Short Stories
Comments. Note Alyssa's preparation (despite her blase reaction to the interview) -- her interview is skillfully done, including the one question she should ask (about genetic defects). The prompt was "Stranger at the Door".


by Emma Sohan

The doorbell rings. I put my movie on pause.

I look out the peephole. Two teenage girls. Probably selling something. But they're nice to look at. I open the door.

Girl on the right: "I'm sorry for interrupting you, Mister. I'm Alyssa. I'm doing a project for my high school psychology class. I have to ask random people some questions. It will only take a few minutes, I promise. What's your favorite color?"

I guess I can help. "Blue."

"Same as your eyes." She reads off the next question while the other girl writes down my answer. "If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?"

That's easy. "Judge for the Miss America Pageant." They roll their eyes. Hey! That was funny!

"Okaaay. If you could visit any one place in the world, for free, where would it be? "

"Ayres Rock." That stops her.

"What's that?"

"A big rock in Australia. It's a special rock."

"Interesting choice. Jennifer, don't you think that's an interesting choice?"

The girl on the left nods her head and goes back to writing down my answers.

"We're almost done. If you could change one thing you did in college, what would it be? If you went to college."

Not getting puking drunk so many times. But I'm not telling her that. I guess I have a lot of regrets. "I wish I had tried to do better in my classes."

"Done better in classes. Good. Now, this is a test of your memory. Can you name any women in college that you dated?"

"Randi Bucknell." God, she was pretty. "Carol Sempter, Alexandria Holmes." I think. "Mary Crosswhite. Of course, there were a lot I dated a few times."

"Who was your favorite?"

"Randi Bucknell."

She frowns and they look at each other. What does that mean?

"Last question. This is a test of your health knowledge. Do you have any genetic diseases?"


"Are you sure?"

I'm sure. "I can't roll my tongue." That's good health knowledge.

"Okay, that doesn't sound serious. Thank you very much for answering. Let's go, Jennifer."

They turn around and leave. I watch them walk away, wish I was younger, close my door, and go back to my movie.

Jennifer: "His answers were kind of creative."

Alyssa: "Except for 'Blue'. They were stupid too."

Jennifer: "Yeah. He wants to go see a rock."

Alyssa: "Not just any rock..."

The stop and face each other, look each other in the eye, and say together "...a special rock." They laugh and go back to walking.

Jennifer: "Was that really your father?"

Alyssa: "Of course, we already knew that. Plus he admitted dating my mom. Did you see his eyes? Just like mine."

Jennifer: "Can you roll your tongue?"

Alyssa: "Nope. Bad genes." They both laugh.

They get to their car. Jennifer gets serious. "You didn't tell him that you were his daughter."

Alyssa: "He didn't care. What do you want to do now?"

Short Stories