Without wind, the snow fell softly straight downward. The sun was quickly setting, ushering in the longest night of the year. The world was quiet and still, except for one moving figure. A small person – perhaps a child? – trudged through the snow. Up to a front door it walked and pressed the bell.
Light and warmth came spilling out of the open door in equal measure. A man stood in the entrance and peered out at the visitor.
“Can I help you?”
The small face peered up at him but said nothing.
“Well, what do you want?”
Still, it did not respond.
“Do your parents know you are out here? Go on home.” The man shut the door.
Within an hour, the first guest arrived. The child – for what else could it be? – was sitting on the porch. When the guest inquired, the man stepped outside.
“I told you to get out of here! You cannot just sit outside my front door. This is private property. Leave, or I will call the police.”
But it did not leave. More guests arrived, and each one asked about the person sitting on the porch. Every time the man came out and tried to make it go away. Despite his threat, he did not call the police. His guests and neighbors might wonder what had happened to bring the police to his house on this night. While his guests showed momentary curiosity, the festivities of the night quickly replaced it.
At the end of the night, after the last guest had left and well after midnight, the man went back out onto the porch. He was determined to get this intruder off of his property. The night had not been ruined, but this had gone on long enough.
On the porch were the clothes the person had been wearing. They were crumpled as if they had just fallen in that place. There was no sign of the person besides the clothes. No tracks in the fresh snow led away from his door, as all the guests had used the walk. The man picked up the clothes and threw them in the bin on the side of the house. Then he went back inside.