06 Oct Rattles
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Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
“58, 59, 60” I counted. Josh took note. We moved on to the next box, this one full of electrical wires. I began counting.
It was nearing twelve o’clock at night. Inventory was tedious, the warehouse was hot and had no A.C., but we were getting paid overtime, which made it worth it. We were the only two left; everyone else was gone hours ago. There was still a lot of work to do, but we didn’t mind. Every couple of hours we made a run to the nearby taco chain to keep us energized.
Suddenly, I felt the effects of one of those tacos creeping up. I started counting faster.
“125, 126, 127” I finished after a moment. Josh took note.
“I’m gonna take a dump,” I said. Josh nodded. He started counting the next box himself as I walked off towards the bathroom.
I opened the door to the office section of the building, where the bathrooms were. Through the large glass window I saw her, for the first time.
She was pale as snow, her hair a light, wispy blonde. She wore a thin, faintly blue dress, nearly translucent in the light of the full moon. I could see her pale, naked body under it. She was beautiful, yet scars stretched across her stomach, as if it had been cut across with a knife over and over. She lifted a finger, beckoning me.
Then, as soon as I saw her, she was gone. I shook my head and blinked, and yet saw nothing but the darkness and moonlight beyond the door.
Half sure I had saw nothing and half sure it was a trick of my mind, I turned right and went into the bathroom.
I sat on the toilet and pulled out my phone. For some reason, the Internet wasn’t working. “Damn wi-fi,” I muttered and placed it back in my pocket. Then the hissing began.
At first it was faint, and I assumed it was only the plumbing. And yet, as it grew louder and louder it began to sound more and more like a voice – the voice of a woman.
Suddenly, the sound was unbearably loud, and then it began – the rattling.
The handle to the stall door rattled, as if someone on the other side was trying to get in. Soon the door began to shake, and within seconds the whole stall was in convulsion.
The hissing grew only louder, and formed into words.
“Come to me,” it beckoned. “Come to meeeee,” it whispered into my ear.
A mixture of terror and shock had me frozen, glued to the seat. Then I looked down. Below the door I saw them – her feet. I hadn’t payed much attention to her feet when I saw her before, but I knew they were hers. I knew.
“Come to meeeee.”
Suddenly, in a burst of both courage and insanity, I lunged for the door, knocking into it with both fists. And everything was quiet.
I stood there, breathless, staring at the door, not daring to look down. Finally my eyes dragged down to the floor.
The feet were gone. The door creaked open, seemingly of its own will. I almost left then and there. I almost bolted out of the building. But I knew I couldn’t leave Josh with her in here, and knew I had no choice but to return to the warehouse.
“Josh!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, as I pushed through the door.. “Josh! We have to leave – NOW!”
I heard no reply. Terror gripped me, but I kept going.
When I made it to the end of the warehouse I saw him, hanging. His feet were tied together with electrical wire, his fingers severed. He hung upside-down from the ceiling, a pool of blood gathering beneath him. Above his pelvis, a large gash ran across his belly, and his entrails spilling from the wound. His tongue was stretched out across his face, a long, crude, rusted nail driven through it into his forehead. I couldn’t move.
That’s when the hissing began again – at once as loud as it was before. In the hissing I heard her whispers.
“Come to me.” She said. “Come to me.”
I turned around, and looked straight into her burning red eyes. Her mouth slipped open as she repeated her mantra. She extended her arms and embraced me.
I closed my eyes shut, for the final time.
Credit To: Dan Dawson
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