Come on in. I don't bite…

Knock, Knock

Knock, Knock: Episode 16 (Shooting the Breeze)

I gripped the little girl by the shoulder.

“There isn’t much time!” I warned.

She stared back at me with uncomprehending brown eyes. She was afraid. Not because she had been kidnapped. I don’t think she even realised that. She was terrified of me. Even after Tabitha dragging her abruptly away from the park whilst her older brother was distracted she still had no idea the danger she was in. Tabitha’s round, motherly face had managed to pacify the kid. The kid had been stuffing her face with as much cake and ice cream as she could. The girl had been so engrossed in indulging her sweet tooth, she hadn’t noticed how closely Tabitha was watching her with cold, grey eyes, filled with malice.

There was a brief window of opportunity when the girl was alone. It was also my time to escape the Knock, Knock club. I had promised the club manager, Dennis, that I would find his estranged son, Milo and see him to safety too.

There was a small camera peering down from the corner. I had to pull one of the bar stools over and climb on top of it to reach it but it smashed with ease. Our time was even more limited now. If someone noticed the camera broken they would descend on us an army.

“I don’t want to go!” Sarah shrieked. “The lady said I was to stay here.”

I tried to gently coerce her from the table but she resisted. She swung her silver ice cream spoon at me.

“The lady told me I was to wait here until my daddy finds me,” she insisted.

I snatched at the girl with more force. “The lady lied to you,” I tried to explain. “She will hurt you if you don’t come with me now.”

Time was running out. Tabitha would be back soon. I wrapped my hand around the girl’s mouth to stifle her screams as I bodily lifted her from the table. She kicked and flailed in my arms but in the end my comparatively larger size and strength won. I couldn’t just walk out the door with her. My only chance was to hide and wait until someone made a mistake.

“Please,” I whispered. “I’m not going to hurt you. That lady is bad. She is going to keep you here and you will never see your family again. I will get you out of here but I need you to listen to me.”

The girls eyes blurred with tears. My rough, whiskey sodden breath, matted hair and unshaven face couldn’t compete with Tabitha’s in winning over a child but I had to try. I hid the girl in a small adjoining closet kept for bottles. Since the depression had hit hard it was empty. I broke the window and joined her. There was just enough room for the both of us. I watched Tabitha return through a crack in the wood. A vehement anger washed over her grey eyes. Sarah must have seen it too because she writhed beside me. I hadn’t expected my last minute plan to go off without a hitch but Tabitha saw the empty room, spied the broken window and assumed I had escaped into the alley with the little girl.

She growled at herself. She tore across the room to the main door. It was still locked. Only the key she kept on her person could open it. The ice cold chill of outdoors contrasted the stuffiness of the club so heavily it flushed through the room so completely I could feel the chill on my face.

She stepped outside but when she saw no sign of us she returned. Dennis joined her from backstage.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

I had never seen Tabitha so angry.

“I should have killed the little bitch when I had the chance!” she snarled. “She’s gone,” she admitted. “Sam is too.”

Sarah sobbed beside me. I tried to console her as best I could. We were still in a lot of danger and her sniffs would give us away.

“He can’t have gotten out,” Tabitha reasoned with herself. “Someone would have stopped him. He must still be in here somewhere.”

Dennis obviously agreed with her because immediately his stare fixed on our hiding place. He didn’t point it out.

“They won’t get far,” he said. “The alley is on constant watch. He would have to have went round the front if he wanted to get away without being noticed.”

Tabitha took this as a flippant statement of the obvious but I saw it for what it was. He was giving us a way out.

Tabitha stopped suddenly. She looked behind her towards the hiding spot. A wicked smile traced her lips. Dennis wrapped his long fingers around her arm and pulled her back before she had the chance to move any closer to us.

“They won’t get far,” he repeated. “Right now you are needed upstairs.”

Tabitha looked at him suspiciously but she did leave. As soon as the door closed Sarah tried to climb out of the hiding place. I pulled her back, put my finger to my lips and bid her to remain hidden until a few minutes passed and we could be sure we were safe to leave.

When I was certain that we were alone I ushered the little girl back out into the hall. I couldn’t be certain if I could trust Dennis but I had to take my chances. He may be distracting them and affording me the opportunity to escape or he was playing a cruel joke. It didn’t matter which. It was now or never. If had to at least try. I was as good as a dead man anyway.

First, I helped Sarah climb through the broken window. I followed after her. I pushed myself through the small space which was barely big enough to fit through. I was conscience more of time than of the broken glass tearing in at me. When I dropped into the alley of the Knock, Knock Sarah was inspecting the cuts on her filthy hands. I gripped her arm and we both started towards the front of the building. A busy street ran past so I hoped we would find some kind of refuge in a large crowd. I could hear voices calling out behind us as we ran. I couldn’t tell the emotion of them or distinguish any of the words clearly.

