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  • Happy Halloween !

    2012 - 10.29

    Someone at the Door

     

    She felt the breath drift across the back of her neck and a chill skated down her spine. Nerve-endings were screaming a warning to the brain. The presence was so close; she whirled around to confront the intruder. But there was no one there!

    Well Erika, you’ve finally lost it. Mom said if you keep writing this “creepy stuff” you’ll lose your mind. Mom’s gonna be so happy she’s right. She sat straighter in her chair, trying to work the kinks from her neck and shoulders. Spending hours bent over the keyboard of a computer was a sure bet for muscle tension.

    Erika Stanfield-Writer Extraordinaire! Why can’t I get the words flowing smoothly tonight? Putting that last book to bed was good for my ego, but not good for my bank account. I gotta get this new one finished and in the editor’s hands soon! Maybe if the doorbell wasn’t being pushed every five minutes by all the little ghosts and goblins, I could get it finished. I thought Halloween etiquette dictated that if the porch light was off, don’t go to the door. Some mommies forgot to tell their little darlings, I suppose.

    Erika sat staring into space, the computer’s screen saver flashing across her face in random colors. She was remembering just how complicated it had been to finish that last book and hoped this wasn’t going to be a repeat performance. It had been titled “Someone’s at the Door” and the lead character had given her a great deal of trouble. His name had been Aaron Russell, and he proved as difficult to kill off in the book as was deserving of any good suspense character. But it had seemed almost as if Aaron had developed a mind, and a will, of his own. It had appeared that Aaron, this fictional, this imaginary character, had resisted his own death. Oh, he had been a handsome devil with his smoldering dark eyes and athletic physique, and Erika had almost hated to part with him. But the story line she had written demanded Aaron must be murdered. It had been with genuine regret that Erika had the mugger strangle Aaron with the telephone cord, thus ending the battle he had fought to stay alive.

    Sighing, thinking of all the valiant attempts Aaron had made throughout the book to stay alive, Erika began to walk back to the computer. Her train of thought was interrupted by the doorbell. Angrily, she stomped across the floor to jerk the door open. It was no child that stood there waiting for candy. The porch light was out, but even in the feeble light spilling from the open doorway, Erika could see he was a handsome man. Her anger quickly dissipated, turning into an unusual feeling of expectancy. Erika’s mood lightened and she felt almost as if she were greeting an old friend.

    “Hi. Kinda old to be out trick-or-treating, aren’t you?” The familiar stranger’s voice was husky and Erika had to strain her ears to hear his answer.

    “No…I mean…I’m sorry. I’ve had car trouble. May I use your phone?”

    Throwing caution to the wind, Erika stepped back to allow the man access to the room. She didn’t know why she was behaving so strangely, she knew she shouldn’t allow a stranger into her home.

    “Yes, of course. Come in. The telephone is in the kitchen. Do you need to see the phone book?” “No, thank you. I know who I need to talk to.”

    Coyly, almost shyly, Erika watched him walk across the floor. Why did he seem so familiar? “Uh, what’s your name? Are you from around here?” No response from the kitchen. Frowning, Erika stood chewing on her lip. How rude! I let him in to use the phone; he could at least be polite. “Uh…sir? What’s your name? Where are you from?” Still no answer. Erika grew angrier by the second. She decided she would force him to answer her, force him to show gratitude by exhibiting more manners. She marched into the kitchen, coming to an abrupt halt when she saw he was just standing there…waiting.

    “Hello Erika.” His voice was a deep whisper, barely audible.

    “H…how do you know my name?”

    “Oh Erika, we’ve been friends for a long time. Surely you recognize me!” Her heart trip-hammered in her chest, her mouth was almost too dry to speak.

    “No…no, I don’t know you.”

    His smile was startling; his handsome face took her breath away for many reasons.

    “No, Erika? Look closely, dear. If you think hard enough, you will remember who I am.”

    “I don’t care who you are! Just use the phone and get out of here. On second thought, forget the phone. Just get out of here!”

    His smile turned dark, like clouds passing over the moon. “I wish you had forgotten about the telephone earlier, Erika. If you had, I wouldn’t have to be here like this. I tried everything in my power to make you listen, but you refused.

    “Refused? Who the are you?”

    “Look at me, Erika. Look at me!”

    She froze, her eyes growing large when she at last saw the cord wrapped around the handsome stranger’s throat. It had cut deeply into the tender flesh surrounded by savage bruises. Erika raised her eyes to meet his and the breath froze in her heaving chest.

    “Aaron? No, it can’t be! You’re not even real! You’re a character in a book…someone I imagined! This isn’t possible…”

    Aaron walked toward her with slow and deliberate purpose. His smile had become a sneer and his hands were clinched into fists at his sides. As she stood rooted to the spot, she watched him untangle the cord around his own neck, all the while advancing toward her.

    “Erika, you really should be more careful, you know. You never know who it is when someone’s at the door.”

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