25 Feb Building 497
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"Building 497"Written by
Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
As I lay here in the darkness, I wonder how much time left do I have.
It all started a couple of weeks ago. Right after graduation, everyone started talking about their plans and how they were going to make it in the industry. I majored in journalism, so I was supposed to move to a big city and write about trending topics or whatever celebrities were up to. In order to gain recognition or to have the chance to meet someone that could place me on the map. Later on, I would move to more interesting things, but somehow that never appealed to me.
I always wanted to write about creepy things, you know, things that almost no one wants to talk about. I remember when I was in high school, because that’s when I did it all. I went to ghost towns, secluded forests and even spent a couple of nights in various haunted houses. I saw some things, I won’t lie, but everything was under control. I just kept my cool and let my pen and paper do the talking.
That’s how I got the scholarship that led me to go to college in the first place.
After graduation, I eventually got a job in a place that was on the outskirts of New York City. It was called Creak Town. I had never heard of it, but after doing some research I found out that even though the population was smaller than 1,000 people, there were stories upon stories of weird sightings, missing people and even one or two tales of weird creatures that quite often terrorised the town people.
Once I found that out, I decided that I had to go there. And I did.
I arrived in my old Chevy at around 2 AM on a Thursday. I parked my car a couple of blocks away from the flat that I would be renting. I put on my coat, my suitcase in one hand and my camera on the other. I was eager to see something incredibly terrifying in the depths of the night. So I walked throughout this quiet town. I looked everywhere. I tried to find even the slightest thing that could give me the creeps, but there just wasn’t any that night. So I put my camera down, and with a frown on my face I made my way to my department.
The map stated that I was one street away from my new place, but in the distance I did not really see anything that seemed even remotely similar to the image I had pictured in my head of what a five story building would look like. And that’s because there just wasn’t any in sight.
I started walking on the street that was marked in the map searching for number 497. 452, 459, 478, 497; there it was. But this was no five story building, it looked more like a medium-sized one-floor house. From the outside, I could see a light and the slight noise of some chattering, so I knocked on the door with a confused face.
I was greeted by a short, old lady. She wore her hair in a bun and wore glasses larger than her face. She was smiling though, and after trying to focus her vision, her eyes suddenly landed on me. She called my name and in a very cheerful scream she quickly moved to give me an enormous hug, that felt as if my lungs would burst, and say that she was waiting for me. They were waiting for me.
In my mind, most of this didn’t make any sense at all but she was a sweat old lady so I just couldn’t find the strength to get away from her embrace.
Later on, I discovered that she had lied, though it was not her intention. She claimed that the form she had to fill when I asked her about the place had a pretty small font so she confused a couple of details. That explained why my medium-sized flat with hard rock finishes, full kitchen, two bathrooms and view of the town was nothing more than two rooms in which you could find a mattress, half a kitchen, and concrete walls. Though there was in fact a window, almost on the ceiling, that did show you a view of the town when you stepped on a chair to look through it.
I was a bit bothered at the beginning, but also a bit tired, so I just smiled and nodded until the old lady went to her room. I figured that I would look for some place else in the morning.
The lady said the other rooms were already occupied, so without making too much noise, I walked to the door she pointed would me mine. I entered the room and locked the door behind me.
I opened my eyes when I first heard it. Someone was screaming. At first it was a long lament and with my mind just starting to slowly wake up from a dream, I immediately assumed that it was my imagination. Until it was there, again. It was the voice of a woman screaming for help. I felt a cold breeze fill the room followed by the sensation of chills creeping up all over my body. Scary images started to come to mind after hearing that, but then I also thought it could be that old lady. Perhaps she had fallen and she couldn’t move, perhaps she needed urgent assistance to move something that had fallen on top of her. That image seemed to be even more scary, so with nothing but my boxers and t-shirt I ran to the door following the screams.
Outside my door, I could see the hallway that I had crossed just hours before, but now the lights were off and in the shadows I could only see the edge of five doors, which stood next to mine. My room was the one at the end of the hallway, and the screaming was coming from the other corner, so without thinking about it too much I started running in the dark, looking for the old lady that in my mind was crying for help. As I was doing this, a thought came to my mind, it was more of a question, that started to take form in my head, and as my hand touched the doorknob it came to full form “why wasn’t anybody else coming out of the other doors to help the poor screaming lady?”.