“Where are we going?” Sarah asked.

“I’m taking you home,” I told her. “Do you know how to get to your home from here?”

She nodded. I was surprised. Perhaps we don’t give enough credit to kids or maybe she was smarter than your average one but I couldn’t have found my way home at that point.

Coldridge Park was where Tabitha had taken her so her home must have been close by.

If Dennis had truly aided my escape I owed it to him to check if Milo was safe. I didn’t know where to begin looking for him. I was hoping Sarah’s father would offer me some sanctuary in exchange for bring back his daughter and from there find Milo.

***

“It’s just down here,” Sarah pointed excitedly.

“Wait,” I warned. “We’re going to have to get your dad on his own.

She lived in a terraced block of beautifully kept town houses. Just at the other end of the park. Most of the homes were empty but for a single room on the lower floor.

We waited at a distance. The shadows of night were beginning to fall. The main door of the home opened and a burly, middle aged man stepped out.

“That’s my dad,” Sarah said.

He collected a silver cigarette case from the pocket of the cardigan he wore. He extracted one and placed it between his lips. He lit the tobacco and sighed as he drew.

I instructed Sarah to wait. I approached her father.

“I have your daughter,” I said by way of introduction.

A guilty look sparked across him and the cigarette was left dancing on his lips.

“What do you want now?” he growled. “I’ll get your money.”

“Wait, you don’t understand,” I tried to explain.

His shoulders tightened and he loomed closer to me. He was a big guy. Much bigger than I was.

“You are from the Knock, Knock right? I’ve seen you there.”

“I am but I have your daughter,” I told him. “She’s safe.”

He shook his head. His strength dissolved. “I couldn’t tell anyone. Who could I tell?” he sobbed.

“Sarah!” I called. “You can come over.”

Her father looked out into the darkness. The light from the porch only illuminated so much of the lawn. The pressure the club was putting him under was beginning to show on his face.

Sarah’s nostrils flared as she ran to him. Her father’s lips widened into the most relieved smile I have ever seen on a man. He lifted her into his arms and showered her face with adoring paternal kisses. Content that I had reunited Sarah with her family safely I turned and left them to their reunion. I began to wonder what life would be life outside the club and how far I would have to go to be free of them.

A crack of a gun sparked. This was closely followed by a small scream from Sarah. Her father dropped her onto the porch. A red fountain began to spring from his forehead. Sarah tried to pull him to his feet but the shot had been too precise. He was gone. Throwing all caution to the wind I dashed to Sarah to pull her away but another shot fired. This time it was the little girl who slumped down. Her lifeless little body lay beside her father.

I looked in the direction of the gunman but there was no way I would be able to see them.

“Bastard!” I screamed at the unknown assailant. A third shot fired. Luckily it hit the ground at my feet. I was left with no choice but to run. A couple more shots came after me.

Running in no particular direction with no particular destination in mind and no hope I found myself back on the street. Someone snatched at me.

“Come with me.”

It was Tabitha. She was dressed in black trousers and an oversized red coat. She had pulled her brunette hair away from her shoulders into a pony tail that cascaded on her shoulders. She looked a completely different person away from the Knock, Knock stage. I began to follow her down a pathway that led through a small play ground before I even realised it was her.

***

Tabitha sat on a swing. She looked up at me and smiled. There was a hint of laughter on her lips. Without her make-up she looked much younger than I assumed her to be.

“Why don’t you just kill me,” I groaned. “I don’t want anything to do with you or the Knock, Knock. I never did.”

“After everything I have done to keep your ass alive this is how you repay me?” she replied.

“That little girl didn’t have to die…” I began.

Tabitha pushed herself back, kicked out and began to swing.

“If you had listened to me and left her where she was then she would be back at the club

safe and sound, gorging herself on ice cream,” she said.

I hated to admit it but she was right. The kid was dead because of me. Theresa and Maddie were dead because of me. Hell the whole damn thing started because of my megalomaniac grandfather.

Tabitha must have sensed what I was thinking.

“Cheer up, Sam,” she said. “You’ll always have me watching out for you.”

Something about those words left me feeling cold.

“I know something else,” she added. “I know where Milo is.”

‘Damn it!’ I thought. They really were everywhere.

Enjoy this?

Subscribe to the page to have each exciting new episode sent straight to your inbox!

Want to read from the beginning? Our handy little drop down menu lets you choose your episode.

KNOCKKNOCK_vivikawidow_Blurb


Knock, Knock (Episode 15): Down in the Dumps

It was late at night when a soft tap at my door stirred me awake. I hadn’t even realised I had fallen into the swamp of my dreams until I stirred awake. I shuffled across the bare wooden floor. I opened the door and Dennis was stood in the shadows like a great ominous bird.

“If you are going, you have to go now,” he said.

I pulled a pair of oversized boots on. My coat hung on a stand by the door. I pulled it off and the coat stand came with it. Dennis snatched it before it toppled completely.

