Friday, March 1, 2013

"I'm at Your Front Door"


About an hour ago, Charlotte Hamm finally posted on her Facebook page.  It's not any type of direction, though, as I had hoped, but rather another short story.  I've copied it here.

"I'm at Your Front Door"
I sat in my living room, unable to move.  A few moments before, my phone had buzzed with a number I didn’t recognize and a text that simply stated “I’m at your front door”.  That wasn’t what had me spooked, though.  The knocking which had followed it was a far worse omen.  The creepy, metronome like rapping still ringing in my head, I hesitated to stand and see who might be waiting for me on the other side of the wooden barrier to my house.
Slowly I rose, but I had barely gotten to my feet when the phone in my pocket buzzed for a second time.  “I’m at your back door,” it proclaimed.  Then came the knocking again.  It lacked any sense of urgency, despite my previous disregard, but instead embodied a methodical sense of determination.  Whatever was out there wouldn’t simply give up and go away.  Though I already wanted it to very badly.
Maybe this was a prank.  I wanted to believe it was possible, but my mind told me otherwise.  I didn’t know anyone who would’ve thought a joke like this was “funny”, and besides, I was supposed to be out of town this weekend but had stayed when I came down with the flu.  No one knew I was even still at home.  Now I sincerely wished I wasn’t.

By now the knocking had stopped, but my heart was still pounding.  I stood there in one spot for several minutes, my neck craned to listen.  I couldn’t hear anything strange outside.  Gathering my wits and courage, I crept over to the window.  It was dark, but there was no evidence of anyone.  I still couldn’t bring myself to actually go to either door, though.
I almost jumped as the phone began vibrating for a third time.  Without even looking at it, I waited for the knocking.  It had returned to the front door now.  Frantically I cupped my hands over my ears, unwilling to hear the dreadful portent any longer.  But it reverberated through my very bones.

“What do you want?” I screamed to no one.  I felt silly for having done it, but at least my voice had drowned out the knocking for a few seconds.  Taking a deep breath, I walked towards the front hallway, but felt myself turning around before actually reaching it.  I began pacing, a million thoughts running through my mind.  But it was as if I were in a fog and couldn’t think straight.  I had to get out this situation, but there wasn’t any way to do it without opening one of the doors.  And the person outside would surely be at one of them.
As if by schedule, my phone buzzed again.  This time I read it out loud, “I’m at your back door.”  I had hardly breathed the words when the knocking started, confirming the text.  My opportunity fleeting, I sprinted for the front door and, without a thought, threw it open.

My porch was empty, thankfully, but the cold outside was staggering.  It was unnatural, as if I had stepped into a meat locker.  The very shock of it seemed to force the air right out of me, my breath producing a stream of crystalline “smoke” as I stumbled backwards.  Attempting to right myself, I realized the collision with this frozen wall had cost me my chance.  Clumsily, I kicked at the front door to close it again and fumbled with the lock before dejectedly crawling back into the living room.  This door I also barred, if for no other reason than temporary peace of mind.
Now it seemed as if I were trapped.  Even if I chose the right door to escape, there appeared to be something preventing me from leaving.  Silently I cursed my phone, though of course it wasn’t at fault.  In fact, as I sat there thinking, the likelihood it might actually save me became more apparent.  If all I had was the phone, then I should use it.  Removing it from my pocket, I resolved to call 911 and let the police come sort this out.
I quickly punched in the numbers before placing the receiver against my ear.  But nothing happened.  Shocked, I held the phone out to investigate but dropped it right away in sheer panic.  My hands shaking, I retrieved the phone, only to confirm what I had seen—the battery was dead!  But for how long?  Surely the texts had not come through while it was this way…
A chill ran down my spine as the seemingly worthless device in my hand once more pulsed to signal an incoming message.  Unable to resist, I reluctantly clicked on the text.  Though I felt sick as I read the words “I’m at your living room door”, it wasn’t until a moment later that the last of my resolve gave way and I began to weep.  That was when the knocking, close and deliberate, started.
This seems eerily similar to own experience as written about in my post The Visitor, but of course that didn't end with some sort of ghost or monster getting me.  Perhaps she is referring to the tattooed man I spoke of in my last post.  Or, of course, she might simply have posted a short story without any real meaning.  I'll have to think about what she might be trying (or not trying) to say.  Let me know if any of you have thoughts on it.

Until next time...