I Knocked on Death’s Door

📅 Published on April 28, 2021

“I Knocked on Death’s Door”

Written by Christopher Howard “Slimebeast” Wolf
Edited by Craig Groshek and Seth Paul
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

ESTIMATED READING TIME — 13 minutes

Rating: 10.00/10. From 5 votes.
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I stood on the rain-slicked doorstep of a refurbished two-story house just outside of the city.

I looked at the take-out order in my hand, then the app on my phone to make sure I was delivering it to the right location.  Through casual conversation, other drivers had warned me not to take any orders from this house. Apparently, it was a favorite spot for prank calls and fake orders.  Despite the fresh paint and rebuilt structure of the home, there was a dark history that couldn’t be erased.

A killer had lived there.  He was some random psychopath, responsible for countless missing persons throughout the area.  He apparently died in a house fire, no doubt caused by someone who had figured out what he was doing.  The authorities found evidence of his crimes in the debris, in the form of countless human bones.

Some optimistic investor must’ve bought the land cheap and rebuilt with the intention of flipping it for a profit.  The joke was on them.  Nobody local would live on the site of a notorious mass murder, and anyone who came in from out of state would definitely want to live closer to the city.  A modest home in the boondocks wasn’t the most appealing prospect, with or without the dark history.

Right off the bat, I should mention that I was never one to believe in supernatural bullshit.  I wasn’t one to avoid something just because a friend-of-a-friend had some spooky personal anecdote to tell about it.  So when I saw an open opportunity to track down whoever had been wasting the time of random drivers, I took it.  I don’t consider myself a “tough guy” or anything, but I don’t shy away from confrontation, either.

I set the food by the front door, with the receipt, and took a photo to confirm delivery.  It was nothing special, just a burger from some small local joint.  Rare, no fries, no drink.  Barely worth ordering in the first place, to be honest.

I knew what would happen next.  Nothing.  Some idiot watching from an unseen location would snicker to himself like an asshole and would then try to cancel the order.  He would claim I had gotten the order wrong, or that I had eaten part of it.  Anything to negate the sale and keep his money.

Yeah, sometimes I eat some.  Relax, we all do it.

What this guy hadn’t counted on, however, was that I had scoped the place out, and I was ready to jump back in my car and follow anyone who looked remotely suspicious.  If it turned out to be the right person, then depending on size and stature, I might give him a smack or two.  Hell, at the very least, I’d make him think he was getting one.

I knocked on the door, but only as a formality.  Then, I stepped back and gazed around the property, peering into the thick tree lines surrounding it.  The dude who had been antagonizing my co-workers for weeks could have been anywhere out there.

Imagine my shock when, as my back was turned, I heard the familiar squeal of the front door creaking open just a crack.

I turned in time to see the bag disappearing into the doorway.  I could barely make out the hand; its skin pale, maybe even silver or gray.  At that point, I was confused.  Not only was someone living in the formerly unsalable horror house, but from what little I had seen, they seemed to be an older person.  Really old.  I hadn’t thought about it until that point, but no one I had seen using the food delivery app was older than forty.  Elderly customers tended to dine out as one of few social experiences they had left…or they would just cook for themselves instead of supposedly “wasting” money on delivery.

Chuckling to myself for buying into the idea I was being pranked, I looked at my phone to make sure the order had been completed.  No cancellation, no complaints, five-star rating.  Perfect.

Then, I saw the coin.

A single, shimmering gold coin lay where I had placed the bag.

“That’s an odd tip,” I commented out loud, though I’m sure the customer inside couldn’t hear me at that point.

I scooped the coin up and studied it in my hands, turning it over several times.  It felt warm to the touch, and I presumed it was from being in the customer’s pocket.  A few markings in a language I didn’t understand encircled the image of a wolf’s head.  On the flip side, I traced my finger along the outline of a country I didn’t recognize.  The detail was amazing, and the coin looked shiny and new while still showing signs of being ancient and obscure.  I was immediately transfixed.

“Thanks!” I called out, louder this time.

No response.

I spent the night researching that coin.  Something about it had seized my interest, and all I could do was flip it over and over in my hand.  I’m nowhere near an expert, never even had a coin collection as a kid.  Naturally, casual web searches and scrolling through image galleries of rare currency didn’t turn up anything of note.