“Quiet,” he warned in a screaming whisper.

I was silent and still a little sleepy. Dawn’s early light was beginning to show. I followed Dennis down into the main body of the club.

“Promise me you will find Milo,” he urged.

I nodded my head dumbly. At any other time I would have said something along the lines of, “the boy will come to no harm under my charge,” but I was so taken aback by finally leaving the ‘Knock, Knock’ club I couldn’t find the words. We made our way across the shaky floor. Freedom was imminent. The outside air was going to be so crisp and so sweet.

A lock shuffled. A door handle shook. Dennis pushed me back from the main door . At the farther end, by the stage a little girl came skipping. She was followed by Tabitha.

“Now take a seat,” said Tabitha. The little girl – Sarah – obeyed. She pulled out a chair and sat at a table nearest the stage.

“Would you like some ice cream?” Tabitha asked. She leaned closer with a warm but mischievous smile.

The little girl wrinkled her nose. “I’m not allowed ice cream for breakfast.”

Tabitha’s smile widened like a great python ready to strike. “You are here.”

The kid’s eyes lit up then. It was like she had been told her birthday was coming twice that year. She had no idea the danger she was in. Her life was in the hands of Tabitha and if I left the little girl would surely die. If I stayed I could do something to keep her alive.

“See,” Tabitha continued. “It’s not so bad here is it? All that crying earlier was for nothing.”

Sarah agreed.

Tabitha crossed the floor towards the bar, behind which lay the kitchens. As she passed she muttered to Dennis, “Watch her.”

She stopped and did a double take when she noticed I was wearing boots and a coat.

“Going somewhere are we?” she laughed.

I knew then I wasn’t.

When Tabitha was out of sight Dennis pushed me back towards the door.

“Go now. Hurry!” he said.

“I can’t,” I stated. “If I go now you could get hurt or that little girl.”

Dennis growled. “What about Milo?” You said you would help him.”

“I did and I will,” I said. “But before I do I have to make sure no harm comes to that kid. You told me that if I left they would be watching me. I could lead them straight to Milo. That would be two dead kids on my conscience. Right now, Tabitha doesn’t know Milo is near. He is safe.”

I couldn’t believe my own sentiments. Since arriving at the club I had been seeking a way to escape its grasp. Seeing Sarah changed everything in an instant.

Although no one had ever said the words I was a prisoner at the Knock, Knock. If Dennis were to orchestrate my leaving, they would kill him, the little girl and then hunt me down. I couldn’t risk it. At least not yet.

Dennis stormed away. I could understand his frustration. I had been pushing him to help me. I even threatened to tell the club about his son if he didn’t. I didn’t have any time to worry about that. The only reason I was still alive was because my grandfather was one of the club’s founding members. I was walking a very thin line as it was.

Tabitha returned with an over flowing bowl of strawberry ice cream.

“Changed your mind?” she laughed when she saw I was pulling my coat off

“I was just a little cold. I’m fine now,” I replied.

“That’s just as well,” said Tabitha. “You would have been dead before you reached the end of the alley. Do you think it would be so easy as to walk out the front door? Even if Dennis opened that door for you? And without so much as oodbye? A girl could be insulted.”

She dropped the plate of ice cream down to the little girl. She gripped the spoon and immediately set to digging in.

“Don’t hurt her,” I warned for as much use as it could be.

Tabitha raised her eyebrows. “What kind of monster do you think I am?”

We paused. Tension rose. Her steel grey eyes stared right through me. Then her teeth began to tear through her ruby lips as a smile spread.

“It all really depends on her father cooperating now doesn’t it.”

When I first came to the Knock, Knock I was an enthusiastic journalist in search of a new story line. I had no idea the nightmare that lay behind the closed doors. Now, I was in deep. As the bodies began to pile around me I had to do something!

Enjoy this?

Subscribe to the page and have each new episode sent straigh to your inbox.

knock knock email promo


Knock, Knock (Episode 14): Kid’s These Days

We are still having problems with him,” I overheard Tabitha tell Dennis as I sat at the bar sipping a whiskey quietly.

What do you want me to do about it?” Dennis leaned back further along the bar from me.

Tabitha didn’t seem to care if I was listening. She knew I was pretty powerless against the whims of

the Knock, Knock club. Dennis was pretty guarded though. He had asked for my help in getting his ten year old son, Milo, to safety in exchange for his helping me escape the Knock, Knock club so he always kept me discretely informed. After luring my best friend, Madeline, to the club and to her death I wasn’t sure how much help I was willing to give him, even if it were for the sake of an innocent child. Still, I had to keep my options open.

I don’t think you understand how big a problem this is,” said Tabitha sternly to the club manager. “He isn’t taking us seriously and if we let him away with it others will think they can get away with it too.”

So what do you suggest?” Dennis hadn’t looked looked at her the whole time. His focus had been on the empty stage behind her. “Take him out?”

