A piece of flash fiction
“You heard that too, right?”
Billy was sure he was not hearing things, despite the gram of weed he had just finished smoking. The doorbell had been ringing lately, and every time he checked the door, there was nobody there. He looked outside, thinking it could be kids getting up to mischief in the night, but there was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
“Yeah, I heard it. Dude, maybe the battery needs replacing.”
Steven was the more rational of the two, always with a scientific explanation about why things could or could not happen.There was no battery, though. Never had been as long as he lived there.
There were other strange goings-on in the house beside a possible faulty doorbell. Footsteps and noises in the night, when there was nobody to make them. The stray cat he had recently adopted, Mr. Wiggles, seemed to sense something too. He would meow at the wall and urinate at the same time, clearly frightened.
As far as Billy was concerned, the old man at the top of the stairs was to blame for all of it. At night, he sat in the shadows all alone. Nearly everyone who had ever lived here had seen him, sitting upon his deathly throne at the top of the stairs. The exact same spot that the cat was fearful of. In the beginning, he would only be spotted in the darkness, but others had seen him in the daytime.
The doorbell rang again.
“Something to say now, Einstein?”
He couldn’t help but give shit to Steve, sitting there silently for once.
This time there was a package on the doorstep, addressed to him, but without postage, just his name in dark red ink. You could be forgiven for thinking it was blood. He had no enemies that he could think of, but who the hell else would send him a package at 3AM? Not the post office, that’s for damn sure. Billy couldn’t help but feel uneasy, unsure of what he would find when he opened the box. Thoughts of that scene in the movie Seven came to mind. You know the one.
He sat there, unable to open it, knowing full well he was being paranoid. They had just got some wicked new Silver Pearl, and Billy was high as fuck.
“Dude, don’t be a pussy about it. Either do it or give it to me, and I will do it. It’s not like it’s ticking. Have another bong.” Steven took a hit, repacked it, and offered it to Billy.
“Nah, man, I think I’ve had enough. Let’s see what’s in here, aye.”
The explosion that ripped through the house killed them instantly, scattering their atoms into the universe, as the old man who forever inhabited this domain inhaled his victims’ ashes.
Mr. Wiggles survived.