The Ding

by Jocelyn McKinnon-Crowley


My favorite roommate in the whole entire world installed a device on our door that makes a tinny ding-dong every time the door opens or closes. Hell has found me earlier than expected. It’s a shrill ding-dong, not a cheery noise, not a kind noise. Nothing about this says, “yay you’re home, let’s celebrate.” It says,” oh for the love of God why have your opened this portal to your doom.” It’s the sort of noise that would wake the dead Avon saleswomen. We had to make sure that the whole block knows every time we take out the trash. It’s not even a doorbell, it’s a shop alarm. It’s a shop alarm for a man with hearing aids who’s always in the back. It serves no purpose. And when I hesitate to open the door because I know the noise that will follow, I can feel it waiting to call out to its friends in the next universe. Should this thing be taken back in time, the response would not to marvel at the technology, but rather to run away screaming that the demon has come for our children and will so devour our very souls.
Of course, when she asked me if it was ok to keep it here, because – and I quote, “nobody will steal stuff when you’re moving in and out,” I said sure. I said it with a smile too. Disgusting.

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