I considered asking around – maybe it was yet another local thing that someone could explain – but when I considered who to ask, there were no great options.  All of my friends were just as dumb as I was, if not dumber, and the only person I knew who was good with money was my pot dealer.  My dealer, by the way, had a habit of confusing me with other customers and getting mad about things I hadn’t done.  These weren’t exactly people I’d trust with a key to my apartment, much less an artifact that seemed so incredibly rare and valuable to me.

Why did it seem so important?

My obsession with the coin became so pronounced that I began waiting for another order from the cursed house.  I wanted to ask the owner about what he had given me, and yeah, I wanted another one if he would be so kind as to leave the same tip again.  For hours on end, I checked my phone with measured excitement, hoping to get that order again.  Instead, I saw normal requests popping up across the area.  Requests that I summarily denied and left for some other driver to pick up.

Suddenly, this was more important to me than the extra cash that was paying for the creature comforts in my life.  Mostly the aforementioned marijuana.

Finally, the alert I had been waiting for popped up.  Same location, same order.  I wasted no time accepting the job.  Then I threw my shoes on and all but leaped out the door.  It was almost like he knew I was doing nothing but waiting for that call, and that he made sure to draw out the suspense until I couldn’t stand the questions any longer.

I rolled the coin through my fingers with one hand as I drove to my destination, my eyes occasionally glancing to the fast-food bag on the passenger’s seat.  Burger.  Rare.  No fries.  No drink.  What did it mean?  It seemed like a message I wasn’t picking up on.  Was said message an offer?  A warning? Either way, the burning grip of rampant curiosity had a hold on me, and I was powerless to do anything but seek answers.

“Hey. I’m back,” I called out as I walked the desolate dirt path up to the front door.  I checked the windows, top and bottom floor, for any sign of someone inside.  “I’ve got your order.  Again.”

I put the bag by the front door again, this time with a sort of sense of reverence, like placing a holy offering.

“Nice and fast,” I commented, sure the customer couldn’t hear me, anyway.  “So, like, you know…tips appreciated and all that.”

The door cracked open again, this time in my full view.  The same withered hand reached out again, seizing the bag in yellowed, long talon-like fingernails.  I could see it clearly, this time, and I could tell that while the hand resembled that of a person, it was far from authentically human.

My blood ran cold, and I found myself frozen in place, staring at the gnarled hand as it pulled the bag inside.

A single coin rolled out of the doorway on its side, and instantly I felt myself uncontrollably grinning like an idiot.  As I reached for it, the hand darted out once more, pressing the coin beneath one elongated, bony finger.  It then scraped the coin back to the threshold and picked it up.

“Hey,” I complained, my brow furrowing in confusion.  “What’re you doing?”

The door slammed shut.

I felt horrible.  Not like something had been taken away from me, but like I had tried to take something I hadn’t earned.  It’s difficult to explain now, but I was possessed of an overwhelming urge of servitude that seemed to swell out of nowhere.  It was something I hadn’t even remotely experienced since I was a child, disappointing my parents in a thousand different ways.

My phone beeped to let me know I had a new alert.

The order hadn’t been marked as completed yet, and I noticed that the message was coming from the very customer I had just served.  He had sent two simple words, innocent enough on their own, but together they spoke volumes.

“Something more.”

I knew.  Immediately, I knew.  A loathsome sort of self-hatred worked its way through my veins as I knew I fully understood the words.

Something more.  There was no question in my mind, and the pounding of my heart only compelled me forward.  The order was clear.  He wanted me to deliver a human being directly to his door.  No muss, no fuss.  The concept was as clear to me as if I had thought of it myself, though I quickly understood that something more unnatural was at play.

Frustrated, frantic, I drove around the city for a few hours, wasting what I knew to be crucial amounts of time.  My mind went back to every serial killer horror story I’d ever seen on the nightly news.  Who were the prime targets?  People who went missing every day, with no one to know they were gone.  Human debris in a corporately controlled system that didn’t value anyone without immediate monetary value.

I rode by homeless people.  Prostitutes.  The sun had set, and the streets were an ever-growing, sprawling buffet of leftovers.  I had no idea who to choose, how to choose them, or even how I would get them to go with me.  I wrestled with the idea of whether or not I could actually drive them all the way out to that house…if I could lure them to the door, or if I would lose my nerve and tell them to run.  All I knew for sure was that I was taking way too long.  Food delivery is a service that thrives on promptness.

