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Halloween Writting Contest Entry 03

The following story was submitted as an entry in The Wanderer second annual Halloween Writing Contest.
The winner will be announced in the October 30, 2008 edition.
Stories will be posted on-line as they are available in print.

Who's There?

His visitor left early. Elliot Carten slid the heavy iron bolt into place, firmly locking the oak door. He then retraced his steps to the kitchen where he checked the kitchen door, picked up the kerosene lamp and started up the back staircase to his attic bedroom.

Slowly he ascended the stairs. He felt the old house shiver and groan, as the winds of an early winter swept across Cape Cod Bay. The steps creaked under his weight and his tall shadow followed him silently on his way up. Outside, the whistling winds swirled the driven snow into deepening banks and soon filled the trail of footprints left by his retreating visitor.

In the sanctuary of his room Elliot quickly undressed and prepared for bed. He was anxious to continued reading the novel he had started earlier. And as he climbed into his bed, he thought of the things he would have to do before his employers returned. They had gone to Boston for a fortnight leaving Elliot alone to care for the big house. With a sigh of satisfaction, Elliot reached for the book on his bedside table, found his place and resumed reading.

Time ticked by. All was quiet except for the occasional restless shutter, the sound of branches brushing against the house and the ever-present wind. Snow had been blown to form crescents against the muntins of the windows, and the black panes, as in a hall of mirrors, reflected multi images of Elliot lying abed, silently reading.

Suddenly Elliot paused. It was as though he had been warned by a sixth sense. He put the book down. Hesitantly, he looked toward his bedroom door. The light form his small lamp at bedside illuminated the lower half of the door including the polished brass door know. It was this object which captured his attention. It was turning. "This is impossible," he thought, "I'm alone in this house." But slowly the knob continued to turn. Abruptly, his doubt changed to fear.

The doorknob turned a little more and then it stopped. The door opened just a crack, and then, without further warning, the door forcefully swung wide open!