There was a knock at the door.
“Come in!” She didn’t look up from her desk. “What is it?”
But her question was met only with silence. Confused, she turned to the door to find it was still closed. “I said, come in!” But still the door remained shut.
“What the hell,” she mumbled under her breath as she stood to open the door. “Today is not the day for jokes,” she announced, swinging the door wide. There was no one there; the hallway was empty. Swearing, she slammed the door shut and retuned to her work.
After only a minute, there was another knock. This time, she jumped up immediately and yanked the door open. Still, no one was there. Irritation gave way to confusion. There hadn’t been enough time to hid after knocking on her door, had there? They should have still been in the hallway. “Very funny! I’m trying to work, so knock it off, whoever you are.”
She shut the door again. After only one step toward her desk, she stopped. Instead of sitting back down, she waited by the door, her hand on the knob. Again a knock came, and she had the door open instantly. But the hallway remained empty.
Maybe she was hearing things. She’d been working hard all week, even coming in today, Saturday, to finish the report. Maybe the stress was getting to her. Perhaps she should get out of the office, go get some rest. It could wait until Monday.
Yet she was almost finished. Just another push and she could have it done, ready for next week. If only she could stop whoever was knocking on the door.
She thought for several moments and closed the door most of the way without latching it. If someone knocked now, it should swing wide, giving her the chance to see who was behind this prank.
Hesitantly, she started to work at her desk once more. At first, every minute or so found her looking up at the door, expecting a knock. After about ten minutes, she began to relax, getting back into her work. Hence, when the pounding began, it startled her anew.
What shocked her even more was that the pounding did not make the door move. Somehow, someone was pounding on the door without pushing it open. Nervously, she approached the door. The pounding continued, even after she opened the door. She stared in disbelief as the pounding echoed in her office. It did not stop, and nothing was touching the door.
Without waiting another moment, without stopping to turn off the light or grab her things, she ran into the hallway and headed for the exit.
* * *
“I told you she’d leave.” The faint apparition smiled at its companion.
“Yes, but that was pretty extreme.”
“All I did was knock on the door, like I said I would.”
“I don’t think I’d call what you did at the end knocking.”
“You said she should quit working so hard. I bet I could get her to leave by only knocking on the door. That’s what I did. I won fair and square.”
“Fine, fine. Who was I supposed to go scare for you?”