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The Knock (a parable)

One fall evening there was a soft knock on the door, which would have gone unnoticed or passed off as a bump in the woodwork had Feller not been trying very hard to take a nap. He opened his eyes and shouted over his shoulder, “Who is it?” But there was no reply, just another soft knock from the other side.

In a huff of indignation Feller gathered himself out of bed, and with a crouched gait he shuffled towards the caller. Upon opening the door, he was alarmed to find a young, fair-skinned woman across the threshold. She was covered in a burnt-orange trench coat and adorned with a coffee-colored hat. Feller’s disposition immediately pivoted, and he consciously addressed his strange guest with courteousness and interest.

“Hello, my dear. I am sorry I did not hear you. Getting old,” he mused. “How, then, many I help you?”

The young woman did not reply. She looked straight ahead with unflinching white eyes, as if staring right through him.

“Hello?” Feller repeated, “Hello?” He was bemused by her silence and hoped to break the awkwardness with mirth. He waved an open hand quickly in front of his face, as if teasing whether she could even see him at all. But the woman still did not respond. In fact she did not even blink. Feller now grew puzzled by his visitor’s most unprecedented departure from convention. And she just continued staring motionlessly at him.

Then an idea struck him. He surmised the woman must be both blind and deaf. The notion seemed reasonable, though at once it made him uneasy as what to do. And he could not decide. Such a normal thing, a wandering guest at his door, and yet at the same time it was entirely out of the ordinary. So, he was unsure, even paralyzed, as how to act.

They stood facing each other, she like a tree and gazing all around him; he, quizically looking her over in her brown hat. Feller found himself getting chilly in the twilight air, but in spite of the discomfort he persevered, facing her with resolve, if even out of spite, yet doing nothing.

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