This isn’t right! This is unfair! This shouldn’t be happening. Why? The knocking won’t stop. It’s still there at the door. Incessantly knocking, knock-knock-knock-knocking. The thing wants in. It wants in. I can feel it. How did this come to be? It’s a myth, folklore, a tourist attraction. Why didn’t I listen?
A mystical door that stands upright by itself in a creepy, abandoned playground. The door has always been there and even the playground simply appeared one day. It’s all a complete mystery. The equipment is rusted and decayed: the slide is twisted out of shape, one end of the seesaw is splintered off, the jungle gym is mangled and bent, and there are forgotten toys strewn everywhere. The bizarre door is the worst.
A physical impossibility, this dark purple door has a painted on door knob. Disturbing shadows wriggle and squirm across the door. What is truly unnerving is when you see the door shudder because it looks like the door is breathing. Have you ever seen a door breathe? You don’t. The local myth goes that there is some unspeakable horror that waits on the other side of that eerie, purple door. The thing has one desire and that’s to get in. It wants in. A presence is felt on the other side of the door. People hear something scratching behind the door, clawing for a way in. Occasionally sickening thumps are heard like a body being slammed into the door. The whispers though, are what did me in.
An unintelligible, non-human mumbling crawls through the playground and it sounds muffled as if something is speaking through the door. The rule is you can never answer. Do not call out to it, don’t respond. Acknowledge it and the thing becomes aware of you. So sickening what happens to the victims, they- Why did I respond? Stupid! I saw the painted on door knob turn. The paint turned! I scurry back to the hotel at the sight. Back in my hotel room the knocking begins. A purple glow shines underneath the door. Shadows writhe and dance in the unnatural luminescence. The knocking becomes more aggressive. I look through the peephole and see no one. A jarring thud startles me back from the door but not before…
I saw a face, I think it was a face, at least the mouth. A horrid, misshapen mouth with gray bloated fish lips, human teeth lining along the roof of the mouth, the sides of the cheeks, and multiple rows on the bottom. The teeth are everywhere and a thin black tongue darting to and fro. I couldn’t see beyond the mouth. All those teeth! Too many teeth. The knocking is louder, pounding at my patience, my mind, my sanity. The image of those repulsive teeth is suction cupped to my eyeballs. I gag. My eyes water, throat tightens. Oh those teeth. Those teeth! I can’t stop gagging. I crouch down and inhale deeply.
I hear soft taps on my door. A voice speaks up. “Hello? Hello. Is anybody there? Please let me in. I’m lost.” A child, sounds like one.
“Help me. Help me please. I’m scared. Let me in,” the young girl pleads. I stand up and start towards the door. Tap-tap-tap. My hand halts before the door knob. A child? Tap-tap-tap. Here? At my room? This does not add up. Tap-tap-tap. I check the peephole. I only see the silhouette of the girl. “Let me in.” Tap-tap-tap. Where is the rest of her? Why do I only see her shadow? My breathe hitches and I angle for a better view. “Let me in, let me in, let me in…” I back pedal from the door. That isn’t right, not possible. Children can’t do that. That is not a shadow of child.
The girl’s silhouette had lost its shape. Her form twitched then turned into long crooked fingers rising up and lowering back down to resume the shape of a young girl. This thing is doing a shadow puppet of a girl. I’m on the verge of hysteria, the laughter is bubbling up but I swallow it back down. I feel unwell. I stumble back into the bed and slump to the floor. The knocking quiets further. Is it done? The room phone shrieks through the silence. I fumble for the receiver.
“Hi sweetums. How’s your trip?” What? My mom is calling me? This is strange.
“I’m…um…” I ‘m not okay, but how do I explain this?
“Are you okay? You sound shaky. Don’t fret sweetums, everything will be fine.” The knocking returns. “As soon as you let me in.” My mom can’t be here. She is at her book club half a continent away. She can’t be here. Who is at the door? My mom never calls me sweetums, ever. Who is on the phone? “Sweetums, let me in.” Dread sweeps over me from head to toe. This isn’t my mother. That is not my mom! Knock-knock. My mom is not here to help me. She isn’t here. Knock-knock-knock. I slam the phone receiver down.
