"The Knock"

Hayden Minor

         “You’re so fucking stupid.”

         “I know,” he responded.

         “How could you do this? We were happy. You were finally starting to get back on your feet. We could’ve made a nice life for ourselves, you know.”

         “I know,” he repeated.

         There was a pause. The static from the line was beginning to feel deafening to his ears. He wondered if he should stop talking. It could get him caught if someone was listening from the outside.

         “Where are you now? It's been nearly a week since I last saw you. Are you safe? Please tell me you are.”

         “A friend is letting me stay in a spare room, I’m alright. This apartment smells like shit and there are rats.”

         He took a drag from his cigarette and exhaled. The smoke was illuminated by the rays of light that snuck in through the blinds.

         “They’re gonna find me eventually.”

         “Don’t talk like that.”

         “I don’t have anywhere left to run,” he continued. “They know which neighborhood I’m in.”

         “Does your friend know you’re in trouble?”

         “No,” he scoffed, “he wouldn’t let me stay here if he did.”

         Before she could reply, there was a knock at the door. A single knock, but it was hard like a bird hitting glass.

         “What was that?”

         “I have to go. I love you,” he replied, quietly hanging up the phone.

         He looked at the foot of the door. There were two feet standing still like a statue. He wondered who it could be. His friend? The mailman? His end? He gripped his Smith and Wesson with white knuckles. The trigger was cocked and he pointed its barrel at the door. His hands were shaking.

         There was a second knock. This time it was even harder, causing dust to fall from the ceiling fan. The feet still didn’t move, not even an inch. The seconds started to feel like hours. Each person waited for the other to make a first move.

         As he stood there pointing his weapon towards the door, he could hear the rats in the walls. Their scratching and scurrying echoed throughout the dingy room. Maybe they knew what was about to happen and were trying to get away. He didn’t blame them.

         Suddenly, the feet shifted out of view. There were sounds coming from outside, some clicking and shuffling. The figure behind the door was loading a shotgun. It was likely a sawed-off, a favorite of the family. He didn’t stand a chance against a weapon like that.

        There was no other way out than that door. The apartment was six stories up, so any attempt at jumping would be pointless. The only option he had left was to accept his fate.

         It all became real to him then. He gave up everything for nothing. He wouldn’t see her again, nor would he enjoy the luxuries in life that he once had. No more cherished memories, warm embraces, or fancy dinners. No. Instead, he would die in that apartment. He knew he deserved it.

Contributor Bio

Hayden Minor is a 20 year old student, artist from the Joliet area. By exploring several mediums such as photography, painting, and writing, he hopes to put diverse themes into simpler, understandable presentations. According to Minor, art is in its greatest form when it can be enjoyed by anyone.