Red Writing Hood: The Doorbell Rang


The doorbell rang.

David heaved himself off the couch and trudged towards the front door. Matilda was playing on the floor nearby, happily consumed with the story she acted out with her new Barbie dolls.

He glanced in the mirror by the entryway and recoiled at his own image. His face was unshaven, the bags under his eyes were heavy. He’d been wearing the same sweatpants and tee-shirt for three days. His brown hair stuck out at every angle, unwashed and greasy.

As he turned the knob the open the door, the doorbell rang again. A spark of rage flickered in David’s head before extinguishing with the sight of the policeman standing on the porch.

“Hi David.” The look on the policeman’s face told David he bore no happy news about his missing wife.

“Fred.”

He stood in the doorway, the wind chilling his bones. He saw the officer glance at the house behind him. He knew he was notating a tree that had not been taken down, a child still in her pajamas at 4 in the afternoon, sparse bits of wrapping paper neglected on the carpet. He knew he should invite the man in out of the cold, but he continued to stand. He felt immobile.

“We’re not going to keep looking for Agnes, David. We just can’t afford to use our resources for someone that most likely just left. On her own will. I’m so sorry, David.”

He ignored the words out of the officer’s mouth. The officer that had dropped by a few days ago, Christmas day, to deliver a present to Matilda. The officer that had stopped by several times in the last month since Agnes had disappeared. The officer that had told David they couldn’t file a missing person’s report, but that he would see what he could do to help look for her.

David looked out on the quiet street behind the officer’s head. He felt defeated. Without a word, he closed the door and set himself back on the couch.

Matilda climbed up on the couch and let her father wrap his arms around her. She felt his tears buried in her hair.

Fred turned from the closed door and walked away from the house shrouded in loneliness.

And the snow began to fall.

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For more of Finding Agnes, visit my Fiction page.

This piece was written based on a prompt from Write on Edge for Red Writing Hood. Constructive criticism is welcome.

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