It sounded like her. That thing pretended to be my mom. I can’t wrap my mind around this. This thing, this monster with the voices, the knocking, that mouth, those teeth, and the knocking, it’s all too much, too freaky. I need an out. Think, there’s more to the myth, a way to survive. Don’t let it in, duh, you can’t let it in, and at some point the knocking stops. The thing will sigh and you have to say, “your company is not wanted here.” When? When is that? When will the knocking stop? It’s pounding on my nerves and beating at my brain until it’s putty. My cell phone goes off.
My best bud Samster is calling. He got a room down the hall from me. “Hey dude, what’s up?” I feel so good hearing him.
“Samster, I messed up. The thing is at the door. And it’s knocking, it keeps knocking. It wants in. It wants in!”
“Whoa, man. Calm, calm. Calm down,” says Samster.
“I can’t! Can’t you hear it? Knocking away. That unending knock. It’s like a drip of a faucet, someone drumming their fingers, clicking a pen, a really loud clock! Someone constantly tapping an egg unable to crack it. Can’t you hear it? The knocking. The knock-knock-knock-knockknockknockknockknock-”
“Look, I’ll come over okay? Keep calm and let me in,” says Samster.
“What? What did you say?”
“Dude. Let me in.” In? In?? Why would he say that? That can’t be him at the door, knocking. I mean the knocking sounds human, right? It’s his voice on the phone but I’ve been tricked before. Knock-knock. This has to be Samster. I need this. I need my friend. I can’t deal with this thing anymore. It sounds like a child and then my mom. What if it isn’t him? What am I going to do? Knock-knock-knock-knock. You’re there, aren’t you Samster? He is saying something, I press my phone to my ear. “Let me in, let me in, let me in, let me in, let me in…”
I end the call. My best friend is not the one knocking. I have no one, no help, I only have that ungodly knocking! The dreadful knocking, it doesn’t stop. Maybe I should open the door. Open up and let it in. Let it in. It won’t be that bad. The victims are reported being… I can’t. I can’t end up like them. Not like them.
I need help, assistance. Police? Oh the police can help. Yeah the police can do something. I dial. “911, what’s your emergency?”
“Hi, uh, um, yeah. Something is trying to break in. Can’t you hear the knocking?!”
“Oh my, that sounds serious. The police are on their way. Please stay on the line.” I sit back down and lean against the bed. I close my eyes and try to ignore the knocking.
“Sir. The police have arrived.” I stir. The police are here? That’s quick. How long have I been waiting?
“Sir. The police have arrived. Let me in.” A firm knocking is at the door. Right, the police are here and I’ll be fine. I grab the door knob and hesitate. Something is off. I don’t believe I waited that long. I do believe the police have arrived too fast. And what did the operator say at the end? I’m not good at math but this isn’t adding up. I feel unsafe.
“Sir. The police have arrived. Sir. The police are here. Sir. Let me in.” This is not fair.
“Sirr. ssssss-iirr. You called. It’s you. I was waiting and you spoke to me. You were like-”
My phone hits the floor as the thing uses my voice, my words, my response. The thing is still talking on the phone with my voice.
“Let me in, let me in, let me in, let me in, let me in…” The knocking intensifies, making the door rattle. I curl up in front of the door. I’m done for. I can’t take this anymore. I can’t stand that horrid knocking. Ah! I feel my cranium splitting open. My head is throbbing, brain swelling, pressing against the skull, cracking and fracturing. The knock is everywhere. It has to stop! It must stop!
I-I have to let it in. Yeah, let it in. I pause, reaching for the door. Silence. The knocking has ceased. Then that thing sighs. A sigh? Oh, right, that means this is over. I’m safe. The thing has left. It’s gone. I have to be sure. I check the peephole. Nothing, absolutely nothing out there. I open the door. The thing is gone. I did it.
Then I feel a knocking.
The thing is knocking on my head.