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The Watcher

Old apartment building,long dark hallway | Stock Video | Pond5

Something didn’t feel right at the moment. It was almost as if I was being watched.

As if showing up at an abandoned complex at 2 AM for some hidden agenda wasn’t suspicious enough, the glimpse of an apparition out of the corner of my eye made me stop dead in my tracks. Doing a double take, I walked a few steps back just to check, there was absolutely nothing in sight: save the flickering green lights that lit only a fragment of the dingy hallway.

“It’s all in your head”, I told myself. “It’s just a trick played by your mind to mess with you. Don’t give too much thought to it. Just finish this odd job, and call in sick for today. I’m sure they’ll let you of the hook”.

After the much needed convincing, I resumed my journey and turned right down the hallway. I walked further along until I saw the elevator. Upon entering it, I pressed the button leading to the 6th floor and exited it, and proceeded along the long winding corridor to the last room on the left as per instructions. The sound of my suede shoes echoed down the low rumbling hallway. The cold, lonely wind spoke to me dismally, and the lights still flickered. While I often questioned why they’d pick such an ungodly hour and place, I had to keep shoving those thoughts back: as it was futile questioning the purpose of these odd jobs. It was work, and it brought some promising rewards in the end. That was all it was, and that’s how it should be.

Then that eerie feeling was back: only this time, it made its presence well known.

My instincts told me to go back, but my mind commanded me to go forward and swallow my fears. Despite my instincts screaming at me to make a run for it, I went with what my mind said and just brushed it off. Turning around to check, I saw nothing. A few steps ahead however, I felt it again through a hurried sound of footsteps and the creak of a door, and I frantically look around: only to find a bunch of rats running into another room.

“What kind of a situation am I even in?! Why did I even agree to such a job? Is everything what it seems to be?”, were among the other million thoughts rushing through my head in an adrenaline induced panic attack. It was almost as if this complex is telling me that I had no business being here all alone, and it did a pretty good job in telling me so.

Throwing away all sense of cautiousness, I sprinted towards the room with deep and shaky breaths while looking dead straight ahead, not sparing a glance or two to my surroundings or body language. Upon reaching the room, I slammed the door shut; locked it from the inside and slumped against it to catch a breath. I could hear my panicky heart threatening to leave my chest at any given moment as I wiped my clammy hands. As I looked around, I caught a glimpse of a faintly lit room near what seemed to be the kitchen, or was it the storage room? I don’t really know, my sense of judgement has become weak due to fear, I suppose.

Drawn to the only source of light, I shuffled hesitantly along the hallway: while nearly knocking down a wooden table and a vase. Once I reached the room, I breathed a sigh of relief; happy that I could go home and sleep peacefully. The job was done, this wretched job was finally over. The thought of sleeping till noon and eating take out made me feel a bit secure and satisfied. But that didn’t last long, because I celebrated too early. On opening the briefcase, much to my absolute disbelief: I found a letter. At this point, I just felt like kicking something out of frustration. I risked my life all for a pathetic piece of paper? Who did they think they were, stealing my sleeping hours for this excuse of a “job”?! Was I some sort of a joke to them?

Sighing in frustration, I decided to read it for any sort of useful information before tossing it away. Little did I know, this letter would make my worst nightmare come true that would leave me frozen in fear as my hands start to tremble. This very letter signed off in a big, black cursive font titled, “The Watcher”.

© 2022, Silver Stone. All rights reserved. Don’t land yourself in hot water, be smart!

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