My entire body was filled with adrenaline that had gathered inside of me as I was about to open the door from where the screaming was coming. In my mind, I would just throw the door out of its place and find out why the hell she was screaming, but once I was there, the screaming had stopped and now I was quite unsure as to what I should do next. I was still thinking that perhaps it was my imagination. Perhaps I was just so tired that my mind started to play tricks on me. But then I heard something else. Somebody was whispering something. Interrupting the silence, a voice crept upon me until everything was quiet except for that. “Help me” was what the voice was saying. In that second, I burst through the open door and saw the old lady standing in the middle of the room, facing the window. She was now wearing a black piece of fabric on her head and seemed to be a little bit taller than I remembered. Her back was just slightly bigger. In just a split second, the old lady turned to look at me and I was left speechless. There were no eyes in her face, and her mouth was larger than anything I have ever seen.
I froze for a second and my body stopped responding to my commands. But my mind was screaming for me to move, to run the hell away from that room. After trying for what seemed like forever, my hand reacted and shut the door, creating a barrier between this monster and me.
There was nothing but darkness in the hallway. I tried for a second to go back to my room, but later reminded myself of that thing that I had seen and I opted to run to the other side. I went running towards the exit. There was no plan in my mind, I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I did not know why I was running, but I was hoping it wasn’t for my life. And as I was sprinting trying to reach that red EXIT sign, I heard the door behind me almost being broken out of its place, and then heavy footsteps started to follow me. I was going out of my mind. Every step I took seemed to get me closer to the exit, but somehow I just didn’t reach the door. Almost like if it was double the distance, every time I came closer to touch it. When I finally touched the doorknob, I turned around to take one last look and see if that thing was behind me, and I lamented my decision. There was nothing in the floor, no sighting of an old lady or of that thing that I had just seen. Just as I was beginning to regain my composure, I felt something on my nose, a drop of something had fallen from the ceiling. And when I looked up, there it was, like a huge spider, that thing was looking at me with no eyes, and with a huge grind in its face. I pushed the door open, and it didn’t work. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack and in the next second, everything was black.
I opened my eyes when I first heard it. Someone was screaming. At first it was a long lament and with my mind just starting to wake up from a dream, I immediately assumed that it was my imagination. Until it was there, again. Somebody was screaming for help. I got up in front of my bed almost immediately and I was about to go out and help whoever was screaming, but as I touched the doorknob I remembered this had already happened. Panic started filling my whole body and as I lay there with my back to the door, I realised that I had to get out of there.
I took a deep breath, held my own and unlocked the door. At the count of three, I would sprint all the way to the entrance, and get the hell away from this sordid place. 1, 2… And there I was. I opened the door and ran, with my eyes almost close, to the start of the hallway to the left, and I hit myself in the head so bad that I fell to the floor. Where the hallway was, there was a wall now. With my hands in my face, I noticed that I had broken something. There was blood all over my eyes. I almost couldn’t breath. I forgot about the world for one moment, and just as I was about to get on my feet again, I noticed there was nothing but silence. The screaming had stopped. And just as I was laying on the floor, I felt a cold breeze surround me. When I looked behind me, there it was once again, in the middle of the hallway, with a black dress and a veil over its face. A little taller than before, that thing that used to be the old lady was just standing there with its hands together, watching me.
Once again, I blacked out.
I have lost count of how many times I had woken up to that sound. The screams. And every time I would try to run away from this place, something was different, something changes, and when I try to escape, she finds me. Every time. But I discovered, that if I kept my door closed, she can’t enter. So I just sat here with my pen and paper, and I wrote everything I have tried, in the hopes that someone can someday avoid doing the same thing I did.
As I was about to finish writing this, I heard noise outside. I stepped on the chair and took a look through the town window. There was a girl, with a suitcase, and she was heading directly to this place. I started screaming at the top of my lungs until she was out of my vision sight. Could she hear me?
The lady says there are people on all the other rooms, so I walk silently to the door she points as mine. I enter the room and put the lock on it. I see a beautiful bed and I get incredibly tired, so much that I just fall to sleep right in that second.
I open my eyes when I first hear it. Outside, someone is screaming. At first it was a long cry, but now I hear nothing. I blame my mind for giving me another one of those stupid nightmares.
However, I slowly go to the door of my room, I open it and take a look at what is out there. Outside my door, I see the hallway that I had crossed just moments before, but now the lights are off and in the shadows I can only see the edge of the six doors that are standing next to mine.
And there it is, again. It is the voice of a man, screaming for help. I have to go and take a look.
Credit To – Arturo Hernandez
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