Tabitha laughed, a cold, callous cackle. “What benefit would he have to anyone dead?” She pursed her lips and her grey eyes shone with delight. “He has a daughter. Young girls are your speciality.”

Dennis sighed. “What age?”

Six or seven,” answered Tabitha.

Dennis shook his head. His eyes finally rested on her for a few moments before he stood up straight, turned his back to her and leaned over the bar.

Far too young,” he stated definitely. “The kid isn’t her father’s problem.”

No but her father is our problem. He needs to know we aren’t messing around.”

Maybe Sam could do it,” Dennis suggested.

They book looked at me. I almost spat the whiskey out like I had been caught doing something I shouldn’t have.

Thankfully, Tabitha dismissed the idea.

He hasn’t the stomach for it. Besides, if the doors of the Knock, Knock were open to him do you really think he would come back?”

She cackled again. “Like everything else, if I need a good job done I will just have to do it myself.”

***

It was a pleasant enough day with a dry chill in the air. The Coldridge Park in the centre of the city was playing host to hundreds of children playing, their parents and chaperones standing close by, perhaps not paying as much attention as they should have been.

Tabitha sat alone on a wooden bench. She scanned through the crowd and spotted the little girl she was looking for.

Blonde pigtails, blue jeans and a pink sweatshirt with a sunflower logo, Sarah looked like something straight out of a children’s book. She was kicking a red ball back and forth, giggling excitedly as a golden retriever chased it. A boy in his early teens, her brother Kevin, was busy talking on his phone. He had his back turned to his sister. One hand was holding the all important conversation to his ear and the other was tucked into the pocket of his own sweatshirt.

Rufus!” screamed a woman’s voice across the park.

The ears of the golden retriever perked up at the sound of his mistress’ voice. It took one last look at the shining red ball but quickly decided obedience was more important. It trotted along towards the voice that called it.

Sarah gave the ball another kick and it came rolling towards the bench. With a foot clad in a purple velvet, kitten heel shoe, Tabitha stopped it. As Sarah drew nearer she began to hesitate.

You need to be careful,” Tabitha said to the little girl. “You wouldn’t want to lose your ball now would you?”

Sarah picked it up and hugged it close to her chest. “It’s my brother’s ball,” she admitted.

Well you don’t want to make him mad do you? Losing his ball?”

Sarah nodded in agreement. “He’s going to take me for ice cream,” she volunteered casually.

Tabitha looked up. The boy was still on the phone. “That’s nice but it looks like he is still busy.”

It was Sarah’s turn to look back. She had so been looking forward to a bowl of strawberry ice cream.

Why don’t we go and get the ice cream and maybe he’ll be done by the time we get back.”

Sarah stepped back. Alarm bells began to ring for her. “I can’t go away with strangers.”

Very wise indeed, but I’m not a stranger,” said the woman with the grey eyes. “I know you, Sarah, and your brother’s name is Kevin. Your dad and I are old friends.” Sarah still looked at her suspiciously. “My name is Tabitha, so now we are friends.”

Kevin was still paying no attention. He was in the midst of on of those dramas that only teenagers can understand.

‘It can’t be bad,’ thought Sarah. ‘A stranger wouldn’t know my name,’ was her childish logic. Besides, the strangers she had been warned against were men in dark clothes who drove white vans and smelled of alcohol. The woman she was talking too had a kindly, round, maternal face. Her smile was pleasant, with a gap in her front teeth. She carried the scent of vanilla. The ice cream parlour was just across the street.

We had better hurry before it closes!” Tabitha reminded her.

Sarah made up her mind. “Kevin likes mint,” she said.

Tabitha stood and took the little girl’s hand. “I know he does,” she said. “We’ll get him a big bowl.”

Kevin finished his phone call. He slipped his phone into his pocket. He turned to discover little Sarah was gone. The shiny red ball sat on an empty bench.

Enjoy this?

Check out the story from the beginning:

Knock, Knock (Episode 1): Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock (episode 2): Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock (Episode 3): Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock (Episode 4): Take A Bow

Knock, Knock (Episode 5): Big City Kid

Knock, Knock (Episode 6): Picking Up Strange Women

Knock, Knock (Episode 7): A Night Cap At The Club)

Knock, Knock (Episode 8): Just A Quick One

Knock, Knock (Episode 9) The Daddy Of Them All

Knock, Knock (Episode 10): Calling Last Orders

Knock, Knock (Episode 11): A Room with a View

Knock, Knock (Episode 12): It’s not Me it’s You

Knock, Knock (Episode 13): Rollin’ on into darkness

KNOCKKNOCK_vivikawidow_Blurb


Knock, Knock (Episode 13): Rollin’ on into darkness

Tabitha opened the door. She stared at Maddy’s body like a famished fox in a hen house.

