The Late Night Caller

This short story has been altered from the original but the essence remains the same. I love being able to go back over old writing to improve it but I also love coming up with brand new stories too. I'm excited about almost being finished with the first draft of my novel and looking forward to the editing stage. But for now here's my next short story - The Late Night Caller.

The Late Night Caller


I stirred from my light sleep as thunder rumbled. My eyes refused to open. Another boom exploded above and the walls of the house shook. I tried to ignore the storm and drift off to sleep but the booms vibrated through the house and my brows pulled together. I rolled over, with my eyes still closed, and nudged the bedside table to wake up my Apple Watch and when the screen lit up I forced my eyes open. 3:02am. Closing my eyes again I pulled the covers up over my shoulders and snuggled down into the bed. The thunder wouldn’t quit and the front door rattled in its frame every few seconds. 

Wait a minute…

I opened my eyes, not really looking at anything, and listened. Boom, boom, boom, on the front door. I rolled my eyes and sighed. Throwing back the covers I huffed and dragged myself out of bed, tugged my dressing gown from the back of the wardrobe door and opened the bedroom door. With one arm in my dressing gown I flicked on the landing light and squinted as my eyes winced at the sudden bright light, then started down the stairs, pulling the dressing gown onto my other arm. I clenched my jaw and breathed heavily as my feet thudded down the stairs. 

Another boom on the door and I cursed him under my breath. I’d warned him, told him not to wake the kids when he came home and he promised me he’d be quiet, yet here he was hammering on the door at three o’clock in the morning. For months now Colin had been going out with his work buddies every Friday, into the city to have a drink and some time with his friends. I’d asked him about time for myself but he ignored me and said he needed time to chill out after a long day at work and who was I to argue? It’s a waste of time anyway, he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand. Being at home all day isn’t a day off. He doesn’t see the work I do, even when he has clean clothes and food on the table, it’s just not something that registers. But as I stomped down the stairs on yet another Friday night, after months of the same routine - him coming home in the middle of the night banging on the door because he’d forgotten his keys, his arms flailing about as he stumbled into the house drunk, waking up the kids so I had another sleepless night - I’d had enough.

He banged on the door again and it rattled, shaking the walls too. “God damn it Colin!” I whispered, trying not to wake the kids.

It took me three hours to get Sam to sleep and even after reading his favourite book, Dr Seuss The Sleep Book, twice he just wasn’t going down. In the end I had to sit on the edge of his toddler bed, one of the most uncomfortable positions in the universe, and sing “Beyond The Sea” from Finding Nemo to get him to drift off. 

As I reached the bottom of the stairs I huffed and pressed my lips together and walked to the front door. The keys jangled as I twisted them in the keyhole and the metal screeched as the door unlocked. The bracing wind rushed in as I opened the door and I clutched my dressing gown, pulling it in and wrapping it around me to protect me from the cold. I held the door so it didn’t bang against the wall, stepped back and waited for him to come in. I didn’t want to see the state he was in so looked down at my feet. I couldn’t stand him when he was drunk, professing his love for me as he stumbled into the house, dribbling over his chin because he couldn’t control his bodily functions. It wasn’t exactly a girl’s dream. 

He didn’t walk through the door.

“Um, Mrs Kent?”

That wasn’t Colin. 

I looked up. Two large men in police uniform were standing in front of me wearing hi-vis yellow jackets, “Jackets of power” Colin called them. The wind howled but the policemen didn’t seem fazed by it, they stood sombre-faced on my doorstep. My throat constricted. I opened my mouth to say something but nothing came out.

“Mrs Kent?” The taller of the two men said.

He was a nice looking man, ash blonde hair peeking from underneath his police hat and even in the darkness I could see his ice-blue eyes, but that didn’t help the tightening in my chest or the fluttering in my stomach.

“Um-” my voice cracked and I cleared my throat, “ Um, yes?”

“Mrs Kent, I’m afraid your husband has been involved in an incident.”

Great. I rolled my eyes and my shoulders relaxed. He’d graduated from drunken nights out to being arrested - just brilliant Colin. Now I’m going to have to wake the kids.

“Ugh, what’s he done?” I said.

“Mrs Kent, do you mind if we come in?”

I stared at the policeman. 

“Um, sure, I guess.”

I stepped back and held the door and the policemen walked in. I closed the door behind them and walked towards the living room. They followed quietly. The house was dark and as I walked through the house I could feel the throb of my heartbeat, I was sure they could hear it too. I entered the living room and patted the wall on the right until I found the light switch and flicked it on. I turned around to check they were still behind me and as I took another step, instead of my feet falling onto our brand new plush carpet I stood on a small lego block that was buried in the carpet. Pain shot up my leg and I stumbled. Even the billionth time standing on a lego block didn’t get any less painful. Hobbling the last few steps into the living room I turned to face the policemen.

“Shall we sit?” The taller one asked.

“Um, yes, okay.” I said.

The policemen sat down on the sofa and waited for me to sit. I inched closer to the chair but couldn’t bring myself to sit. I wanted to pace, to move around.

“What’s this all about? What’s Colin done?” I asked as I picked at my fingers.

The policemen looked at each other and my heart hammered the inside of my chest.

“Mrs Kent, your husband didn’t do anything. Earlier this evening he was attacked with a knife.”

“Attacked? What do you mean attacked?”

“I’m sorry Mrs Kent but your husband didn’t survive his injuries.”

“Injuries? Wait… What’s going on?”

My head was spinning. I slumped into my favourite chair and shook my head.

“Is there someone we could call for you?” the taller policeman said.

“I don’t understand.”

“Mrs Kent, your husband was involved in a stabbing in the city. He was attacked by an unknown assailant. Paramedics were called to the scene and did everything they could. I’m very sorry to have to inform you Mr Kent, your husband, is dead.”


I rubbed my eyelids with my fingers. What did he just say?

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