I curse when the doorbell rings early in the morning. The older I’ve grown the more I feel the distance between the living room and front door has also grown.

When I finally reach the front door and open it there is no one there. But I hear a childish giggle. For the past one week some kid has been ringing my doorbell and running away. If I were younger I’d chase that brat down and teach him some manners.

But maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh. I wasn’t any better when I was a kid. I’d throw my brother’s shoe out the window and when he ran out to get it, I’d throw the other shoe right at him.

My doorbell rings again. I open the door and see a child running away. It’s the brat next door. Hm, I haven’t seen him in a while because I’ve been travelling for many years but shouldn’t he be a little… taller?

I remember when his parents threw a big birthday party for him a few years ago — he still looks the same as he did back then.

In the evening I go out for a stroll. Walking is painful but if I don’t do at least that much then I’ll age even faster. I bump into the brat’s parents. I ask them how their son is doing. They tearfully tell me that their son died while crossing the street.

Poor kid was hit by a careless driver. If that driver had just called paramedics then the kid could’ve been saved. But the driver drove off and by the time an ambulance arrived the kid died.

But then who was the kid that rung my doorbell? Must’ve been another brat.

Later that night when I’m in bed I decide to travel some more. I fall asleep fairly quickly but I wake up when my doorbell rings. I check the time. It’s almost 1 in the morning.

Who’s at the door at this hour? Surely not that brat? I decide to ignore it. But the bell rings again. And again. It keeps ringing.

I get out of bed and take a gun out of my drawer. My hands are shaking so much I doubt I’ll even be able to aim the weapon. I slowly make my way to the front door and open it. There is no one there. Nobody has ever rung my bell so late at night.

I step out of my house and take a look up and down the street. All the other houses have their lights off. Only the streetlights are on and there are very few of those.

I return to my house and turn off the bell. Of course that might not stop anybody from knocking on my door but I’m tired of hearing that goddamn bell.

I go to bed and try to fall asleep again. As soon as I shut my eyes I hear something. No. It can’t be. It must be my imagination. But then I hear it again. I hear a child giggling.

I switch on the lights and see a kid standing in front of my bed.

His face is pale and his hair dirty. His clothes are tattered and bloody.

He smiles when I scream.

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