Clever boy,” she said. “You shot her. I knew you could do it.”

I was still in a state of shock. “I didn’t,” I ground. “She shot herself.”

Tabitha’s expression changed quickly. The fox had now learned that it wasn’t the hen house after all but the hound’s kennel.

Don’t say that to anyone else if you want to survive,” she warned. “She is dead, that’s all that matters.” Her vixen like smile returned. “Besides, watching her put the gun to her head without trying to stop her is as good as murdering her.”

I was going to tell her that I did try to stop her but I sensed it would fall on deaf ears.

My wife was gone, my best friend was gone and even the mayor of the town was gone. The bodies were piling up at the Knock, Knock club and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

When I was finally allowed to leave the room they had locked me in until Maddy was dead. I found Dennis still looking more morose than usual. There was no paying customers in the club at that time. Tabitha distracted herself with some of the girls who were begging her for advice and trying to win her favour.

I felt my body tense. I stood beside Dennis with one eye still on Tabitha.

You can forget what help I was going to give you. You can rot in here for the rest of your life for what it is worth to me. The body of your boy can be thrown in the alley with the rest of them; along with my wife and my friend,” I spat. They were harsh words but the club was beginning to drain my humanity. Maybe I was a Crusow after all.

Dennis stole a quick glance at the others. “There was nothing I could have done. She came here looking for you and it was Tabitha who greeted her.”

I had heard enough. I wasn’t really interested in anything more that Dennis had been telling me.

Why don’t I tell Tabitha about the little visit we had from Milo. I’m sure she could easily track him down,” I snapped.

I tried to walk away but he snatched me back. Tabitha craned her neck to examine the commotion closer. Dennis patted my shoulder with a smile as though we were having a brotherly scuffle.

He lowered his voice. “You wouldn’t do that.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Wouldn’t I?”

You wouldn’t put an innocent child in danger. Milo has nothing to do with any of this. Unfortunately the same can’t be argued for Madeline. If I could have stopped her coming here I would have.”

I shook my head again. My temples were aching with anger. My emotions were beginning to burn in my eyes.

If you don’t help me get out of here tonight, I will happily show the way to Milo. In fact, I will happily plunge the knife into him myself.”

Don’t say things you can’t fulfil,” Dennis warned.

Try me,” I urged. “After weeks trapped in this club who knows what I have become capable of. I am Sam Crusow after all. My grandfather started this whole nonsense. Since my arrival I have been pushed to be more like him. So there you have it. I’m now willing to murder a little boy to get some satisfaction.”

Tabitha called me over. I left Dennis with my threats to his estranged son.

You mustn’t blame Dennis for the state Madeline found herself in,” said she, sensing the reason for my frustrated frown. “The club doesn’t need to look far for it’s next kill. Greed, desperation and jealousy are all reasons we are given by our members to rid of their nuisances. But don’t fret. It’s not all bad. Everything that Madeline had will now be shared amongst us and so the club continues.”

I’m getting used to it,” I lied.

Cheer up.” She patted my cheek. “It could be a whole lot worse. If it weren’t for you carrying your grandfather’s name you would be dead already.”

I am grateful,” I said sarcastically.

Tabitha laughed. “It strikes me as odd that you seem more upset at the death of the lovely Madeline than you did your poor wife.”

I had no answer for that comment.

In my time at the Knock, Knock club I had witnessed them kill for money, kill as a warning and kill for fun. As night fell, I watched the body of my long time friend being removed to the alley from my window. She lay amongst the city’s waste where no police officer would care. The desperate residents of Coldford would remove anything on her person that was of value or could be made of use. This wasn’t very much after the club were done with her. I kept clear of the window after that. I couldn’t bare my view being the corpse of Madeline staring up at me. The horror and desperation of her final moments still remaining in her dead eyes.

Little did I know, the worst was yet to come.

Enjoy this?

Subscribe to the page and have each exciting new episode straight to your inbox.

Check out the story from the beginning!

Knock, Knock (Episode 1): Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock (episode 2): Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock (Episode 3): Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock (Episode 4): Take A Bow

Knock, Knock (Episode 5): Big City Kid

Knock, Knock (Episode 6): Picking Up Strange Women

Knock, Knock (Episode 7): A Night Cap At The Club)

Knock, Knock (Episode 8): Just A Quick One

Knock, Knock (Episode 9) The Daddy Of Them All

Knock, Knock (Episode 10): Calling Last Orders

Knock, Knock (Episode 11): A Room with a View

Knock, Knock (Episode 12): It’s not Me it’s You

knockknock_vivikawidow_blurb

 


Knock, Knock (Episode 12): It’s not Me it’s You

We were locked in the room together. There was only the faint light from a single high window.

What are you doing here Maddy?” I asked.

I was worried about you,” was her reply. “The police were asking about you. Theresa is dead and suddenly it was though you had vanished into thin air. I had a sense you would be here. I had to find you.”

