Creative writing: A knock at the door

The warm smell of stew filled the house as Katie 
prepared dinner in a world of her own. Her pink skater dress twirled and floated as she danced around the kitchen singing, adding that extra pinch of salt that was missing to make it taste just right. Her husband was due home soon and she wanted everything to be perfect, she always made sure it was. The table was perfectly set, with not one napkin out of place and a beautiful candle burning in the centreIf she was known for one thing in this tightly knit community, it was her attention to detail in her showroom perfect home.  

An unexpected knock at the door snapped Katie out of her bubble immediately. She wasn’t expecting any guests and Ben had keys. She wondered if maybe he had lost them. Little did she know that her past was coming back to haunt her, a past she had tried so hard to put behind her. But it didn’t matter how many roasts she cooked, or dinner parties she hosted or perfect holiday photos they hung on the wall – What they did doesn’t just go away.  

She peeked through the curtains that covered the glass panels on the door, expecting to see her husband standing there patiently. Instead, two strange men stood with their shoulders slumped and tired looks on their faces, like the world was hanging over their heads. Katie took a step back, straighten out her dress and whacked her ever so fake welcoming smile onto her face. It was the smile she had managed to perfect over years of pretending to be someone and something she wasn’t. The smile she had learnt at such a young age 

As she opened the door, the two men gave her a pitiful look... One no one had given her for quite some time 

Hello gentleman, how may I help? She said, with her perfect smile still spread across her face.  

“Good evening ma’am. Are you Katie Dawson?”  

“Yes, that is me” her mind was racing, desperately trying to guess who these two strange men that stood in front of her were – She didn’t like surprises. 


“Ma’am we are here regarding your husband” They both held up their badges at the same time, a routine that was very in sync from years on the job. A routine that never got any easier. Katie's heart was racing, the panic was setting in. Did they know? She wondered. She was already planning her escape.  

Her smile faded and the look of horror spread across her face, but not out of worry for her husband… but worry for herself. Millions of excuses and stories rushed through her mind as she tried to come up with a cover story, just like she had done before. For now, she knew she needed to keep calm.  

“Is everything ok?” She played the dutiful wife so perfectly, she had almost managed to fool herself for a while.  

“Ma’am I’m afraid we have recovered a body from the Taradon Lake that we believe is your husband” he paused, giving her a moment to take it in. This wasn’t the news Katie was expecting. A part of her was relieved, but another part of her was filled with fear. Had he found them?  

“What? How? Why?” She placed her hand on her stomach and looked down at the floor, trying to disguise her fear with sadness.  

We believe someone may have shot your husband and then placed the body in the lake” years on the job and this never got any easier for them. Katie grabbed on to the door as her legs weakened under her. The once warm and welcoming house now felt cold and isolating. The silence she had filled with singing now echoed painfully in her mind. And the smell of the stew she had spent so long preparing for her husband, now made feel sick.  

“Ma’am we are so sorry for your loss, this must be very difficult to hear” It was, but not because she had just lost her husband. She worried for her own safety; she knew she was next. Her past had come back to haunt her, and she knew it. The voices of the detectives faded as the silence in her home grew. She stepped back again and closed the door slowly, leaving them outside. They had done so much to get here, to change who they were and to leave the past behind them, yet it wasn’t enough. She didn’t know if she could do it again, especially not alone.  

“Ben I can’t do this, I can’t keep running” she gasped, breaking down into tears. She wasn’t the strong woman she once was; she was worn out.