The Knocking : Scary Stories – Short Horror Story

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The knocking woke me up from a deep sleep, pulling me from the dreamless dark, the lamp glow that had seemed so subtle the night before now a glaring beacon painting the room with shadows, making it look distorted, unfamiliar. My eyelids were heavy as I tried to focus on the sound, head swinging to the bedroom door, trying to see through it to the front entrance, the French doors at the back leading to an unkempt garden. No. The sound was closer. The window? No, it wasn’t a glassy scrape, but a deep wooden thump.

Last night it had been coming from the bathroom door, pounding for attention as I’d snuggled into the blankets, childhood fantasies of hiding under the covers until it went away swirling around my brain. It didn’t go away though, not until the first rays of sunlight crept their way through the curtains.

It seemed closer tonight, having migrated its way from the front door three days ago, and behind it was a new sound, a swishing rattle, like a hand sifting through a sale rack. The closet. Standing in the corner of my room, it seemed obvious now that the knocking was coming from inside, images of a bony hand reaching through cheap shirts and jeans that hadn’t fit me for years to rap its knuckles on the mahogany. I didn’t answer, hadn’t been able to since it had first started the night after I’d heard that same shrivelled cry for help from the door in the back of my dealer’s apartment.

Keeping my head straight, ignoring the urge to swivel to the noise, pretending I couldn’t hear the raspy note that could only be asking for help in a voice that hadn’t known water for days. I could feel Joey’s intense gaze on me, waiting to see if I would react, counting through the notes before handing me a small bag, obviously having decided I was a worthless piece of shit who had no intention of helping whatever lost soul he currently had hidden behind him – some other dealer who’d wronged him, a customer who couldn’t pay, some poor girl with a trail of track marks showing her life story down a thin arm.

I’d scurried away, brain shifting from that sound to the bag in my pocket, already sweating at the thought of how quickly I could get it up my nose, into my bloodstream. By the time I’d made it through my door, the sound was all but forgotten. Until I’d heard it again that night on the door of my apartment. Tonight was the first night I’d heard the rasps behind it as it finally moved close enough for me to pick out that desperate voice crying for help. And I still couldn’t answer it as I cowered deeper, wondering just where the knocking was going to be coming from tomorrow night, how long it would be before that bony hand was reaching for me through the lamplight.