If the lights go out at the grocery store late at night, get out before the locks disappear. If they do, it's too late - Chap 2
Well, I’m back. Alive too, in case you guys were wondering. I want to start out by thanking all of you for the support. I’m sorry if I haven’t been able to respond to all of your comments, but I will get around to them. Anyways, here’s the update you guys have been waiting for. Its the morning after right now, and I have the day off, so I’ll type this up while I have time.
Link to original post here.
6:45pm rolled around and I got into my shitty 2001 Toyota Camry. It was most definitely a shitbox, but I loved that thing. It’s crappy leather seats and musty interior brought a sense of comfort that I could never quite explain it. I was there by 6:55pm. I parked at the back of the lot, where all of the employees were negated to park. I walked to the entrance. It was still bright out, and I looked up at the dim sign that had my store’s logo across it.
Here goes nothing. I walked in, letting the familiar aroma of the produce section fill my nose. I made my way to the timeclock. I walked through the black double doors and stared at the freezer at the end. However, it didn’t seem malicious right now. It just felt like a normal door. I shuddered and made my way to the timeclock. I punched my number in. 7:00pm exactly. I was about to turn around when Dave yelled from his office. I sighed and made my way there.
There were two police officers waiting in there.
“Hey, Kate. Before you head up to the front, these guys gotta ask you a few questions.” Dave said with his usual smile.
“Uh, sure thing, Dave.” I responded.
The officers asked him to leave so they could question me alone. He closed the door behind him as he left.
They introduced themselves as Officers Decker and Perez.
Decker was tall and thin. He was very pasty, and had cold grey eyes. But his voice was upbeat and engaging, quite the opposite of his looks.
Perez was a little shorter, and much more muscular. he had darker skin and a shaved head, at least I thought it was shaved. He was wearing the cop hat. You know the one I’m talking about. He didn’t speak that much, Decker did most of the talking.
They just went over the details I originally gave them at the hospital. Abby was still missing, and they were going to involve the feds.
“And where was the last time you saw her?” Decker asked.
“When she went to the bathroom.” I replied.
Apparently, the three of us who made it out all left out the part about us all being in the bathroom. They would have thought we were truly crazy.
“We have a working theory.” Decker began, “Someone attempted to rob the store. First by cutting the power, which eliminated the security cameras. What they didn’t expect was for you guys to still be in there. So he subdued you one by one and tried to hide you guys in the freezer. Once he realized that all the cash drawers were already pulled, he kidnapped Abby to make up for it.”
“No offense, Officer, but that story seems far fetched.” I said.
“I know. But it’s the best we have right now. Unless there is something you aren’t telling us.” He said, narrowing his eyes at me.
“No, Officer.” I said.
“Good. We’ll be in contact.” He said as he gathered his things and stood up.
He walked past where I was sitting and placed a cold hand on my shoulder. It was unnaturally cold.
“It would be in your best interest to keep the actual events of that night to yourself, Dear.” He said before both he and Perez left.
I got up shortly after and went to my post. Register 6, right next to Tanya’s booth.
“Tanya, did the cops talk to you too?” I asked.
“Yeah, but they seemed kind of off.” She said, and then leaned closer, “They told me not to tell anyone what actually happened, and it kinda sounded like a threat.” She said, almost at a whisper.
“Tanya…” I began, “I don’t think they were cops.”
Tanya’s eyes then shot behind me. I turned around and I was face to face with Officer Decker.
“Howdy there, Kate. Just grabbing a couple things.” He said cheerfully, eyeing Tanya and I.
“Sure thing, Officer.” I logged into the register and scanned his three items.
A pack of A batteries, some earbuds, and an apple. Granny smith.
“Take care, Kate.” He said in his warm voice. He then looked over to Tanya, his movements almost looking robotic. “Tanya.” He nodded to her. Paid with cash, then left.
“Creepy fuckers, those guys.” Roger said as he came up to my register and leaned on it.
“I’m guessing you had the pleasure of meeting the officers?” I asked, trying to keep the mood light.
“Pleasure? They showed up at my house at like 9pm.” Roger retorted. “I don’t think they’re cops.”
“Hey! That’s what I said!” I laughed.
I gotta preface here. The only reason we are joking about it is to keep from going insane. I know this sounds insensitive or whatever, but Tanya, Roger, and I are all the type of people to use humor as an emotional outlet. I don’t know if that’s a common thing, but that’s just how we are, and that’s why we are friends.
“Hey, after work do you guys want to come over? My son is staying at my parents place. Maybe we can actually talk and have a few drinks.” Tanya offered.
“I’m game.” I said. “My parents are out of town on business, so I won’t be missed.”
“Sure, I’ll come.” Roger said. “Only if you’re buying.” He said in his usual sarcastic tone.
First off, don’t get on me for the underage drinking. We were all a teenager at one point. Tanya, Roger and I also occasionally do this just to unwind after work. I never drive afterwards, I just crash at Tanya’s and head home in the morning. Tanya and Roger also live in the same neighborhood, so Tanya drove Roger to work, and Roger will either walk home or spend the night at Tanya’s. But Roger is a notorious heavyweight, and it takes a lot to see him actually get drunk. I’ve only seen it once.
We may be irresponsible, but we’re not stupid.
Contradictory, I know.
Like yeah I’ll drink while I’m underage but I won’t put myself or others in harm,s way while I’m intoxicated. I call it being responsibly irresponsible.
And I’m not an alcoholic either. It may run in my family, but I’m just an occasional drinker. I have never showed up to work or school drunk. And I only drink about once a week, if that. So no hate please. We were all a teenager at some point.
