The paperboy wore a jacket that was a little light for the weather, but the work of riding his bike kept him warm. The basket attached to the bike’s handlebars was filled with newspapers folded to most efficiently fill the limited space available. The boy’s breath was visible on this early spring morning. His legs pumped, and he flung papers to the left and to the right. His aim was good, so the papers usually landed on the stoop or close to it.
He turned the corner and moved toward the side of the street when he saw a car approaching. The driver was someone on his route. He waved at the driver, who gave him a friendly honk on the car horn in return as they passed one another.
When he had delivered about half his papers, he sighed and said "Oh no" to himself, because he was approaching that house. They owed him for over a month’s worth of deliveries. He had tried collecting every week, but there was usually no one there, and when there was someone there, whoever answered the door was usually unpleasant about not being able to pay at the time.
There were two cars in the house’s driveway, so someone was likely to be home. The paperboy got off his bike and leaned it on its kickstand. He walked up the path to the front door, and then he started hearing the commotion within the house. There were several raised voice: a man’s and a woman’s, possibly more than one of each. When he reached the stoop, he heard a crash and a thud, followed by silence. His finger was inches from the doorbell, and he decided that perhaps now wasn’t the best time to ask for his money.
As the paperboy pulled his hand back and began to turn around, the front door was pulled open violently from inside and slammed loudly against an inside wall. A man began to step out but was taken aback by seeing the paperboy. They stared at one another for a moment, then the man stepped back into the house and slowly and quietly closed the door.
The paperboy backed away, then turned and walked to his bike. He took the handlebars, kicked up the kickstand, threw his leg over and rode away. He looked back once at the house then turned to face forward again, as he began pulling the papers out of his basket to fling them left and right.