A short story

Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.

It was a gentle but consistent knocking that could be heard at the door. No discernible rhythm. Not a parapa-pap-pap. Not a quick knock knock knock. Just a consistent tapping. And then it stopped.

Maya stared intently at the door, not quite sure what to do. It was way too late for anyone with good intentions to be knocking at her door, but it had been so insistent that it wasn’t the type of thing to ignore. She crept to the window and twitched the curtain ever so slightly out the way so she could catch a glimpse of the person at her door.

There was nobody there.

And then the knocking started again.

Maya opened the door to the emptiness, “What do you want?”

The emptiness didn’t respond. It just sat there, silent.

Maya shut the door and was about to walk back to her living room when the knocking returned.

Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.

She span around, flung the door open, and stared at the emptiness. She poked her head out of the door and yelled, “Very funny, now kindly fuck off!”

The emptiness didn’t respond, but her curtain twitched ever so slightly. Maya slammed the door shut and shuddered. Suddenly it felt very cold in the hall as if her hallway had become a walk-in freezer. She quickly rushed to her living room and grabbed a blanket. It was freezing in there too. She waited a minute. Then another. Then another. The knocking didn’t start again. She sighed and shivered, huddling the blanket even more tightly around her. She must have been imagining things.


That had come from her stairs.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Something was walking up her stairs.

Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.

She rushed back to the hallway to look and couldn’t see anything there, but the thudding continued.

Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.

She ran up the stairs after the thudding, but only got as far as the top step. The blanket was yanked in front of her, pulling her forward and sending her crashing head first into the step. She slid down a few steps before she was able to catch herself. Maya looked up and saw a hazy figure standing in front of her. “Who… are… you?” she panted as she tried to lift herself up.

The figure didn’t respond. It just stood there. Waiting.

Maya could feel blood dripping down her face, but when she put her hand to her forehead it was dry as a bone. “What… are… you?” she asked.

The figure remained silent but seemed a little less hazy.

Maya finally managed to get to her feet. “Get out of my house.”

A thin scratchy voice crackled from the figure, “Get out of my house.”

Maya nearly fell backwards in shock.

The scratchy voice got firmer, “Get out of my house. Get out of my house. Get out of my house!” It got louder and louder until it was almost a piercing shrill scream. And as it screeched the figure solidified into a young woman, only a year or two younger than Maya. She looked familiar somehow.

Maya slowly climbed a step towards the young woman. “This is my house, you are not welcome, now get out.”

The young woman glared with righteous fury, “This is not your house. You stole it. From me.”

Maya climbed another step, her hand clenching on the banister, “I did no such thing.”

“Your name is not Maya. You stole that too. From me.”

Maya’s jaw clenched, “Who are you?”

“The girl you murdered.”

The young woman flung herself into Maya and sent them both flying down the stairs. Maya’s head smashed against the radiator with an awful crunch. The room fell silent. The young woman vanished. Maya didn’t move.

Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.

The door opened.

A figure in black stood in the doorway, a ghastly smile on a skeletal face.