Anyways, the shift ended. And it was uneventful. Even as the four of us, the new girl included, paraded back to the timeclock to punch out. The freezer was closed, and nothing felt off. As we were walking to the exit, I nudged Tanya.
“Let’s check the bathroom.” I said.
“Yeah, lets.” Tanya gave Roger her keys and told him to start the car.
We walked in and the lights flickered on. We looked in the mirror. All we saw were our own tired reflections. Then something started to materialize behind us in the reflection. I turned around expecting to see something, but I was met with an empty bathroom.
I turned back to the mirror, and I saw Abby’s withered face standing behind our reflections.
She looked like she had aged by ten years. She looked so tired and beaten down.
“Help me.” she said weakly.
I didn’t think twice. I lunged at the mirror and felt that sticky coolness surround me. My torso was in the mirror. It was hard to breath. The air was just so thick, so sticky. But I kept going. I blamed myself for letting go and allowing her to get trapped in there.
I felt Tanya’s arms securing my legs in place. I reached out and grabbed Abby’s arm. I pulled her towards me, and with that, Tanya yanked the two of us out of the mirror. there wasn’t any resistance keeping us in there. It was strange.
“I’m gunna be completely honest,” I panted out, catching my breath. “I did not think that was gunna work.”
“That’s okay, I really appreciate the effort, Kate. Really. Thank you.” Abby said sincerely, while also catching her breath.
But our time for questions was cut short.
Because then we heard it. We heard the sound we had been dreading all night.
The intercom system picked up. But no one spoke. A loud, slow creaking was heard. The fucking freezer.
We didn’t need to be told twice. The three of us booked it out of there, Tanya and I basically dragging Abby with us, as she was still gaining her strength. We didn’t even go for the exit. We pried the entrance door open and piled out, collapsing on each other. As the doors closed, the lights cut, and the store was enveloped in that same unnatural darkness. And from the other side of the doors, we could see those damn yellow eyes.
“That’s why it let you out so easily…” I trailed off. “It was trying to distract us and keep us in there.”
“Lets get the fuck outta here.” Tanya said.
“I’m with you on that one.” Abby said.
We helped her to her feet and headed to our cars. Roger was waiting.
“Roger, the new girl exited the store with you, right?” Tanya asked.
“Yeah, she already got picked up.” Roger said, scrolling mindlessly through his phone.
“Well we got Abby back.” I said.
At this, Roger perked up, relief washing over his face.
“Let’s get out of here, though. Abby, ride with Tanya, Roger ride with me.” I said.
We got into the respective cars and left the parking lot. Tanya leading in her car, and me following behind.
Almost immediately, I saw a car turn on on the other side of the parking lot. It quickly fell in line behind me as we waited at the stop light to exit the parking lot.
“Roger, call Tanya.” I said.
“What? Why?” He asked, looking up from his phone.
“The car behind us,” I started as I looked the rear view mirror at the black town car behind us, “it came out of the parking lot with us. We are the last business to close, and you said the new girl already got picked up.”
He angled himself to look out the side mirror on his side.
“Shit, are you sure it’s trouble?” He asked.
“Not sure, but I don’t want to take any chances. Now call Tanya.” I said.
He nodded and dialed Tanya’s number. He put it on speaker.
“Yeah, what’s up?” I heard Tanya say through the phone.
“We might have trouble, a black town car is trailing me.” I said.
“Shit. Why do I have a feeling it’s those damn cops.” She groaned
“I’m gunna lose them on the highway, you go straight to your house if he follows me. If he keeps after you, try and lose him and I’ll loop around to meet you.” I said.
“Sounds good. See you at my place.” She said before ending the call.
We came past the highway on-ramp, and the car followed me.
Perfect. I get to show those fuckers what this shitbox is made of.
I forgot to mention it was a manual. It only had five speeds, but it got the job done. I got on the highway and finally shifted into fifth. My Camry roared and took off. I couldn’t help but smirk as the black town car struggled to keep up and started to become a faint dot behind us. I was pushing 105mph and like 5500rpm.
“Jesus, Kate! We lost ’em, you can slow down now!” Roger said from his seat.
I slowed down and nonchalantly got off at a small off-ramp. The black car didn’t follow. I sighed in relief and headed towards Tanya’s house.
“Remind me not to drive with you ever again.” Roger said, his cool sarcastic tone returning.
“Hey, you can’t be mad! I got the job done.” I said.
“Fair enough.” He murmured.
We pulled into Tanya’s driveway, and Tanya showed up about five minutes later.
“I dropped Abby off at her house.” Tanya said. “The story we are going with is that as we left, we saw Abby walk out of the woods. She seemed unharmed, so we just brought her home to her parents.”
That night we talked about everything. Just trying to piece it together. I had a few beers, and I crashed on Tanya’s couch while Tanya drove Roger home. Even he had a few too many. While they were gone, I could swear I could hear footsteps outside of Tanya’s side door and porch. Even the jiggle of a doorknob. But I was a little too buzzed to care.
I left Tanya’s house at about eight that morning. I got home and just relaxed. I’m typing this up now before I go to bed. I gotta be honest, I am tired. and I’m getting a slight rash where my exposed skin touched the darkness in the mirror. Not so much on my face for some reason, but my neck and arms are getting red. My parents called, and it looks like I’ll have the house to myself for the rest of the week.
Anyways, I work again in two days. I’ll update on the rash tomorrow if it gets worse. In the meantime, any ideas for remedies? I’m open to suggestions.
I also have a feeling I’ll be seeing those cops again. With Abby found over a week later, and it being that we said she just walked out of the woods, they’re bound to have some questions.
Also let me know if you have any idea who or what those cops were.
As always, thanks for the support, you guys are really keeping me going.
Again, stay safe everyone.