My phone went off again.  Fearing it might be a cancellation from my prized customer, now my only customer, I quickly pulled over onto the curb and checked my messages.

What a relief.  Just Kyle – my drug dealer.

He demanded I call him back the moment I got his message.  Since I was still stuck in my own head with no leads on a good target, I obliged his less-than-cordial request.  He threw in a few choice profanities to make sure I understood the urgency.

As I already assumed, he was mad.  Again.  He had me mixed up with yet another buyer of his, someone who owed him quite a good deal of money and had apparently made a rude comment about his sister.  No amount of explaining his mistake would work.  It never did.  I guess I always had that kind of face, unremarkable and easily forgotten.

He threatened to cut me off from every dealer he knew, and said he’d stomp my ankles if he wasn’t paid within the month.  Only then did the light finally go on in my head.

“Tell you what,” I said, making an illegal U-turn, “I have some game consoles at home, and I barely use them.  Lemme pay you back with those, if it’s cool.  Where can I pick you up?”

All the way to the house, I could tell Kyle was trying to memorize the way there.  For all he knew, I was taking him directly to where I lived, and if he played his cards right, he could come back later and case the house.  Why stop at a few gaming systems if he could get a television and some other valuables, right?

The ride was chilly, at best.  He checked his phone even more than I did, no doubt telling a series of stoners and crack heads that he’d get back to them when he was good and ready.  I didn’t know where the line was in terms of what he would or wouldn’t sell – for all I knew, he was sitting on a meth operation and some very time-sensitive cooking processes.

I made him out to be worse and worse in my head.  It would it easier to turn this simple, selfish deed into something nobler.  In time, I could convince myself that I was ridding society of a parasite.  Of course, it was one I was all too ready to work with in the past with no moral question…but hey, people grow and change, right?

“Here we go.  Home sweet home,” I said, trying to sound as casual as possible given the circumstances.  I’m sure my voice was shaking.

Kyle pulled himself out of the car and stood on the brown, dead lawn, his eyes still fixed on his phone.

“You want me to bring them our, or…” I trailed off, waiting for his response.

Instead, he silently turned off his phone and walked toward the front door.  Of course, I knew he’d want to go in for himself.  He’d probably unlock a window or at least scope out the best way to break in later.  There was zero chance he’d let me bring out my property to pay off the bill I didn’t actually owe.

Predictable.

“What’d you say it all was?” Kyle asked absently as he stood by the door.  “Xbox, PlayStation, and whatnot?  I’ve been looking for a Dreamcast.  Those are crazy expensive now.  You have a Dreamcast, and we’re good with that alone.”

I didn’t respond.

I just waited.

“Yo.  Unlock it and gimme my stuff,” he insisted, checking the time on his screen.

“I think it’s already unlocked,” I replied quietly.

He turned and grabbed the silver doorknob, carelessly twisting it left, then right, before throwing the door open without any concern for privacy.

I stepped back as Kyle looked up from his phone slowly, taking in full view of the thing that stood in front of him.  In the pitch blackness of the doorway, I could see my prized customer for the first time, in all his deformed, monstrous glory.

The thing stood over six feet tall, its arms longer than its legs, knuckles resting on the wooden floor.  Its face was stark, expressionless, with yellowed eyes coated in translucent film that reflected the porch light.  Its mouth, drawn into a frown, displayed four pronounced fangs that pressed out from its scarred and worn lips.  Its body, covered in hairless, grayed flesh, seemed both emaciated and muscular – like a fighting dog that had been starved just long enough to make it mean.

In one smooth motion, it swept Kyle into its arms as he let out an ear-splitting, primordial death scream, unlike any noise I had ever heard before.  His phone dropped to the ground as the two of them instantly disappeared into the black void of the house.  Just as suddenly as he had screamed, everything was still and silent once more.

“H-hello?” I called into the house from what I figured was a safe distance.  “I did my part.  I brought what you wanted, right?”

The lights inside flickered on.  The foreboding darkness was replaced with the almost welcoming sight of a half-furnished home that still looked as if no one was actually living there.  More to the point, I could see through a short hall and into the dining room, where a single gold coin laid on the bare table.

My tip.

