He despised children. He sat there in the dark to make it look as though there was no one home. No need to encourage the little things to come up and knock on the door. He’d double-checked to make sure he’d lowered his garage door, didn’t even want to turn on the TV for fear it gave off too much light.
He’d never installed a doorbell, never saw the need for it. The original owner had mounted a big knocker on the door. The first thing he did upon moving in was crazy glue the knocker to the strike plate. If someone didn’t want to knock with their knuckles, then go away.
Halloween was his least favorite night of the year. There was way too much potential for strangers to get in your face, invade your space.
He looked at the clock. A quarter of nine. It was nearing the time where he could relax. The kids would be going home if they weren’t there examining their candy haul and stuffing themselves already.
All of a sudden there was a soft knock at the door. At first he wasn’t sure he’d actually heard it, but it happened again.
Go away, he thought. Please just go the hell away.
The tiny knock came again. Oddly, there was no call of “Trick or Treat” following it. Just the knock.
He stood up and crept to the window on the left side of the door. Pulling the curtain aside ever so slightly, he peered out onto the porch. He could see a tiny figure, but because the porch light was off, he couldn’t make it out clearly
For the fourth time the tiny knock came.
He tried telepathy. Go away, go away, go away.
The knock again.
Well, he had no candy because, of course, he never expected to give any out. Letting go the curtain, he stepped to the door and opened it.
There was no one.
Great, he thought gleefully, the kid had given up. But man, must be a track star to disappear so quickly.
Closing the door, he turned to head back to the couch.
The quiet knock came again. Again he went to the window, peered out. The tiny figure stood there.
Damn it. He jumped to the door and threw it open. Again, no one was there. He walked out onto the dark porch, looking around furtively for the tiny person. No one.
Angry now, he walked back into the house, slamming the door behind him. Throwing himself on his couch, irritated as could be, he swore softly.
Then the knock came again.
He leaped off the couch, ran to the door, and threw it open.
Of course there was no one.
This time he did not go out to look around. He felt uneasy. Closing the door, he threw the extra bolt, then went to sit down. He waited. And waited.
He began to relax, felt drowsy. Surely it was too late for anyone to be out now, especially a child of such a young age which this small figure undoubtedly was.
More exhausted by this odd occurrence than he would have thought, he walked upstairs and went to bed.
Sleep came quickly. He was dreaming about something, and all of a sudden the dream turned to the little knocking figure. The knocking was louder now. He dreamt he opened the door, but this time there was someone there. In the dark, he could not figure out who or what it was, but it was very big this time, much taller and broader than he, and even though he had the door wide open, he heard the soft knock again.
He woke with a start, listened in the darkness. It came again, the tiny knock at his bedroom door. Very tiny. It was almost too quiet to be real.