Hikari is in a foul mood after her mom shut off the game she had nearly completed yesterday. They got into yet another dispute over it -something that doesn't surprise her friends- and her mom hid her console to ensure she can't play it for the time being.
Her mother has always been strict, and Hikari can't understand why she can't use the time after school to relax. Both of her parents work until some hours afterwards, and keeping this in mind, Hikari gets home and with little effort manages to locate her console and plugs it back in. She grabs a snack and sits down for a game session after reasoning she has plenty of time before they get home, but as she starts to play her doorbell starts ringing.
She keeps playing until realizing it's coming from her door and gets up to answer it until she recalls her mothers warning to be careful when they aren't home. Having no intercom at her disposal, Hikari looks through the peep hole but finds nobody on the other side.
The next day after school Hikari informs her friends of what happened and they suggest that it's probably some boy playing a prank; a trend that's become popular lately. Hikari agrees and they take off after reminding her to try to work things out with her mom, and she begins to think about it until she is approached by a girl. She happily recognizes her as Konomi, their friend who is a year above them and was the prior leader of their friend group until she graduated last year. Now she is a middle school student, something Hikari eagerly asks her about.
After responding, Konomi brings up that she heard them discussing a ringing doorbell and recalls reading a story about this a while back. There was a mother who had to go to work, and she left her sick child home alone under the belief they would spend the day resting. But when she returned home, she discovered her child died from their apparent lung infection, and out of guilt she committed suicide and threw herself before a train.
Now her spirit searches for her missing child and searches the homes of children left alone. She will continue ringing the doorbell and ask to be let in, but no matter what the child must not answer her or open the door, even if the ringing stops. Otherwise she will take their mother into another world.
But it could be a false story. Konomi explains that it came from a gossip website and not everything posted is truthful. With that she takes off and Hikari heads home, but by now she finds it incredibly awkward now that she heard that story. She becomes uneasy at the slightest sound and mentally convinces herself that she doesn't need her mother to come home early because she doesn't believe in silly rumors.
However, she refuses to stay there and makes plans to visit Yato's house. But just as she prepares to leave she hears footsteps approach the door. Anxiously she forces herself to look through the door, but seeing a large eye staring back at her causes her to fall back. The mysterious visitor starts ringing the doorbell and frightened she runs into the other room and takes shelter beneath her blanket.
That night, with her father being home Hikari attempts to ask him if he can come home earlier from now on. He asks why and she mentions the frequent doorbell ringing as of late, but she stops herself from saying anything more, thinking he wouldn't believe her anyway. Unfortunately he explains that he isn't able to leave earlier, and before they can say anything else her mother arrives home and joins them, causing Hikari to abruptly storm out of the room.
The next day Hikari worriedly tries to figure out what to do; with her friends busy with cram school she has nobody else to turn to for help. She makes her way home when she runs into Konomi again and quickly invites her to her place. Konomi agrees, feeling heavily remorseful for telling her the story in the first place and offers to keep her company until she feels better. Hikari is relieved and wishes she could have a big sister like her.
Just then the doorbell rings, alarming the girls. Konomi gets up to answer it despite Hikari's desperation to stop her, but Konomi is doubtful of the story and opens the door to find a man outside with newspapers. He asks if their dad is home and remarks stopping by the prior day, but nobody was home. Realizing the eye she saw was most-likely his, Hikari calms down fairly quickly- only for the man to be chased away by her landlord. He apologizes for the disruption and explains how this salesman frequently stops by as of late and has been bothering the tenants. He keeps ringing the bell until someone answers the door.
Hikari sends Konomi home now that she has realized she wasn't in any harm, and she prepares a small snack and sits down to play some games to unwind. But in the process she walks by the laundry in the basket her mother was asking her to tend to recently but she put it off, and she stops to lay it out on the floor.
One by one Hikari folds the clothing items and has calmed down enough to realize that she must apologize to her mother. It's been a few days and she misses talking to her; so when she gets home soon she will take care of it.
As 8:00pm rolls along Hikari is a bit concerned, noting that her mom isn't back yet- something that is very unlike her. It's then the doorbell rings and she assumes it's probably her mom now, but as she gets up to answer she notes that usually her mom has her keys on hand. She stops before the door and the knob begins wiggling, startling her into grabbing it to keep it shut. She thinks about the rumor again seeing how desperately the person wants inside, and it occurs to her that she is alone for the first time now.
When she thought she was alone she really wasn't. Konomi had been with her earlier, and the prior day the salesman was there.
Now it's only her...
Angered, Hikari holds the door shut and yells at the figure on the other side refusing them entry. She wants to make up with her mother so only she can come inside.
It's then the door knob comes to a halt and Hikari slowly releases it. But it begins to turn, frightening her as the door slowly opens to reveal her mother standing there. Seeing how stunned her daughter looks, Hikari's mother begins to tease her, only to express surprise when her tearful daughter hugs her. They reconcile and she returns Hikari's embrace.
Meanwhile, Konomi has just finished updating the thread she made on how things went with her prank. She feels no remorse for pranking Hikari with the story, explaining how it was the relief she needed from all the stress since she began middle school. It's then her doorbell rings and she gets up to see who it is, but after opening the door she sees nobody.
It dons on Konomi that her mom is already home just then, and to her horror she feels a tight grip on her ankle and looks down to find the grotesque, bloodied corpse of the Ding Dong Lady.
She has finally found her child...
- Adult Fear
- The Cameo: In Yomi's epilogue, Yomio is revealed to be her guest at the door, who stopped by as he was in the neighborhood shopping.
- Education Mama: Partially, Hikari's mother gets angry because she neglects not only her homework, but her chores. She decides to hide her game until she starts improving, leading to their current argument.
- Death of a Child: The reason the "Ding Dong Lady" got started, when she killed herself out of guilt for leaving her sick child alone.
- Kids Are Cruel: Well she isn't the worst case, but Konomi's prank caused Hikari a lot of grief. She found her upset to be amusing and justified it as her way of letting off stress.
- Which is probably what led to the Karmic Twist Ending of the story.
- Not Now, Kiddo: Played with, in that Hikari attempted to get her dad to listen to her but she gave up thinking he wouldn't believe her.