When I had told Madeline that I was investigating the Knock, Knock club she had said very little about it. Even after I had brought Theresa here just before her murder.

Do you know what goes on here?” I had to ask.

They use their connections to get away with murder. They make themselves rich by killing people and sharing the spoils. Usually they are also paid handsomely for it too.”

I was furious. Anger had been building in me given recent events.

Why didn’t you say anything to me? Why didn’t you warn me? If you had said something I never would have brought Theresa here and she might still be alive.”

Madeline gave a heavy sigh. “I wanted to warn you but I couldn’t say anything.”

I was still frustrated. “Why not?”

I’m a member,” she explained.

***

I had known Madeline for years. I considered her one of my closest friends as did Theresa but even when you are so close to someone there is still a deeper part were the true person lies that no one will ever know. Its that same part that in the absence of any rules or laws would run amok. The club played on this part of people, flattering them into believing they could get away with anything the wanted.

It had happened before I met Madeline. She was a young girl on her college path towards a career in journalism. Her life plans were upset when she found herself in the family way. Whilst she pondered over her future the father never gave so much as a backwards glance. Madeline’s prayers were answered when out of the blue she was approached by a handsome, charming man named Dennis.

I know a girl in trouble when I see one,” he had remarked with a smooth smile she found quite appealing. It had been the only kind words anyone had uttered since discovering her pregnancy.

It’s quite unfair that the father would get to trot off whilst the mother shoulders the responsibility alone. It is an injustice that even in today’s modern society stands to be corrected.”

Madeline was so drawn to him she found herself discussing her predicament with a stranger she had only met a few moments before when he joined her on the bench at the park where she had gone to clear head.

Dennis explained, “I’m a member of an exclusive club. If you were a member your baby would be taken care of until such times as you were ready to take her back. We’ve only just managed to pull ourselves out of a financial recession and it looks like we are headed towards another. It hits everyone hard but it must be an especially powerful blow to a single mother.”

Maddy sobbed and ran her hand softly over her womb. “I can’t.”

Dennis leant forward. She caught the scent of tobacco and whiskey from him. “Do the sensible thing kid,” he urged. “You won’t be giving up any rights to the child or anything. You would simply be making sure they were sufficiently taken care of.”

He gave her an invitation to the Knock, Knock club and a lot to ponder. Madeline was alone, desperate and financial straits. Giving her baby up was her only hope. She became a life long member that day. I met her the following year and no word of the little girl passed her lips.

***

Do you know where your daughter is now?” I asked.

She shook her head. Tears were beginning to form in the corners of her eyes.

I asked, “What did they want with a new born child?” I wished I hadn’t because the thoughts of what could be possibly happening to the babies flashed into my mind. It sent a violent shiver down my spine.

I’m so sorry,” Madeline cried.

You should be,” I groaned. “Because of what you did Theresa was murdered and a little girl who didn’t ask to be born has probably been subjected to a life of unimaginable cruelty. That is if she is unlucky enough to still be a alive.”

Take that gun. Kill me. It’s the only way out.” She pointed a shaking finger at the table.

I shook my head. “We’re getting out of this,” I assured her.

It’s impossible,” she insisted. “You couldn’t shoot your way out. They will have only loaded one bullet.”

Neither of us are dying in this hole,” I stated, hoping that my words would be final and she would stop feeling sorry for herself.

I don’t deserve to leave this place. I handed my child over and never looked back. The things I did. The things they made me do.” She stood and began to pace the small room.

What else aren’t you telling me?”

She became hysterical. “You can get out of here. Make sure everyone knows what goes on here!”

She was screaming. I tried to grip her shoulders to calm her down but she lifted the gun and leapt back before I had the chance to. She put the gun into her mouth.

No!”

I tried to stop her. She pulled the trigger and her body fell limp to the floor.

Madeline had known about the Knock, Knock club. If her daughter was still alive I would find her. My wife, my best friend and any future I ever had were all gone. It made me more determined than ever to expose the club for what it was and all of its members.

Enjoy this?

Check out the story from the beginning:

Knock, Knock (Episode 1): Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock (episode 2): Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock (Episode 3): Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock (Episode 4): Take A Bow

Knock, Knock (Episode 5): Big City Kid

Knock, Knock (Episode 6): Picking Up Strange Women

Knock, Knock (Episode 7): A Night Cap At The Club)

Knock, Knock (Episode 8): Just A Quick One

Knock, Knock (Episode 9) The Daddy Of Them All

Knock, Knock (Episode 10): Calling Last Orders

Knock, Knock (Episode 11): A Room with a View

Subscribe to the page and have each exciting new episode sent straight to your inbox!

KNOCKKNOCK_vivikawidow_Blurb


Knock, Knock (Episode 11): A Room with a View

I’ll get you out of here,” Dennis said. “Tonight. Just make sure Milo is safe.”

