Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
You know that feeling you get when you walk down a dark hallway? The feeling you get when the lights are out in the room behind you, the feeling that someone, or something is right there behind you, inching its way closer to you? Well, whatever you do, don’t ever look back.
My name is Michael, and I just turned 20. I worked as security guard for a small office in a rough neighborhood. They sell paper, or something along those lines, I didn’t really pay attention to the other people there. I usually sat near the door during the afternoon checking everyone that comes in and out. It was a pretty laid back job, and it helped me pay for my night school.
I usually only worked during the day, and I had never been at the office past 6, but one day my boss asked me if I could take the late shift, as the night guard had quit due to “unforeseen circumstances,” whatever that means. Anyway, I said I’d do it, but just for that night. All I really had to do was lock up and sit down in the main office and relax. Right?
Well, not really. I was given a paper with a list of a few instructions. Four in total.
Lock doors in main room once everyone has gone home, no later than 12 AM.
Go through west hallway and lock all doors, except for door # 6, which must be unlocked. Then turn around, and do NOT move for 10 seconds, no matter what. After 10 seconds turn and face the hallway, then start walking, taking one step every second. Don’t look back. Don’t ever look back.
Go to main office and hide under desk, facing the front and wait for door # 6 to close and lock.
Leave at 6:30 AM. Do not lock the front door, but lock the gate.
It started normal enough. I didn’t know if they decided to play some kind of joke on me, since it was my first time, but if it had been meant as a prank, they did a good job. I was scared out of my mind.
The instructions were so specific and just all-together creepy. What would happen if I took a second more or a second less? What if I missed the deadline at 6:30? What would happen to me? I tried to get the thoughts out of my head, and I focused on the instructions. I wanted to study them before the night shift so that I wouldn’t make a mistake.
Before I knew it, it was 11 PM, and most people started to leave. Janitors and workers that stayed late all started to file out, each wishing me luck. I waited a while, until every single person was gone. Why would they wish me luck? I had to focus, it was only for a night. It was probably nothing, but I just wanted to make sure. At a quarter to midnight, I decided to lock up the main room and head through the hallway. Lock all the doors, unlock door 6. Got it. Turn around and wait 10 seconds.
I started counting in my head: One, two… then I felt the temperature change. Three, four… it got a little colder and that’s when I heard the door. Five… it started to open. 6… then I felt it, like someone breathing down my neck.
Seven, eight… I was about to run, but then I remembered the instructions. I have to stay still.
Nine, ten… I turned and started down the hallway. Take a step every second.
My heart was beating out of my chest, my whole body was cold. I couldn’t feel my hands. I kept going, even though I was about to pass out from fear. I navigated through the seemingly endless hallway, leaving behind whatever the thing behind me was, but I felt it watch me as I walked.
There was nothing between me and “it.” If it had wanted to, it could have killed me right then and there, I was sure of it. I didn’t know what it was, but I didn’t feel safe near it.
At the halfway point, I felt it standing there. As I passed by a fire extinguisher, I caught a glimpse of the beast’s reflection in the glass. I couldn’t really make it out, but whatever it was, it was slowly approaching. It knew I had seen it. I quickened my pace ever-so-slightly. My whole body went numb, so much so that couldn’t even feel the ground under me anymore. Cold and sweating, I continued down the hallway. Almost there, I thought. I just need to get into the office and hide under the desk.
I prayed to God that I’d make it, prayed to anyone that would listen at that point. By that time, I wasn’t scared anymore; it was much more than that. I moved robotically, just trying to make it to the end of the nightmare. I finally got to the door… and realized it was right behind me. I turned the corner and opened the door, closed it behind me and hid under the desk, as instructed. I faced the wall and waited. I remained there for a while, and during that time nothing happened. Still, I knew it was there. I was petrified, horrified, so scared that I felt like my very soul might just give up and leave.
A few more seconds passed, and all of a sudden the door to the office opened.
Is it coming in?
I didn’t read about this in the instructions.
What do I do?
That’s when I realized didn’t have them anymore.
Where had they gone? Did I drop them?
It came in then, the room’s temperature dropping as it made its presence known.
What is this thing? A demon? A monster?
Whatever it was, it was not following the rules. It was looking for me.
At that point I was in tears. I tried to hold it in at first, but my fear took over, and I didn’t have to anymore. I couldn’t move, my eyes blurred, and I felt myself begin to black out.
That’s when I heard it leave… and close the door.
I wanted to let out a huge breath of relief, but decided against it.
I kept listening for the other door. After a second, it too closed, then locked. I let everything out then, tears streaming down my face, breathing harder than I ever have.
I checked my watch: it was 6:23. Just 7 minutes until 6:30, and then I could leave. I chose to remain huddled under the desk until then.
6:30 rolled around and I was ready to bolt. I opened the office door and rushed to the main entrance, practically sprinting for the gate. I got out and locked it behind me. I rushed to my car and started it. As I pulled out, I felt much safer, and so I disregarded the second instruction I’d been given, and took one last look back at the building… and froze, paralyzed with fear.
The creature was standing in the doorway, looking right at me. I hit the gas and sped home.
The next day I handed in my letter of resignation.
It’s been a few weeks since then, and I’ve found another job, but I still can’t get that thing out of my head. Sometimes I feel like it’s still behind me as I walk through my home.
I never should have looked back, and I’ll never made that mistake again.