By Thomas Page
Everybody in town knew about the murders. You couldn’t walk down Washington Street without someone tapping you on the shoulder to confirm what they already knew. The Harrisons had lived in this little ordinary house on top of Rodham Hill about fifteen long steps away from their neighbors—the Tiffanys. Dan Tiffany was actually the one who found them. Said there wasn’t a drop of blood anywhere in the house. Of course, that was before your time. No one talks about the Harrisons anyone unless it’s the Day.
Rumors began to spread like wildfire that the only sound that night were three knocks on the Harrisons’ door. Whether this was the murder’s hand or one of the Harrisons’ hands didn’t matter. Dan neither confirmed nor denied it. This was giving the new owner, Stephanie Harrison, a cousin, problems. She wanted to make it into a tea room but people kept on suggesting to her to advertise it as the “Rodham Hill Murder House” but she would turn each one down. She went up to Dan and begged him to say that there wasn’t any knocking that night but he wouldn’t budge.
Oil was added to this fire when people claimed to have heard the knocking on the first anniversary of the Day. Some claimed that Mr. Harrison had bought the house from some Satanists and that a preordained ritual reared its head on the family. Others claimed to have see one of the little Harrisons wearing a token, either a pentagram or a mjolnir, and that he wanted to welcome evil into the house. This made Stephanie livid.
She posted this on the Door of the house:
Please leave my family out of your hellish fantasies. The police are still looking into the case. We are all trying to seek peace.
Put the Lord into your insatiable, vile, vicious hearts!
The town’s fiery feelings about the house became uncontrollable. Countless voices began to tweet like birds:
“She must be hiding something.”
“She isn’t even from around here.”
“Did she even know the Harrisons?”
Again, she went to Dan begging him to confirm that nothing funny was going on in the house. He wouldn’t budge.
No one would go to tea at the house. She tried everything to normalize the house. Even people outside of town heard about the house and steered clear of it. She tried to paint the house another color but it was still the faded yellow that the Harrisons lived in before the Day. She tried to removed her last name from the business but it was still the “murder house tea room.” No matter what she did, she couldn’t efface the name of the Rodham Hill Murder House. She began to stay in the house for days at a time. She would occasionally venture out to get supplies. Some claimed to see her lurk by the windows watching the townspeople who damned her business from the moment she arrived but like the knocking these were mostly the business of gossips. The town began to forget about her.
After several months of this, Stephanie posted this on the door:
“It is clear that whatever I do, whatever I say, nothing will change your minds. Therefore, on the second anniversary of the Day, let’s all really see if the rumors are true. Meet me here before the eleventh hour.
The Day came around and a good portion of town came to the house. Rodham Hill hadn’t been this alive in two years. They waited for a minute or so before she emerged from the house. Stephanie slowly closed to the door to prevent any speculations. She looked at her watch holding her hand before the town. “According to the police report,” she said, “the murders began at 11:00 PM. It is 10:59. The knocks should happen now.”
Twenty seven pairs of eyes looked at the door. The itching silence of the hot night begged to have some reaction from them. They all waited for something to happen. Stephanie looked at her watch. It was 11:05. “See, nothing happened. Can we all move on from this nonsense?” She reached for the door handle when three distinct knocks came from the inside.
Every throat closed. No one knew what to do. The door swept open with an eerie air wafting out of the house. Someone made the group usher into the house. The group carefully walked into the house which was dark. The foyer was full but each heart felt as if it were alone with the house. Eyes scanned for some relief from the changing shadows. Hands began to grasp for some familiar object when someone screamed, “Blood! Why is there blood?” Everyone scrambled around to see where it was coming from. Dan’s hands were covered in it.
“Dan,” someone asked, “where did the blood come from?”
He wouldn’t budge.
“Dan, why are your hands covered in blood?”
He wouldn’t budge. They were all silent. The door slowly closed to show three bloody knuckle-marks on the door matching the ones on Dan’s hand.