My mind fogged with many unanswered questions. “Where is his mother?” I asked. “Did she send him here?”

My old reporter self came racing to the surface. So many lines of investigation I wanted to open. Dennis was as calm as ever. Even his large eyes didn’t betray him but I could tell from the strong heave of his chest it was feeling the thud of his heart.

He hadn’t seen his son since his wife, Julianne, killed his father and ran away with him as a baby. Julianne wasn’t a particularly stable woman from what Dennis told me but if I were to hitch a bet I would say it was Tabitha who had murdered Dennis’ father and Julianne had taken their boy to escape her. Dennis had come to Coldford because he had no one and nothing else. Tabitha was his only life line. He probably agreed with my conclusion but would never admit it. He was keen on making sure that no one but me knew that Milo had found him.

What you boys talking about?” Tabitha joined us. She had no doubt seen the commotion at the door from the stage during her performance. I had noticed her grey eyes follow us to the door.

Just that your performance was a triumph as always,” Dennis replied with his usual nonchalant air.

The girl behind the bar brought Tabitha a glass of water with a wedge of lime and some ice. Tabitha hadn’t had to ask for it.

What was the trouble at the door?” she asked. She had directed the question at me. As a journalist I was trained in not giving my game away too soon.

Just someone trying to get in out of the cold,” Dennis answered for me. “Didn’t have an invite. They were told to take their business elsewhere.”

Tabitha sipped her water. She wasn’t giving up so easily. “That’s the doorman’s job isn’t it. Why did he call for you?” Tabitha hadn’t missed a trick from the stage.

They had asked for me personally but I didn’t recognise them. Probably knew me from my sales days,” Dennis explained. He was playing by the old code that the best lies are formulated from half truths.

Tabitha finished her water. Her nose wrinkled in disgust. She laid the glass on the bar and called to the girl, “That tastes like toilet water,” she said. She hadn’t forgotten about our conversation though. She turned her attention back to Dennis. “That’s not good,” she stated. “If someone managed to track you down here, who knows what else they can find out about you.”

Dennis appeared little fussed by the whole affair. I had to admire his acting skills. “It’s fine,” he said. “I doubt they’ll be back.”

One of the patrons interrupted. “I love you T!” he gasped in a drunken slur. He stumbled forward, leaning too much into Tabitha’s personal space. “Your performances is what I come here for.”

Tabitha pushed him back. She wore a look of disdain that the patron hadn’t seemed to notice. “Compliments don’t pay the bills,” she said. She pulled the tip jar that sat on the bar. “Empty your pockets into there and maybe they’ll stop feeding me toilet water.”

The man returned to her with a laugh but he did reach into the inside pocket of his jacket and filled the tub with notes.

***

Later that night I walked into my room. It had been a pleasant little ray of hope after my own wife’s murder when I first came but as time drew on it was seeming more like the dank prison cell it actually was.

Dennis had told me to wait for his instructions. At three the club finally cleared. I was sat on my bed with my oversized coat on. I couldn’t help but worry that Dennis had changed his mind. I looked from my window. The alley was empty save for a couple of stray cats trying to salvage a meal. I was close to giving up when a soft knock came at the door.

I answered expecting to be met with Dennis or one of the girls. Instead Tabitha stood waiting. Her brunette hair had been bundled on top of her head. The make up had been removed leaving her with a fresh faced, natural beauty.

Going somewhere?” she asked, noticing I was dressed.

I said simply, “I was cold.”

Come with me,” she said. A slight sardonic smile traced her lips.

Where are we going?” I asked but I she didn’t answer. I followed her through the club to a door. I had never been behind before. Dennis was stood in the corner. He was silent and pale. He had a lit cigarette between his fingers. He was holding it at his lips but he wasn’t smoking. He was staring blankly in front of him.

I stopped. Tabitha removed a bundle of keys from the pocket of the thin, grey silk shirt she wore.

What’s going on?” I wondered out loud. I was watching Dennis but he wasn’t taking anything or anyone around him.

She unlocked the door but before she opened it she said, “We have a surprise for you.”

She finally pulled the door aside. The room was dark. It took some time for my eyes to adjust but then I saw her. A woman huddled in the corner. She was sobbing heavily. Her face was terribly beaten from what I could tell.

Madeleine?” I gasped, recognising my former colleague from the Coldford Chronicle. “What happened to you?”

Maddy couldn’t answer. She had been bound and gagged.

Tabitha gave a sharp laugh behind me. “She came looking for you. She came at the right time actually. It’s time to find out what you’re really made of.”

I looked at Maddy. My long term friend was in distress. Who knows what they had done to her. I had never seen such horror in the eyes of another. When Theresa was murdered I hadn’t witnessed any of it. I had just woken up next to her lifeless body. Now, Maddy was tied in the corner of some grotty back alley club.

Let her go!” I insisted. I hoped my name could still carry some authority.