All logical thoughts told me not to go inside.  Definitely not of my own volition.  Every fiber of my being argued against stepping over that threshold and into the pleasantly bland embrace of that refurbished hallway.  Still, these thoughts and feelings could do nothing to stop the steady, mindless progress of my feet as I entered.

I could hear a radio, maybe even a record player, as I nervously walked to the dining room.  Some old-timey classical tune was playing, and I could hear the repeating scratches of a vinyl record that had been played far too many times.

I took a seat at the table and, with trembling hands, lifted the coin.  Again, it was warm to the touch.

“Th-thank you,” I muttered, fulling intending to stand back up and sprint for the door – for safety.

“No,” came a low, rumbling voice from an adjacent room, “thank you.”

I couldn’t tell where the voice had come from.  It seemed to echo and reverberate to the point that the speaker could have been all around me – or even the house itself.

The slow, steady sound of bone knocking against wood followed.  Before long the thing – the tremendous, impossible, dead-looking thing – shuffled through a door frame.  I felt like every lungful of air was sucked out of the room in that instant, and my head began to swim with a mixture of dead and peace.  It was the sort of peace that probably comes over any living thing in the moment when it accepts an unavoidable end.

The thing shuffled its gaunt body to the chair opposite mine and, lifting itself with a wheeze, tucked itself into the seat as best it could, knees to chest.

“W-what…” I stammered.  There were too many ways to end that question.  I couldn’t choose one.

The word that followed answered all of them, but I still didn’t want to hear it.

“Vampire,” it growled.

I felt my head nodding as if this was a completely normal reply.

“I’m sorry it’s not more interesting than that.” the thing… the vampire added.

“No, it’s fine,” I quickly assured, despite the fact it was anything but fine.

“What was in him?” It asked.

Only at that point did I stop staring into its eyes, slimy and unfocused, staring wall-eyed in different directions.  I noticed the absurdly large spatter of fresh blood marking its mouth and dribbling down its chest.

“I don’t know what you mean,” I answered.

“Drugs,” the vampire explained.  “I’m freaking out.”

“Oh, damn, I have no idea.”  I leaned back and thought for a moment.  “We weren’t really friends or anything.”

“Obviously,” it snorted, wiping a viscous swath of human gore from its chin.

The vampire lifted its red-tinged hand and waved me off absently, as if gesturing for me to leave.  It was done with me, for now.  I stood from the table and pushed the chair back in to be polite.  For all I knew, that bit of etiquette was all that stood between a safe departure and getting disemboweled where I stood for being rude.

At the dining-room door, I stopped and turned back toward what had become my favorite customer – though it was definitely by some sort of supernatural force.

“Can I ask you something?”

The vampire turned its head, its neck skin taut and showing pulsing veins full of stolen blood.

“You may, but choose your words carefully.  You may not actually want to know.”

I put the coin into my pocket, where it joined its twin from the previous delivery.

“Why do you need me?” I asked.  “Not that I’m complaining, of course.  You’re obviously a formidable force.  You could easily hunt down and kill your food.  Why call a service and have it brought to you?”

The vampire reached to a nearby counter with one disturbingly long arm and retrieved a smartphone.  One it had no doubt stolen from someone unlucky enough to wander past his door.  Maybe it came from a lost tourist…or perhaps a Jehovah’s Witness.  I had already used up my question, so I didn’t ask.

“This house,” the vampire explained as it marked the last order as complete.  “This is my house.  It always was.  Then, they burned it down around me.  Luckily, I was at rest in a hidden chamber below the basement.  I was hibernating.  By the time I finally awoke, it had been rebuilt.”

“That doesn’t explain why you need me, though…”

“For all intents and purposes, it’s a new house.”  The vampire gestured around itself.  “I’m inside a home…one that nobody invited me into.”

I leaned against the door frame and put a hand to my head, feeling the cold sweat on my brow.

“You’re stuck,” I chuckled.

“Quite,” it replied flatly.

All at once, an idea popped into my head.  A dark, disturbing concept that had no place inside the mind of a normal, civilized person.  I walked back into the room, pulled the chair back out, turned it around, and sat down again, my arms folded over the back of the seat.

“What…if…”

I smiled wickedly.

“What if you paid me to invite you out?”

Rating: 10.00/10. From 5 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Written by Christopher Howard “Slimebeast” Wolf
Edited by Craig Groshek and Seth Paul
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Christopher Howard “Slimebeast” Wolf


Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on CreepypastaStories.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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