After a couple of weeks of some longer fiction, I am posting a much shorter piece for you this week, and at under 500 words, I think it may be the shortest yet. Although, I hope you still enjoy The Knock.
Every night there is a knock at the door. I stand up and answer it to find that no-one is there. A wisp of smoke dances in the moonlight, and the faint sound of my name echoes in the wind. I sigh and close the door.
As a spirit, Pete likes to remind me that he is always out there, always watching. Just as he was in life.
Over a year and a half has passed since I last saw him alive. We made love on the sofa. Pete ate a tuna melt Panini, and decided that we should go out for the night, have a game of pool, a couple of beers. But I was tired and in no mood to socialise. ‘You go,’ I said. ‘I’ll have a nice soak in the tub and an early night.’
At first he refused, not wanting to leave me alone, but I insisted. Why should he miss out because I was tired?
The first knock on the door came two hours later. I didn’t even know he was dead at the time. I rushed downstairs and opened the door to find nothing. I can’t say if I saw the mist that night. Only after a week did I understand the significance of the fog, its connection to Pete. But I heard my name. I called out into the darkness and told Pete to stop messing around, before slamming the door and going back to bed.
Come the next morning, Pete hadn’t arrived home. Even then I wasn’t worried. I put the kettle on for a cup of tea, put some bread in the toaster and made my way to work. I should have thought more about his absence, should have tried to check up on him, but my morning was worry free. Until, I passed the pick-up overturned in the stream.
I jumped out my car and into the water, not registering the biting cold. The window of the pick-up was smashed and through the gaping hole, I saw Pete, upside down and pinned in his chair by the seat belt.
I consider moving now and then, but I figure Pete will find me wherever I go. It’s not as though he hurts me. A knock and a call, just enough for me to know that he’s still around, still watching. Pete junior turns one next week. Perhaps, we will open the door together. Perhaps, Pete will see his son and know I am not alone, that it is safe for him to move on. Or perhaps, he will stay watching over us forever.