Tabitha’s lips tightened. “You’ve been with us for a while now and all you have done is watch. It is time to live up to your Grandfather’s name. Kill this girl.”

You can’t be serious?” I gasped. Maddy whined. She struggled against her binds. The truth was, Tabitha had a wicked taste for games. I couldn’t tell if she was playing around or not.

I’m deadly serious,” she replied. “Everyone has to do it. It’s our way of making sure what happens inside the club stays inside the club.”

Before I could rush at her, Tabitha closed the door again. The lock clicked. I was stuck in a dark room with one of my oldest friends. There was a gun on the table. Either one of us was leaving the Knock, Knock club alive or neither of us were.

Enjoy this?

Subscribe to the page and have each exciting new episode sent straight to your inbox!

Catch up from the beginning:

Knock, Knock (Episode 1): Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock (episode 2): Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock (Episode 3): Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock (Episode 4): Take A Bow

Knock, Knock (Episode 5): Big City Kid

Knock, Knock (Episode 6): Picking Up Strange Women

Knock, Knock (Episode 7): A Night Cap At The Club)

Knock, Knock (Episode 8): Just A Quick One

Knock, Knock (Episode 9) The Daddy Of Them All

Knock, Knock (Episode 10): Calling Last Orders

KNOCKKNOCK_vivikawidow_Blurb


Knock, Knock (Episode 10): Calling Last Orders

Knock, Knock: Episode 10

“You’re Dennis Platt,” repeated the little boy. “I’m Milo, your son.”
Dennis’ eyes widened in shock at first. He looked back at me. I could only shrug my shoulders. I didn’t know Dennis’ family. I couldn’t confirm. Finally the club manager emitted a hearty laugh.
“Nice try kid,” he said. “I don’t have a son.”
He started to push the door closed. The boy stepped in the way. The door man stepped forward and placed his hands on the boys chest. He shoved him back into the alley. The boy stumbled and fell into a pile of trash bags.
“I am your son!” he cried as the door was closed over. “Julianne Platt is my mum!”
Before the door came to a complete close Dennis pushed aside the door man.
“Get out of here kid!” he warned. “It isn’t safe here.”
The boy was locked out. He had had such a striking resemblance to Dennis If it wasn’t his son he was at least a close relation. I couldn’t believe Dennis hadn’t seen it.
“I didn’t know you had a son,” the door man commented off handedly.
Dennis was frowning. Temper was not suiting him. Anger told in his dark eyes and it was like the amiable mask he wore for the public had been torn off exposing the true person underneath.
“I don’t,” he replied with frustration. “I don’t know him.”
The door man crossed his arms across his chest as he resumed his post. “He seemed to know you.”
This only heightened Dennis’ anger. “Don’t breathe a word of this to any one. Do you understand me?” The door man backed off. “Especially to Tabitha.”
As he turned round he came face to face with one of the regular patrons. The mask was back on. “Oh hey bud,” he said. “Having a good night?”
“Any messages left for me?” the patron asked.
Dennis put his arm around the broad shoulder of the customer and started to lead him away. “Not that I know of but if you go back to your table I’ll check with the girls.”
The customer seemed satisfied with that. He hadn’t overheard Dennis’ exchange with the door man and if he had he wasn’t interested.
I followed Dennis towards the bar. “What if that boy is your son?” I said.
Dennis stopped. He glared at me. I think it was the most honest exchange we had had in our time knowing each other.
“Do you think I wouldn’t recognise my own son? Even after all these years?”
Before I could speak again Dennis added, “That boy was Milo but it’s far too dangerous for him to hang around here.”
“Anything could happen to him out there,” I pleaded.
Dennis shook his head. He rested a hand on my shoulder. “I need your help.”
I raised my eyebrows. “My wife was killed, I was accused of murder, I’m being kept a prisoner here in this dank hole of a club and I find out my grandfather was responsible for every wretched run of bad luck I have ever experienced. I turned to you to try and help me – help us both – get out of here and you told me no. Now you want me to help you?”
Dennis narrowed his gaze. “You won’t be helping me. I’ve made my bed. You would be helping an innocent ten year old who has nothing to do with any of this.”
Damn it! Dennis always had an answer for everything. Tabitha was off stage and would be there any minute.
“Fine,” I relented. “But you have to get me out of here.”

Enjoy this?

Subscribe to the page and have each new episode sent straight to your inbox.

Follow from the beginning:

Knock, Knock (Episode 1): Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock (episode 2): Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock (Episode 3): Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock (Episode 4): Take A Bow

Knock, Knock (Episode 5): Big City Kid

Knock, Knock [Episode 6] Picking up strange women

Knock, Knock: Episode 7 (A night cap at the club)

Knock, Knock: (Episode 8) Just a quick one

Knock, Knock: Episode 9 (The daddy of them all)

KNOCKKNOCK_vivikawidow_Blurb