At the Old Wood Door

by Colum Coleman

It comes in the night. At the old wood door. The old wood door in the old house. The thump – a crack, a creak – the literal bump in the night. Sometimes it is subtle like a man testing a doorknob to see if it is locked. On other nights, like this night, it comes as a thunder, a pounding, a crash.  It is as though someone is trying to kick the door in.


Both these are impossible. The door is an entirely interior one – leading only to my desk and bed – and I live alone. And yet they happen. No one is there to make the noise.  No one at the times when I was curious enough to check.  No one at the blind corner outside.  No one round it in the darkened hall.  And yet they happen.  Every single night.


Am I mad? Or is someone else here? Watching. Listening. Seeking entry. Sometimes I can swear I feel them.  Sometimes not at all.  The noise comes regardless.


The metal rack, strung over the door to hold my robes, makes certain that every attempt, however subtle, is clear and loud.  If metal could snap as twigs do it would make this sound. Jolting, jarring, inviting a heart attack.  Every night.  Every night unceasingly without fail.


Quidquid id est timeo – whatever it is I fear it.


Two years it’s been coming now.  Coming.  Growing.  I fear it now.  It is stronger. Pushing harder. Every night. There are times now when the door almost opens. And I make certain to close it. To shut it tight. To put my weight into it and secure it. Every night. And yet every night they come and sometimes the door almost opens.