps no one lives there and the door opened and closed due to wind.
Harry prefers to remain silent because he knows if he continues the conversation, he will be tagged as insane and perhaps someone will admit him to a mental hospital. Harry tries to gather his senses and thinks that he should ask this man to give him someplace to rest at night.
He looks in front of him and opens his mouth to say something. However, his mouth remains open in shock and his eyes seem, as they will be bulged out. The man, who he was talking to a few minutes ago, is not there anymore. He quickly looks in every direction. There is no one on the road, and it seems as no one ever visited this place. He says to himself, “how it is possible for a human to disappear in less than a second! Harry the only way to survive is, not to be unconscious otherwise you are dead and no one will ever know about your existence”.
He gathers his courage by thinking he is not going to talk to anyone until he will reach out of this place. He starts running as fast as he can by thinking that this is just his hallucination, and he is getting insane because of this cold weather.
The next day, Peter is listening to Arnold who is telling him that he is waiting that the weather will be changed for good, then vacations will end and they will be able to go outside.
Peter answers that their vacations have extended so Arnold should concentrate on activities that can be performed inside of the house. He should concentrate on his studies and polish his writing skills.
Arnold does not like it, but he likes to write and there is no other option for him. He asks Peter to show him his sketchbook as Peter also draws in his free time. Peter goes upstairs to bring his old sketchbooks to show Arnold. Meanwhile, the doorbell rings. Arnold gets very excited to hear the sound of the bell, as it can be the sign of someone’s visit.
Arnold is standing at the door and before Peter could reach him, he starts talking to a stranger there. Peter quickly comes to Arnold and says to him that he is unable to find his sketchbook and Arnold should go and check in his room if Peter left it there. Arnold offers the stranger to come inside however Peter step forward and stand in place of Arnold.
Peter closes the door and sighs coldly. Arnold is standing behind him and asks him why he did not ask the stranger to come inside. It is so cold outside and Peter should learn some etiquette. Peter says calmly, that man was in a hurry, he just came in the wrong direction.
Arnold says hopelessly, “Why do people only come to their house to ask someone else’s address. Why do people forget their way and come here where they are not supposed to come”. Peter put his hand on Arnold’s shoulder and says in a serious tone, “I am also thinking that people should not forget their address and come to the wrong place”.
Behind the closed door, the stranger is standing in shock. His body is shaking and sweating. He thinks for some moments but his mind is blank. After a while, he gathers his strength, starts running in the opposite direction of the house, and soon finds a road. Some people voices reach his ears. He reaches out there and feels relief a little bit by hearing people voices. It is some kind of Inn and people are eating and drinking in cold weather. The stranger tells the whole story to the men out there.
He tells them that when he knocked at the door, the door opened, but there was no one, and after some minutes, the door shut automatically. However, he felt that there was someone, he felt someone’s presence there.
The whole crowd looks at him and thinks he is some insane person. Some men say, oh, that would be because of cold wind blowing. It would be some barren house. It is not a strange thing that door opens and shut due to wind. Even windows make horrible cracking sounds due to this wind. Moreover, this cold weather is making everyone insane.
However, there are few men sitting at a table, who seem to be hunters. One of them says, “We have explored this whole area for hunting, “Sir! The problem is not that no one was standing there when the door opened. The thing is, there is no house out there, and if there is no house, then it is obvious there cannot be a door”.
The stranger looks at them with disbelief. He drinks hot soup and prefers to leave the Inn as soon as possible in order to reach his destination. It is dark outside but he wants to get rid of this place before morning.
After closing the door of Inn behind him, for a second he turns. He looks and falls unconscious. There is nothing behind him, neither a door nor an Inn.
(What do you think, this is some psychological thriller or there is horror involved in it? Human minds can play these kind of games or there are supernatural elements playing with humans? You can share your thoughts)