Ding Dong Ditch: A Story

Posted on: October 19, 2009
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By Lauren Schwark

 
 

“I’ll get it.” A middle aged gentleman shouted from the kitchen.
 
 
“We aren’t going to go through this again are we?” His wife sat with her nose buried in a newspaper on the couch.
 
 
 
“Go through what?” He asked taking an oven mitt off his hand and tossing it in the general direction of the table in the kitchen he had just left.
 
 
“You and your obsession with answering the door every time the bell rings. First, I am looking out the window and don’t see anybody standing out there. Second, she’s not coming home.” His wife peered from the top edge of the paper then went back to reading.
 
 
The doorbell rang once more.
 
 
“It’s just the neighborhood kids playing around. Go back to the kitchen and finish doing what you were doing.” His wife didn’t even bother making eye contact as she spoke this time.
 
 
The man continued his journey to the door and opened it. He stepped out into the bright afternoon sun and looked around then stepped back inside his home closing the door.
 
“I told you it was just the neighborhood kids. Didn’t I?” She seemed smug in her remark and content on the fact she had been right.
 
 
He sank his head low and trudged back into the kitchen. His hopes dashed he remarked, “Well it could have been her.”
 
 
“Well it wasn’t.” She laid the paper on the couch next to her then reached over and picked up a magazine that was sitting on the coffee table in front of her.
 
 
Across the street two young boys sat in the bushes giggling. One of them had a small black box with a little red button on it. Every time he would push the button on the box the doorbell across the street would ring. Out he would come, the old man from across the street. Each time opening the door and walking out onto the front steps to look around, then he would re-enter his house with a look of sorrow on his face.
 
 
“Didn’t I tell you? Every time I ring it he comes out. Funny as hell.” The boy holding the control laughed to his partner in crime.
 
 
“Doesn’t he ever get mad?” The boy asked his friend.
 ‘
 
“No. Sometimes I can do this all day and it’s the same way every time. He comes out, looks, and then goes back in.” His friend replied with tears of laughter coming from his eyes.
 
 
“What a stupid old man.”
 
 
They both knelt once more behind the bush ready for another look at their target. With a finger holding steady above the red plastic that composed the make-up of their new laugh machine he paused. A chill swept across the back of both boys. Then they felt it. The cold grasp of a hand upon each of their shoulders. A sudden paralyzing fear overcame each of the boys. They were unable to move. The smell of death permeated the air. Their mouths opened but no sound escaped their lips. Their were legs too numb to stand.
 
 
“Can I play?” The voice of a young girl traveled on the breeze not really coming from anywhere.
 
 
Both boys grabbed one another, leaping face first over the bush that served as their hiding place. Never turning around they ran till their legs couldn’t run anymore and then they walked; never once looking at one another.
 
 
“Yeah I guess it was those kids. She usually doesn’t show up till just before dark.” The husband shouted from the kitchen.
 
 
“There you go again. She’s been dead for ten years.” His wife shot back.
 
 
“That is why she only comes to see me. Says you don’t love her enough to believe.” He now stood in the doorway of the kitchen as he spoke.
 
 
“I believe every time I look out that front window. I believe when I look across to the bushes they found her body in. I believe we have bad people in this world. Ones who would take our daughter away from us.” His wife went on a teary tirade that he hadn’t seen for a long time.
 
 
The doorbell rang once more.
 
 
“I will let you get it Hun. This time it’s got to be her.” he said as he watched a slight glow emanate from underneath the front door.

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